Indra – Taranis – Thor in Indus Valley Civilization

Indra in Indus Valley on Iravata with Chakra above

taranis,celtic indra
Celtic Indra Taranis with wheel

Research Paper written by London Swaminathan
Post No.1268;Dated 5th September 2014.

On 29 May 2011, I posted an article with the title “Indus Valley Civilization- New Approach required” in this blog. I have posted the picture of a tablet with elephant and a standing figure on it with a wheel above .I interpreted it as Indra on Airavata. Indra is called Sakra in Hindu and Buddhist scriptures. The sound Chakra means a wheel also powerful. Now I have more proof from the Celtic Gods and Norse Gods though there is a wide gap in the time.

The oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam described Indra and Varuna as Tamils’ Gods. Indra is called Venthan which means King. In Sanskrit also we have one word for the king and Indra. Kings are depicted with wheels in Indian literature. That wheel is glorified as blazing wheel meaning The Sun.

We have similar Gods in Celtic pantheon Taranis and Thor in Norse pantheon with all the attributes of Indra; because of the gap in time we can’t expect 100 percent similarity. I give below some points just for comparison:

Taranis (400 BCE to 400 CE)

Taranis means The Thunderer. He was the ancient Romano-Celtic god of Thunder (similar to Indra).
Statues of him depict a man with a wheel and lightning bolt (similar to Indus tablet: Sakra=wheel and Indra’s thunder bolt is Vajrayudha)
It has been suggested that the wheel represents sun (Hindu kings are called Sun (Aditya) and they are said to have derived from the Sun (Surya Vamsa=Solar race)
He was associated with the classical god Jupiter.
The wheel has been interpreted as a chariot wheel as well. All other thunder gods make the roar of thunder with the chariot wheels.
Taranis has his equivalents in the British Islands Leucetius and Taranuctus.

denmark pasupati
Denmark Pasupati (Gundestrup Cauldron)

Indus Valley Pasupati

Thor ( worshipped between 700 CE to 1100 CE)

Thor was the Scandinavian god of the sky and thunder.
He was derived from earlier Germanic sky and thunder god Donar which means thunder.
Thursday was named after him (This is also similar to Hindu beliefs. Thursday is the Guruwar and Guru is planet Jupiter, who is associated with Taranis and Indra)
Thor’s weapon was a thunder looking like hammer.
He had tremendous power to shatter the mountains (Vedas describe Indra as powerful who broke the mountains to release water. He cut off the wings of flying mountains)
Thor was a popular deity in Norway and Iceland. He killed lot of monsters and demons (Indra also killed scores of demons and Ahi, the dragon)
Swastika derived from axe is associated with him (Hindu symbol Swastika is found in Indus Valley and associated with all kings).
He rides in a chariot drawn by two goats (Indra rides on Elephant Airavata, but goats are sacrificed to him in the Yagas).

Denamark Gajalakshmi (Gundestrup Cauldron)


Denmark Indra/Taranis on Gundestrup cauldron

1.Taranis, Thor, Jupiter and Indra are one and the same god.
2.They are associated with the wheel and thunder.
3.Since Gundestrup cauldron found in Denmark has Pasupati figure, Hindu Gajalkshmi figure and Tarani’s (Indra) figure, it is reasonable to compare it with the Indus tablet on elephant. I confirm it as Indra with the wheel. Indra’s name in Sanskrit is Sakra, which means the wheel. Even if the spelling is different for Sakra=the powerful and Chakra= the wheel, in the olden days both might have been interchangeable.

Please read my 20+ articles on Indus Valley Civilization.


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  1. I wonder why MAXMULER/CALDWRLIAN theory is still held and people hanging on t it. Indian Gods are always youthful and black. The age of Devas never cross sixteen. How can Info European/Semitic Gods nude and always looking old with beard and mustache compare with Indian Gods. In India only Asuras will grow beyond age with birth. Since they were beyondvage they are never youthful and unlike Devas whose sensuality is like that of sixteen year old humans they are sensual beyond youth. That is why Indus valley seals don’t look Indians. The dancing lady statue or so called Pasupathi look more like Semitic with half animal/half bird/half human forms. Even Yama the God of Death Or Goddess Kali with dark annihilating energy looks be esp pendent youth power showing divinity. Thus Gandhara art forms or Karur coins are more youthful than original Greek art. Rig Vedic Indra whether he destroy ever avid a Casas or not is pure Indian brimming with youthful energy. From Sri Rama to Tendulkar Indian youths reaches peak by sixteen which is a rarity in the rest of the world. KARIKALA/Nedunchezhiyan/Aditya Karikala all attained greatness at sixteen. Hence Rig Vedic Indra even if he is Aryan is pure Indian at blissful youth of sixteen having youthful sensualism and not like Semitic/Graeco/Romonic/European Gods of perverted old age with beard and mustache.

  2. Thanks, Tejaswini, for your thought provoking comments.
    I also used to wonder why Cambodian sculptures are very different from ours.
    Why Ravi varma put mustache to Shiva and No mustache to Vishnu.
    Indra also has mustache in some and Agni and Yama have beard.
    Currently I am reading Indra in Indian Mythology by Muralidhar Mohanty and he has used pictures from his state(orissa)
    Probably Hindu Gods change from state to state!!

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