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THE UNITY OF THE VEDIC AND
of the son Tvashtar, Tvashtar tries to exclude Indra from the drinking of the Soma, much
like Shiva's being excluded from getting any share of the sacrifice. Indra elsewhere
destroys his own father (who is Tvashtar) and fights against the Gods. Ultimately all the
Gods abandon Indra and he has to slay the dragon (Vritra) alone. By Brahmanical and
Puranic accounts Vritra is a Brahmin and Indra commits the great sin of slaying a Brahmin
by slaying Vritra, for which he must seek atonement.
Indra like Shiva is a fierce God who transcends good and evil, including all
social customs, and does what is forbidden. Indra does things like eating meat and
drinking Soma (in enormous quantities), and goes into various states of intoxication and
ecstasy. Indra is born as an outcast and in some hymns in the Vedas grants favour to
outcasts. Shiva similarly is a deity of ecstasy (Soma) and transcends all social customs,
often going against caste and custom.