Lord of the Fourth Heaven
Indra is Lord of the Fourth Heaven in the Doctor Fate series his position is threatened by Joachim Hess, who is attempting to complete 40 days and 40 nights in the Chilla-Nashini, or Circle Penance. Hess can't eat or sleep for this time. Through this process, Joachim, causes a disruption in the balance of all things and has Indra ready to do whatever it will take to keep his position.
At this point we learn that Indra has had the position of Lord of the Fourth Heaven for some 25,000 years. He appears to be somewhat crazy (which may be partly because of what he endured to get his high position and mighty power).
Indra has power over the elements: earth, wind, fire, and water. and is served by 30,000 angels. He claims he is capable of anything. He was able to reassert himself after Deadman had taken over his body and when he throws him out, Deadman is the able to be seen by all around him. His powers can resist those of Dr Fate to some level, and yet not even he can break the barrier of magic that the Chilla-Nashini makes.
In the end Joachim is tricked into coming out of the circle by Deadman before Indra can sink the island of Manhattan. Thereby letting Indra keep his place in the Fourth Heaven.
The Hindu pantheon is divided into upper and lower levels, the upper belonging to the vastly powerful beings who control and sustain the very forces of creation and destruction (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, et al), and the lower comprising of the less powered but still very potent gods who enjoy immortality and are in charge of various elemental forces like Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, Medicine, Learning, Prosperity, etc. Indra is the King of the lesser gods.
Indra, by merit of his innate capacities, is the god of Thunder and Rains. He is a formidable warrior, an able strategist and a strong general. He wields a very powerful weapon called the Vajra, which holds within itself the might of thunder. The Vajra is the most powerful weapon that the lesser gods can employ in battle. The duo of Indra and the Vajra is very similar to Zeus and his thunderbolts, and Thor and his hammer Mjolnir. Historically, perhaps a common origin of these Indo-Aryan gods can be traced up to deep in the past.
As a king, Indra is wanton and pleasure-loving, and loves to spend his time enjoying music and dance in the courtroom of Indraprastha, the Heavenly Palaces. He has a good taste and understanding of music and the fine arts. Indra is famous as a womanizer, and the Apsaras, who are the dancing nymphs of heaven, often receive special attentions and favours from him. Indra has also faced various difficulties and punishments from powerful people whom he risked insulting through his promiscuous acts, but this has not had any significant effect on his nature. The only time Indra was slightly humbled while courting a woman was when he tried to woo the celestial seductress Mohini, and was badly humiliated by her strength in front of a full court.
Indra has three rides which are well-known across the Three Worlds (Heaven, Earth, Underworld). The first one is the magnificent white elephant named Airavata, who has five trunks and ten tusks, and is famed for his great might. The second one is a seven-headed flying horse named Uchchaihshravas. The third ride is a flying chariot named Pushpak, which is like an aircraft that can travel anywhere. This splendid vehicle has been coveted by other characters over time and has been instrumental in the plot of many stories.
Indra is not a very potent force when it comes to facing the Asuras (demons) and the Danavas (giants) in battle. Though the strongest among the gods, he often proves weaker than these ferocious opponents and abandons the field in fear and surrender. In these cases, he, along with his followers, is given refuge and salvation by the higher gods.
Vritrasura, or, How the Vajra Was Made
Vritrasura was a very powerful King of the demons who had launched an all-out attack on all worlds. Under his leadership, the demon armies had grown to great strength and they completely swept off any resistance offered by the human kings and warriors. The forces of the gods were badly staggered, and ultimately, utterly defeated. The major gods like Agni, Varun, and Pavan tried to stop them, but once faced with Vritrasura himself, they were easily repelled. Indra himself suffered an ugly defeat at Vritra’s hands. They had to quit the battle.
The gods went to Brahma to ask for refuge and guidance, and there they learnt about a great hermit on earth who was the key to the solution of their problem. His name was Dadhichi. Brahma asked the gods to seek out this person, because the weapon that could kill Vritrasura would have to be forged out of his bones. It was up to the gods to convince him to give up his body.
When the gods approached, they were cordially welcomed by Dadhichi. To their great amazement, he had already sensed the reason of their coming. He assured them that there was nothing to be ashamed of, and promised to sacrifice himself for the cause. Dadhichi sat down in meditation, and within a few minutes, gave up his spirit.
The gods collected his bones and took them to Vishwakarma, the divine Smith. The bones of the great sage were brimming with a potent energy. Vishwakarma forged a weapon unlike any else out of the bones, and now this new weapon wielded the force of thunder. It was given to Indra for using, and it was named Vajra.
The gods, hopeful again, met Vritrasura on the battlefield. But last time’s experience was not so easily forgotten, since the gods fell to fear as soon as Vritra appeared before them, terrible in anger. Indra gathered the dregs of his courage, threw the Vajra at Vritrasura, and ran. He did not look to see if his strike had succeeded.
But it had. The burning weapon struck Vritrasura’s body with a great crash of thunder, and he could not resist its force. He fell down dead. His armies panicked at the death of their king and surrendered shortly afterwards.
Indra continued to possess the Vajra henceforth, and used it whenever he could against opponents in battle.