Shani Dev Kee Mahimaa | Reference-39
Gautam's Wife Ahalyaa
Once Brahmaa took all the most beautiful things from all of his creation and created a woman and named her Ahalyaa, means without deformation. All the Devtaa wanted to marry her, so Brahmaa Jee decided that whoever could go around the three worlds first would marry Ahalyaa. Indra used all his magical powers to go around the three worlds, finally reaching Brahma to take the hand of Ahalyaa.
However Naarad mentioned to Brahma Jee that Gautam had in fact gone around the three worlds even before Indra. Naarad explained that as part of the daily Poojaa, Gautam went around the cow at his hermitage. On one of the days when he went around doing his Poojaa, the cow gave birth to a calf. As per the Vedas, the cow at the time of bearing a calf is equal to three worlds, hence Ahalyaa must be given to Gautam and not to Indra. So Ahalyaa was given to Maharshi Gautam. Since then Indra was envy with Gautam Rishi and had intended to have her.
Thus Ahalyaa was the wife of Gautam Rishi and was a Pativrataa (loyal to husband) woman. They had a son named Shataanand (he was Seetaa's father Raajaa Janak's Purohit). Dev Raaj Indra was always seeking the opportunity to have her after Brahmaa had given her to Gautam Rishi, but was afraid of her Paativrat Dharm. So one day he assumed the form of a cock and crowed before time (normally he crows at 4.00 am, but on that he crowed befoe 4.00 am). Gautam Rishi used to rise in the morning when the cock crowed, so when he heard the cock's crow he went out for his daily chores. In the meantime Indra came in the form of Gautam Rishi and expressed his desire to Ahalyaa. Ahalyaa was very surprised to see Rishi returning home so soon and hear this strange proposal from Muni, but since she was a Pativrataa woman she considered to obey her husband. Thus Indra had her.
When Indra was coming out of the Aashram, he met Gautam Rishi at the door. Both saw each other. Indra was frightened so he ran away. Muni understood everything, he came inside. Seeing Rishi Gautam again Ahalyaa got frightened and understood everything. She fell on the feet of Gautam Muni and asked for his forgiveness as she was caught innocent. That was not her fault. But Muni was very angry and he gave Shaap to her, "Be a stone". Then later he relaxed it with "When Bhagvaan will take Avataar in Ayodhyaa in Tretaa Yug and will pass from here, you will again become the woman by the touch of His feet's dust."
Then he cursed Indra - "Since you looked at my wife with bad intention, your body should be full of the marks of vagina." Indra did severe penance toward Shiv. Shiv gave him the boon to convert that mark of female organ to that of eye. From that day Indra is called Sahasra-kshan - the one with thousand eyes.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 8/9/2008
Updated on 06/09/11