Biographies | Women
See also Who was Ahalyaa? Rishi Gautam
Ahalyaa is a Maanas and Raamaayan
character. We meet her in Baal Kaand when Raam gives her Mukti from her husband
Muni Gautam's Shaap, from a stone touching it with His feet. She is one of the
Panch Kanyaa (five Virgins) too -
Panch Kanyaa smare Nityam Mahaapaatak Naashnam ||
Who Was Ahalyaa
Shataanand's son was Satyadhriti who was very good at archery, and Satyadhriti's son was Maharshi Sharadwaan. One day Maharshi Sharadwaan saw Urvashee and his semen dropped on a bush of Moonj. It caused to born one son and one daughter. Mahaaraaj Shaantanu saw those children and named them as Krip and Kripee. Krip became Kul Guru Kripaachaarya of Kaurav and Kripee was married to Aachaarya Drone (who taught weapon knowledge to Kaurav and Paandav)."
Ahalyaa and Indra
So Chandramaa assumed the form of a cock and crowed before time (normally crows in India crow at about 4.00 am). So on that day he crowed before time. Gautam Rishi's was this routine that he would get up when the cock crowed and went to do his daily chores. So on that day also hearing the cock's crow he got up, but looking at the sky he felt, "This is not the time when I get up. How did this cock crow so early?" But then he ignored it and went to Gangaa Jee for his daily chores. Thus on that day Gautam Rishi got up early and went for his daily chores early.
When Gautam Rishi was out for his daily chores earlier than his routine, Indra came in the form of Gautam Rishi and expressed his desire to Ahalyaa to have her. Ahalyaa was very surprised to see Rishi returning home so early and hear this strange type of proposal from Muni, but since she was a Pativrataa woman she considered to obey her husband. Thus he had her.
When Indra was coming out of Rishi's Aashram, he met Gautam Rishi at the door. Both saw each other. Indra got frightened to see Rishi so he quietly ran away. Muni understood everything, he came inside. Seeing Rishi Gautam again Ahalyaa also 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 cursed her, "Be a stone and lie in a lonely place". Then later he relaxed it with "When Bhagavaan will take Avataar as Raam in Ayodhyaa in Tretaa Yug and will pass from here, you will again become the woman by the touch of His feet. You will have your beauty back and you will come back to me."
Muni cursed Chandramaa, because he helped Indra in this wretched act, that he should be
Version From Vaalmeeki Raamaayan
So when Vishwaamitra Jee was taking Raam and Lakshman to Mithilaa, seeing a large un-arable land on the way in an Aashram He asked as why so much un-arable land was lying like this? Vishwaamitra Jee told Him the story and asked Him to go in the Aashram and uplift Ahalyaa. So Raam and Lakshman went there and touched Ahalyaa's feet. Ahalyaa greeted them. Although she was invisible for others, but Raam could see her. Ahalyaa had turned into a beautiful woman. She prayed Raam and went to her husband's Lok.
Version from Kamban's Tamil Raamaayan
Kamban is more dramatic than Vaalmeeki - Raam's feet transform the black stone into Ahalyaa first, and after her story is told. The Ahalyaa episode is related to previous episode, where in Raam kills Taadakaa - there he destroys evil, bringer of sterility and the ashes of death of His enemies. Here in Kamban's Raamaayan, He is reviver of Ahalyaa and cloud-dark God of fertility.
Yet Another Version
Gautam Rishi daily used to go to Haridwaar to take bath in the holy river Gangaa at 4.00 am. On that particular day Indra asked moon to crow at 2.00 am in the voice of a rooster. The Moon did so and the Rishi too woke up at that time and went to take bath. Indra found the opportunity and stood near the door and called Ahalyaa in Muni's disguise. Ahalyaa was a Pativrataa woman, she said - If you are Muni, then come in and if you are not Muni, then your body will be Khandit (broken into pieces). Hearing this Indra got powerless his body broke into pieces and scattered there only. When Gangaa saw Rishi so early, she got disturbed and angry too. Gautam said - "I have come to take bath because I heard rooster crowing and thought it was 4.00 am. Gangaa was very happy to see Muni's devotion and blessed him that she would appear near his Aashram on Baisaakhee day. She told him about the conspiracy of Indra and treachery of the Moon. Muni immediately returned to his Aashram and cursed Ahalyaa. Muni also punished the Moon for helping Indra by hitting him his wet Dhotee and marked his body with spots. Ahalyaa was in grief, so she also cursed her daughter - "As I have been cursed without any reason, in the same way you will also have to bear the blame on your character." In future Anjanee gave birth to Hanumaan.
Later when Rishi cooled down, he told Ahalyaa, Anjanee and Moon the ways to be free from curses and gave life to Indra on the request of Brihaspati. Gautam changed the Time Cycle for the release of Ahalyaa. She turned into a stone and waited for Raam to come and release her from her curse. The Moon sat there in Gautam's Aashram and started doing penance to be free from his curse. It is said that because of the Moon's penance this place is called Chandrabaanee instead of Chandra Van.
This story is told in detail in Shiv Puraan - at this point westward Gangaa flows from Gautanm Kund to River Aasan.
Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 05/22/13