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Uluka-Indra - the vehicle of Laxmi

Indra lights the sacred fire of Agni, is the cause of Justice, the defender of Dharma. Indra is the master of Maya (illusion, form and other magic), and the warrior who, though repeatedly defeated, persists to victory. He rescues the weak. He presents the “second wind” to athletes, he embodies of athleticism. He wars not against others, but within himself. He permits the achievement of Raja Yoga.

Indra is famous for having been manifested by Uluka, Laxmi’s vehicle. Indra is notorious for his defeats and errors, just as much as for his recovery and restoration. The owl is a nocturnal bird of prey: those who cannot see or understand Vishnu, yet would still devote themselves to the Dharma of Vishnu, are Laxmi’s vehicle. The darkness symbolizes ignorance, specifically ignorance of Vishnu, of right and wrong, of duty; it symbolizes unskillfulness; it symbolizes weakness and criminality, adharma (non-duty, non-truth, not-right, injustice).

It is because of weakness, ignorance and lack of skill that abhorrent and regrettable things are done, it is because of this that people become criminals, negligent in their duties. An owl, flying through such a mass of unskillfulness and ignorance, symbolizes the intention required to break through the darkness of misdeeds and unskillfulness. It is this intention to gain strength and skill in using that strength, to gain wisdom and improve that is the true right action.

A person who breaks the law, a person who neglects their duty, or takes upon themselves the duties of another is at fault, but only so long as they do not seek to improve their wrong-action. Like a mother or teacher, Laxmi will accept devotions of wrong action, and encourage improvement. There is no wasted effort, for our mistakes earn us honor when we sacrifice the ignorance that caused them to Laxmi by learning from them.  And Uluka (Indra) is the means of this improvement, this restoration and defense of Dharma.