Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Ahalya - The Wife of Gautama


Ahalya was a daughter of Lord Brahma. He sent her to the hermitage of sage Gautama to learn the scriptures. When the time came for her marriage, her divine beauty ensured that she did not lack for suitors. Indra, many other Devas and even her teacher Gautama sought her hand in marriage. Brahma announced that he would give her in marriage to the first person who completes traveling around the world. Indra was leading in this race. However, acting on the advice of sage Narada, Gautama walked around a cow. Since the scriptures say that a cow is equal to the whole world, he was adjudged to have won the race. Gautama's marriage with Ahalya was duly celebrated. They had a son named Shataananda.

Indra could not forget her. One day, he took the form of a cock and crowed before dawn. Thinking that it was time for his morning ablutions, Gautama went to the river. Indra took the form of the sage and had intercourse with Ahalya. Though she was aware that the man with her was not her husband, in her pride (for she was proud that even the Lord of the celestials could not resist her beauty), she did not protest. This story is told here.

When her husband returned, by his Yogic powers, he became aware of what had happened. He cursed both Indra and Ahalya. She was turned into a stone, and after many long years she was released from this curse when Rama's feet touched that stone.

Last Modified At: Sun Oct 17 22:43:35 2004