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THE UNITY OF THE VEDIC AND
with his host of Bhutas or ghosts. The Maruts are also spirits or Bhutas and in the Vedas
they travel with Indra. Indra is the main deity of the Vedic rishis. Shiva is the main
deity of the yogis. They yogis are usually rishis and vice versa. In fact, the Maruts, the
sons of Rudra and the companions of Indra, are sometimes lauded as Brahmins, rishis or
Rudra-Shiva is propitiated to overcome death:so is Indra in the Vedas. There are Vedic
prayers to protect us not only from the wrath of Rudra but also from the wrath of Indra.
Both Rudra and Indra are propitiated to grant us fearlessness (abhayam) and for defeat of
The early Upanishads identify Indra
with Paramatman, the Supreme Self, just as the later Upanishads identify Shiva with
Paramatman. Indra is called Prana or the life-force in the Upanishads.