How to Celebrate Life

The name “Ahalya:” instantly makes us think of an innocent lady cheated by devendra and mercilessly cursed by gautama.

This story was retold differently by different poets. Samukham krishnappa Nayaka showcased Indra as a romantic who made frequent visits to Gautama’s ashrama and that he wanted to offer a couple of gold kalasas to the temple if he could get ahalya:, in line with the trend of the poet’s time.

Va:lmi:ki was impartial. He was very transparent in expressing both the greatness and weakness of the characters. being a maharshi, he treated Rama or ahalya: alike.


What originally happened was…

One early morning, in the absence of sage Gautama, Indra, in the disguise of Gautama entered the ashrama and expressed his interest in her. Ahalya: knowing that he was Indra, accepted since he was Devendra, the king of Devas and committed the mistake. She bade goodbye to him saying that she was successful and told him to go away to save them both. Satisfied, Indra also came out of the ashrama and seeing maharshi Gautama effulgent due to his austerity, trembled with guilt and fear.

Here Indra in disguise did not come to cheat Ahalya: but cheat the world. At this juncture, Va:lmi:ki did not describe the rooster’s call.

Since both Ahalya: and Indra were equally guilty, Gautama cursed them both. But being responsible personality in ruling the Devaloka, Gautama felt Indra’s action as a crime and cursed him to become impotent. Indra with great agony went and narrated to Devatas and pleaded to make him potent since he did that for Devatas and Devakarya.

This was the political trick played by Indra. Though there was no Devakarya in his action, pitrudevatas blessed him. This was the story told by Va:lmi:ki.

Another story about Gautama’s curse is in circulation. His curse also took so many shapes like he tells her “may you become a rock and with the dust from feet of Sri Ra:ma, you become a human being. Then we will meet.”

But according to Va:lmi:ki the curse for Ahalya was different and soft.

“O bad woman! May you live alone in the ashram, without taking food and consuming only air, suffer by sleeping on the dust, not seen to all bhu:tas. Dasarattha Ra:ma will come. Then you will become pure. By serving him, you remove all your greed and confounded desire and get back your ru:pa and come to me happily.” Gautama cursed her and went to Himalayas for tapas.

Here there was no mention about her to become a stone. It was just an imagination of poets of pura:nas of Ra:ma’s dust of feet making the stone into a lady.

Here, we have to observe the word of removal of Lo:bha and Mo:ha. Because of these two bad qualities only Ahalya did harm to herself and her husband. She became dushtacha:rini. It is appreciable that after she removed her vices, she was accepted by Gautama.

Dharmanishtta (integrity) is essential for both the husband and wife without which their married life becomes hell. There is no end for lo:bha and mo:ha. Self control is the only medicine for it. This is the message we get from Indra’s behavior.

This is the first incident to reveal the greatness and purity / sanctity of Ra:ma. There is a caution made to Ra:ma “ Rama! You are not an ordinary person. You are a maha:purusha. Your behavior should be upto that level in future”.

The story of Ahalya and Gautama made the latest authors think, which lead to respond differently like conflict between the human beings and minds in women liberation, silent love, rigid restrictions.

The curse given to Indra did not work out whereas Ahalya’s curse worked out. Politics in the male chauvinism work out like this. Many writers claim vehemently that though there is equality outside, in implementation there is male chauvinism

A few thought that this as symbolic, which was not a new thought. It is from the period of Vedas.

Halam means plough. Halya means the ploughed land. Ahalya means unploughed land. Indra is the adhipathi for rains. They say that this is symbolic as the combination of these two is the happy harvest of plentiful crops.

Gautama is the farmer. Satananda, the son of Ahalya and Gautama, is the purohit of Janaka. This name itself is symbolic.

Some imagined that this story is a stage of a man getting the barren lands to harvest. As in puranas, there will be symbolism and hidden meaning that we cannot ignore. With due respect, we can consider them as a thought.

Once the story of Ra:ma:yana was thought as a conflict between the clans of a:rya and dra:vida and example of a:rya’s evilness. The philosophy established by the then historical researches was spread during those times.

But this was proved as baseless by historical research. Let us wait for future research studies.

Va:lmi:ki told firmly

“ya:vath stha:syanthi girayaha sarithascha mahi:thale:

tha:vadra:ma:yani: ganga: loke:shu pracharishyathi”

A:dikavi has caught hold of the core living essence and spiritual stance.

The intelligence in the above cited sloka is – chitrakoota, the mountains Malaya, mahendra etc. the rivers ganges, Goda:vari: etc. are the characters in the Ra:ma:yana. So, some say that Ra:ma:yana exists till they exist only and nothing more than that.

Jai Srimannarayana !
– Translated by Amukta Malyada from Telugu BN article.