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THE UNITY OF THE VEDIC AND
divide Shaivism from the Vedas like to compare the deity Shiva in the Puranas with the
diminished role of Indra, the greatest of the Vedic Gods, in these texts. As Shiva is the
great deity of Puranas and Indra is no more than the Lord of Heaven, some scholars have
concluded that the Vedic religion was demoted and reduced in favor of an indigenous
This idea has been a
source of much error. However if we compare the role of Indra in the Vedas with that of
Shiva in the Puranas, a much different story emerges. While Shiva and Indra in the Puranas
are very different, we find a remarkable similarity between Vedic Indra and Puranic Shiva.
Vedic Indra and Puranic Shivas share many of the same names and functions, so much so that
the two figures cannot be divided from one another.