The Story Of Ahalya and Gautama
By Cecilia De Ugarte
Ahalya was created by Brahma, the god of creation, as the most beautiful girl;
She was desired as a wife and lover by all men, creatures and gods of the world.
The name Ahalya signifies without any deformation;
That's why Brahma took so much pride in her being his creation.
To choose Ahalya's husband, Brahma a condition had to demand:
The one who crossed the three worlds first should take Ahalya's hand.
Indra was in love with Ahalya and wanted to make her his wife;
He used his powers to cross the three worlds faster than you could count up to five.
What Indra didn't know was that Gautama had already crossed the three worlds;
When he saw Gautama with Ahalya he said: "Beware of what your future holds."
In order to carry out his plan and make his union with Ahalya take place,
Indra used his powers to disguise himself as Gautama, having his looks and grace.
While making love Indra and Alahya by Gautama were caught;
They were punished for this act, which a curse to their lives brought:
Ahalya, the woman of immesurable beauty, was converted to stone,
While a thousand female genitals on Indra's body were shown.
Because Alahya begged for forgiveness and regretted her mistake so soon,
Gautama felt empathy for her and decided to grant both Indra and Alahya a boon.
Gautama decided to turn the female genitals on Indra's body into a thousand eyes;
Eventhough Indra deceived Ahalya and got her into bed with nothing but lies.
Gautama told his wife that one day she would be able to return to human form;
With the touch of Rama's feet back into a beautiful woman she would transform.
When Rama was on his way to Mithilapuri and his feet finally touched the stone,
It changed into the beautiful Ahalya, who was now pure and as a woman had grown.
Even though Ahalya made the mistake of cheating and her husband offending,
The love story of Ahalya and Gautama has ultimately a happy ending.
The moral of this story is that if you truly love someone with all your heart,
You have to be willing to forgive and forget in order to have a fresh start.
Author's note: I told the love story of Ahalya and Gautama in verse with rhymes. By telling the story in poetic form I wanted to add a romantic touch to a love story that had some rocky phases but ultimately had a happy ending. The story of Ahalya and Gautama shows what love is truly about: it is not all happiness and smiles; it also involves tears and pain. Love is about learning to forgive and forget the mistakes that were made. Love is about not walking away after the first disappointment because all the pain and efforts will finally pay off.
Image: Ahalya and Gautama
Bibliograhy: Buck, William. Ramayana. Berkeley: University of California Press, Ltd., 1976.
Narayan, R.K. The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic. New York: Penguin Books, 1977.