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THE UNITY OF THE VEDIC AND
and Vedic Indra share many common names and functions. A majority of the names and
functions of one figure can be found in the other. Indra in the Vedas is called Shiva a
number of times. Indra is also one of the names for Shiva in the thousand names of Shiva.
The conclusion that we must draw from all this is that Indra and Shiva are essentially the
same deity, according to a shift of language. The two deities are so close in function
that they must have arisen from a common source and are part of a common tradition.
This does not mean that Indra and Shiva are
identical. Vedic Indra and Puranic Shiva do not have the same appearance or identical
stories. However, difference of forms do arise through time and do not require inventing a
different tradition. The language of the Rudram, the most important chant to Shiva in the
Vedas, is rather different than that of Puranic chants to Shiva, for example, but that
does not mean that there are two different traditions, a Rudra tradition as opposed to a