Kezilkree Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Handicapped University. She was overwhelmed with joy and thanked her fortune of going through the tough times, so that she whalya be saved by Lord Ram Himself. Instead, the greatness of the Gautami river is illustrated. Religion and Indian Cinema. Basically what she gained was neutrality!
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Etymology[ edit ] The word Ahalya can be divided into two parts: a a prefix indicating negation and halya,  which Sanskrit dictionaries define as being related to the plough, ploughing, or deformity. In the tale, Ahalya is created from the ashes of the sacrificial fire by the Saptarishi seven seers and gifted to Gautama. Brahma declares that the first being to go around the three worlds heaven , earth and the underworld will win Ahalya.
Indra uses his magical powers to complete the challenge, finally reaching Brahma and demanding the hand of Ahalya. However, the divine sage Narada tells Brahma that Gautama went around the three worlds before Indra. Narada explains that Gautama circumambulated the wish-bearing cow Surabhi while she gave birth, as part of his daily puja ritual offering , making the cow equal to three worlds according to the Vedas. Brahma agrees and Ahalya marries Gautama, leaving Indra envious and infuriated.
O Kaushika [Brahmin], who calls himself Gautama". She sees through his disguise, but consents owing to her "curiosity". However, in this text Indra arrives undisguised. Ahalya, engrossed in worship, rejects him, considering it inappropriate to have sex at the cost of neglecting the gods. Indra reminds her that her first duty is to serve him. However, Gautama catches them in the act. Another version in the same Purana focuses on the question of how the chaste Ahalya was seduced by Indra.
In this version, Indra approaches Ahalya on the banks of the Mandakini river in his own form to ask for a sexual favour, which is flatly refused by Ahalya. Indra subsequently poses as Gautama and fulfils his objective. Threatening Indra with a curse, she compels him to reveal his true form.
Here, Ahalya agrees to have sex with the disguised Indra because she has long been craving affection from her ascetic husband.
When Brahma creates Ahalya as the most beautiful being, she falls in love with Indra and longs for him, but Brahma grants her to Gautama. Ahalya protests, maintaining that she imagines Gautama to be Indra as they have sex and that a woman should be a stone, forgoing all thought of sexual gratification.
That night, when Ahalya longs for conjugal bliss, Gautama refuses her, saying that she is not in her fertile period. Agitated, she wishes that Indra was there to satisfy her. Ignoring the deception, Ahalya joyously makes love to him. However, almost all versions describe Rama as the agent of her liberation and redemption. Punishments of Ahalya and Indra[ edit ] Gautama cursed his wife Ahalya for allowing Indra into her hermitage The Bala Kanda mentions that Gautama spots Indra, who is still in disguise, and curses him to lose his testicles.
Gautama then curses Ahalya to remain invisible to all beings for thousands of years, fast by subsisting only on air, suffer and sleep in ashes and be tormented by guilt. Nevertheless, he assures her that her sin will be expiated once she extends her hospitality to Rama, who will visit the ashram.
Thereafter, Gautama abandons the ashram and goes to the Himalayas to practise asceticism. Ahalya is described as glowing from the intensity of her ascetic devotion, but hidden from the world like the Sun obscured by dark clouds, the light of a full moon hidden by mist or a blazing flame masked by smoke.
Under the direction of his guru, Rama considers Ahalya pure and unblemished and, accompanied by Lakshamana, gives her obeisance by touching her feet , an act that restores her social status.
Ahalya extends her warmest reception, making a "welcome offering" of forest fruits and washing their feet, an act of respect according to the rites of that era. The gods and other celestial beings shower Rama and Ahalya with flowers and bow to Ahalya, who has been purified through her penance. Gautama then returns to his ashram and accepts her.
Ahalya claims her innocence this part is not found in all manuscripts , but Gautama agrees to accept her only when she is sanctified by offering Rama hospitality. Gautama reduces the curse on his "faithful wife" and she is redeemed when she joins the Gautami Godavari river as a stream. Indra is cursed to carry his shame in the form of a thousand vulvae on his body, but the vulvae turn into eyes as he bathes in the Gautami.
The Brahma Purana is a rare exception where Rama is dropped from the narrative. Instead, the greatness of the Gautami river is illustrated. The beguiled Ahalya declares herself blameless, but Gautama considers her impure and curses her to be reduced to a mere skeleton of skin and bones.
He decrees that she will regain her beautiful form when Rama laughs at seeing her so afflicted, dried out a reminder of the dried stream motif , without a body the Ramayana curse and lying on the path an attribute often used to describe a stone. The motif of Ahalya being turned into stone first gets scriptural authority in the Puranas. Earlyth-century print by Ravi Varma Press According to the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Gautama curses Indra to bear a thousand vulvae, which will turn to eyes when he worships the sun-god Surya.
Ahalya accepts the verdict without debate. In another version in the same Purana, Gautama catches Indra fleeing as a cat and curses him with castration. After she is freed from the curse, Gautama and Ahalya are reconciled. The terrified Indra escapes as a cat and is cursed with castration. When Gautama arrives after the act, Indra tries to flee as a cat but is cursed to bear the marks of a thousand vulvae. When asked by Gautama about her visitor, Ahalya wittily answers that it was a majjara, a word meaning either "cat" or, when split as ma-jara, "my lover".
Gautama laughs and curses her to be turned into stone, but decrees that she will be released by Rama since she at least spoke the truth. The petrification motif also appears in non-scriptural works. The Raghuvamsa of Kalidasa generally dated 4th century CE notes that the wife of Gautama unnamed here momentarily becomes the wife of Indra. As in other versions of the tale, the repentant Ahalya is turned to stone, only to be liberated by Rama, and Indra runs away disguised as a cat but is cursed to bear the marks of a thousand vulvae.
The Ramavataram is an example of the Bhakti-era poets who exalt Rama as a saviour. The main theme of such narratives is her deliverance by Rama, which is seen as proof of his compassion.
Like most other versions of the story, Ahalya is turned into stone and advised to engross herself in meditation of Rama, "the Supreme Lord". She describes his iconographic form and exalts him as an avatar of Vishnu and source of the universe to whom many divinities pay their respects. After worshipping him, she returns to Gautama. In an instance in the Mahabharata, where details of the seduction are absent, an agitated Gautama orders his son Chirakari to behead his "polluted" mother and leaves the ashram.
However, Chirakari is hesitant to follow the order and later concludes that Ahalya is innocent. Gautama returns and repents his hasty decision, realising that Indra is the guilty party. He must also ensure that one quarter of the crops is dedicated to Gautama. Here, Ahalya is interpreted as dry and burnt land, eager for the rains sent by Indra, who is tamed by the wild cyclonic Gautama. Ahalya has been examined in a new light by several modern writers, most commonly through short stories or through poetry in various Indian languages.
Gautama turns Ahalya to stone to free her from the trauma. The Tamil writer Yogiyar portrays an innocent Ahalya, who sleeps with the disguised Indra, overcome with guilt and asking for punishment. Ramavarier and M. Parvati Amma When Gautama persuades her to lie to society by claiming to have been raped, she debates chastity and freedom of mind with him.
They ask why Rama frees Ahalya from being cursed for adultery, but punishes his wife Sita over false accusations of adultery with her kidnapper, Ravana. Sreedevi portrays her turning into stone upon learning that Sita was banished from the kingdom on charges of adultery even after proving her chastity through the trial.
The poet asks if it was better for Ahalya to remain physically a stone and retain her dignity rather than return to a stony marriage. Pichamurthy —76 presents Ahalya as an allegorical representation of life, with Gautama as the mind and Indra pleasure. The Marxist critic Kovai Gnani, in his poem Kallihai, represents Ahalya as the oppressed class and Rama as an ideal future without exploitation.
Gautama and Indra represent feudalism and capitalism. Leaf from the Razm-Nama, a Persian translation of the Mahabharata initiated by the emperor Akbar in — After death, they reunite in their next birth.
In this version, Shatananda asks Vishvamitra anxiously about the well-being of his "renowned" mother. Besides these, an unnamed daughter is also alluded to in the narrative. Indra fell in love with Aruni and fathered a son named Vali. Both children were given to Ahalya for rearing, but Gautama cursed them, causing them to turn into monkeys , as he did not like them. He consequently drives the brothers away and curses them to become monkeys.
Enraged, Ahalya curses Anjani to give birth to a monkey too. Anjani bears Hanuman , the monkey-god and helper of Rama. However, Anjani is cursed by Gautama in these versions, generally for aiding Indra and Ahalya in concealing the secret.
Gautama finds the three boys and names them according to their behaviour: Agamudayar derived from "brave" , who confronts Gautama, Maravar derived from "tree" , who climbs a tree and Kallar derived from "thief" or "rock" , who hides like a thief behind a large rock.
A fourth child, Vellala , is added in some versions. In another variant, the liaison is replaced by penance and worship offered by Ahalya to Indra, who gifts her the children as a reward.
The story of Ahalya and Indra: Was it really adultery?
Etymology[ edit ] The word Ahalya can be divided into two parts: a a prefix indicating negation and halya,  which Sanskrit dictionaries define as being related to the plough, ploughing, or deformity. In the tale, Ahalya is created from the ashes of the sacrificial fire by the Saptarishi seven seers and gifted to Gautama. Brahma declares that the first being to go around the three worlds heaven , earth and the underworld will win Ahalya. Indra uses his magical powers to complete the challenge, finally reaching Brahma and demanding the hand of Ahalya. However, the divine sage Narada tells Brahma that Gautama went around the three worlds before Indra. Narada explains that Gautama circumambulated the wish-bearing cow Surabhi while she gave birth, as part of his daily puja ritual offering , making the cow equal to three worlds according to the Vedas. Brahma agrees and Ahalya marries Gautama, leaving Indra envious and infuriated.