By Swami Harshananda
Indrāṇi literally means ‘the spouse of Indra’.
The female counterparts or spouses of the deities are referred as Śakti. Indra’s śakti is Indrāṇī and even the Ṛgveda mentions the same. In later literature, she is known as Śacīdevī. She was the daughter of Puloma, an asura who was the son of Kaśyapa and Diti.
In the literary works, she is shown with Indra standing on his left. She holds a blue lotus in her left hand and her right hand embraces Indra. Her features are beautiful and she is bedecked with many ornaments. She is sometimes shown as Aindrī, one of the seven mātṛkās. In this form, she may have either six or four hands. The things held in her hands include vajra, lotus, rosary, water vessel. Indrāṇī can be worshiped independently also as the bestower of prosperity. In this aspect, she is shown seated on a lotus in a pavilion surrounded by the celestial nymphs like Urvaśī, Menakā, Rambhā.
- Ṛgveda 1.22.12
- Saptamātṛkās means ‘Seven Little Mothers’.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore