Bhagat Maalaa ~ Part VI: The Story of Gotam Muni & Ahalia

You acted like a stone, which does absolutely nothing but just sits there....

The Story of Gotam Muni and Ahalia

GotamMuni (20K)

Gotam was a worshipper of the Saalgraam-Shivling (idol or statue, which is worn around the neck of Hindu saints). He meditated upon Shiva for many years and Shiva granted him a boon. Gotam was pleased and thought that he would need to think very carefully about what he wished for.

He heard that Mudhgal's daughter Ahalia's marriage was to be arranged. Ahalia was so beautiful that all the deities and men wanted to marry her. Even Indra was ready to marry her. Ahalia's father, Mudhgal was not pleased to see that his daughter was seen as bait and did not like the fact that so many men were having lustful thoughts about her.

So that his daughter was not married to any person, Mudhgal approached Brahma for advice. "O Brahma! So many men are fighting over my beautiful daughter and I do not enjoy seeing this. Please interfere and tell the deities to keep away from my daughter. Tell them to not go to war over her. Please think of a solution to this problem."

Brahma listened and said that he will resolve this situation. Brahma called upon all deities and men who wished to marry Ahalia. "Look! Mudhgal's daughter is very beautiful. She only seeks to marry one man. You are all capable of becoming her husband. However, if you wish to win Ahalia over then you will all need to follow the code of conduct when it comes to marriage. You will all need to circle the whole earth within 24 minutes. The one, who does so first, will marry Ahalia."

All the deities were astonished that Brahma had set such a task for them. But that did not stop from arguing. Brahma's four sons and Indra were very self-centred about this and waged they would win.

Gotam heard about this and wished that he could marry Ahalia. Gotam went to his Saalgraam (an object of worship, usually a Shivling) and prayed. The Saalgraam appeared before Gotam and asked him, "O Gotam, whatever you wish now will come true." Gotam wished that he could circulate the whole earth within 24 minutes so that he could win and marry Ahalia. The Saalgraam agreed to help Gotam circulate the earth in the given time and Brahma will be able to see all this.

Gotam was given the power to run like the gust of the wind and was given so much energy, that the neighbouring deities were shocked. Some deities even attempted to kill Gotam along the way, but with the blessing of the Saalgraam-Shivling, he was protected throughout his whole journey.

Gotam reached Brahma and was the first to do so. At that point Brahma made the decision that Gotam will marry Ahalia. All the deities were displeased and were enraged with jealousy. They made attempts to steal Ahalia from Gotam, but Brahma gave the couple a protection so that no-one could take Ahalia away from Gotam.

Gotam and Ahalia were situated near the River Ganges. Gotam went back to meditating and the story of winning Brahma's task had spread to all the other deities. Indra was still enraged and was disappointed that he failed the task. All the holy men and deities were becoming distressed because of Indra's anger. They were going without food and were abused by Indra.

Gotam was hurt by all this and he prayed to Saalgraam to feed the Brahmins and holy men. Saalgraam granted Gotam his wish and he fed all the Brahmins and the holy men. All men began to chant Gotam's name and started singing his praises. Indra was again enraged about all this. Indra's anger lied within the task that Brahma set. With his supernatural powers, Indra created a cow. But the curse that Indra put on the cow was if Gotam touched it he would die.

The cow went towards Gotam's ashram. Gotam had come out of his ashram and touched the cow. However, the cow died.

There was uproar amongst the Brahmins that Gotam killed a cow, which is considered to be sacred in Hinduism. "He must now repent!"

With the almighty protection of the Saalgraam, Gotam found out that this was all Indra's doings and he cursed all the Brahmins. He told them, "Go! You people will never be satisfied. You will remain in poverty for many births." On hearing this, the Brahmins became very worried and Gotam stopped the monthly feast he held for them.

After some time, both Gotam and Ahalia had a baby daughter. She was ever so beautiful, just like her mother. Indar had not stopped his quest to have some sort of relationship with Ahalia. As time went by, Indra could not control his lust for Ahalia and he became in great distress. Many wise men advised Indra to not pursue his lust for Ahalia, but Indra was too stubborn to listen to let her go.

Some foolish person advised Indra, "Gotam goes to have a bath at the River Ganges and it is time for him to pray. Go and request for help from the rooster and the moon. From the call of the rooster, Gotam awakes and when the moon comes out, Gotam goes to have a bath in the River Ganges. If the rooster calls and the moon come out at the same time then Gotam will have his ritual bath and begin his prayers."

What a splendid idea thought Indra. Indra approached the rooster and the moon and asked for their help. They foolishly agreed to Indra's plan.

The night had fallen. In the middle of the night, the rooster began to call and the moon came out. Gotam awoke on hearing the rooster. He went to the River Ganges and began his ritual bath. Whilst Gotam was having a bath, the River Ganges began to speak to him and warned him, "O Gotam, the Ganges is asleep at this time, why are you bathing in the middle of the night? A robber is about to come to your house and is about to deceive you, what are you doing here? Go home now!"

Indra (31K)On hearing this, Gotam returned home. Without him knowing, Indra had transformed into a cat. He transformed into a cat because Gotam would never leave Ahalia because so many deities were after her. When he went to bathe, he would always sit his daughter, Anjali, on the doorstep to stop anyone from entering the house.

When Indra saw Anjali on the doorstep, he thought she would ask him, "Who's there?" and then he would be able to sneak in and attend to Ahalia. This plan went ahead and when Indra entered the house, he transformed himself into Gotam.

Ahalia had no idea of this and both Indra and Ahalia made love.

Gotam had come back from his ritual bath and he asked Anjali, "Who is inside?"

At this point, Gotam's eyes were burning with rage and redness. Anjali said there was a cat inside.

Gotam barged inside and saw Indra (in the disguise of Gotam) naked, lying next to Ahalia.

Curse (50K)Gotam remembered Saalgraam and cursed Indra. "O Indra, you sinful person! For one lustful moment and committing adultery, your whole body will be covered in vulva marks! You will be made to suffer!" On hearing these words, Indra became frightened and the curse began to cast its spell on Indra.

'Gothum Thapaa Ahiliaa Eisthturee This Dhaekh Indru Lubhaaeiaa.'
'Ahalyaa was the wife of Gautam the seer. Seeing her Indra was enticed.
'Sehus Sureer Chihun Bhug Hooeae Thaa Man Pashothaaeiaa.'
'When he received a thousands marks of disgrace on his body, then he felt regret within his mind.'
(Guru Nanak Dev Ji; GGSJ: Ang 1344)

In addition the moon was cursed. Gotam said to the moon, "You are part of this earth and provide us with light. But you helped a sinful person; therefore from this day now, you will not be a full moon as you have always been, but you will now change into crescents and become a full moon once a month!"

The rooster was also cursed, "You will make your call in the mornings, but no-one will pay attention to you!"

Mercy (40K)Having given the curses, Gotam returned home. He cursed his daughter for foolishly letting Indra within the house when she was meant to be guarding it. Anjali's curse was that she would have to face motherhood whilst she was still a virgin. A few years later, the curse had taken place and Anjali gave birth to a son, who was known as Hanuman.

He said to Ahalia, "You are a mother to a beautiful daughter, but your intellect let you down. You slept and committed adultery with another man. You failed to recognise the difference between your own husband and a fake! You acted like a stone, which does absolutely nothing but just sits there. Either you will turn into a stone or you will take many births, where your lust will weaken immensely."

Ahalia begged for mercy and asked for forgiveness! Gotam refused to listen and pronounced that she will remain as a stone for many ages until the birth of Sri Ram Chandar, who will be able to save her and take this curse away from her!

Ahalia was sent to the River Ganges and the curse had taken its toll. Ahalia became a stone. Many ages later, Lakshman and Vishva Mitar began to meditate near Ahalia and Ahalia was emancipated there by Ram Chandar.

Below is the story of Ahalia and Gotam Rishi as written by Bhai Gurdas Ji, Vaar 10, Pauri 18:

੧੮ : ਅਹਿੱਲਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਗੋਤਮ

ਗੋਤਮ ਨਾਰਿ ਅਹਿਲਿਆ ਤਿਸਨੋ ਦੇਖਿ ਇੰਦ੍ਰ੍ਰ ਲੋਭਾਣਾ।

Gotam Naari Ahiliaa Tisano Daykhi Indr Lobhaanaa.

गोतम नारि अहिलिआ तिसनो देखि इंद्र लोभाणा ।

Ahalya was wife of Gautam. But when she set eyes Indhar, the king of gods, lust overpowered her.

ਪਰ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਇ ਸਰਾਪੁ ਲੈ ਹੋਇ ਸਹਸ ਭਗ ਪਛੋਤਾਣਾ।

Par Ghari Jaai Saraapu Lai Hoi Sahas Bhag Pachhotaanaa.

पर घरि जाइ सरापु लै होइ सहस भग पछोताणा ।

He entered their house, got curse of being with thousands of pudendums and repented.

ਸੁੰਞਾ ਹੋਆ ਇੰਦ੍ਰ੍ਰ ਲੋਕੁ ਲੁਕਿਆ ਸਰਵਰ ਮਨਿ ਸਰਮਾਣਾ।

Sounaa Hoaa Indr Loku Loukiaa Saravari Mani Saramaanaa.

सुंा होआ इंद्र लोकु लुकिआ सरवरि मनि सरमाणा ।

The Indralok (abode of Indr) became desolate and getting ashamed of himself he hid in a pond.

ਸਹਸ ਭਗਹੁ ਲੋਇਣ ਸਹਸ ਲੈਂਦੋਈ ਇੰਦ ਪੁਰੀ ਸਿਧਾਣਾ।

Sahas Bhagahu Loin Sahas Laindoee Indr Puree Sidhaanaa.

सहस भगहु लोइण सहस लैंदोई इंद्र पुरी सिधाणा ।

On revocation of the curse when all those holes became eyes, only then he returned to his habitat.

ਸਤੀ ਸਤਹੁ ਟਲਿ ਸਿਲਾ ਹੋਇ ਨਦੀ ਕਿਨਾਰੈ ਬਾਝੁ ਪਰਾਣਾ।

Satee Satahu Tali Silaa Hoi Nadee Kinaarai Baajhu Paraanaa.

सती सतहु टलि सिला होइ नदी किनारै बाझु पराणा ।

Ahalya who could not remain steadfast in her chastity became stone and remained lying on the river bank

ਰਘੁਪਤਿ ਚਰਣ ਛੁਹੰਦਿਆਂ ਚਲੀ ਸੁਰਗ ਪੁਰਿ ਬਣੇ ਬਿਬਾਣਾ।

Raghoupati Charani Chhuhandiaa Chalee Surag Puri Banay Bibaanaa.

रघुपति चरणि छुहंदिआ चली सुरग पुरि बणे बिबाणा ।

Touching the (holy) feet of Ram she was lifted to the heavens.

ਭਗਤ ਵਛਲ ਭਲਿਆਈਅਹੁੰ ਪਤਿਤ ਉਧਾਰਣੁ ਪਾਪ ਕਮਾਣਾ।

Bhagati Vachhalu Bhaliaaeeahu Patit Udhaaranu Paap Kamaanaa.

भगति वछलु भलिआईअहु पतित उधारणु पाप कमाणा ।

Because of His benevolence He is mother-like to the devotees and being forgiver of the sinners He is called redeemer of the fallen ones.

ਗੁਣ ਨੋ ਗੁਣ ਸਭ ਕੋ ਕਰੈ ਅਉਗੁਣ ਕੀਤੇ ਗੁਣ ਤਿਸੁ ਜਾਣਾ।

Goun No Goun Sabh Ko Karai Aougoun Keetay Goun Tisu Jaanaa.

गुण नो गुण सभ को करै अउगुण कीते गुण तिसु जाणा ।

Doing good is returned by good gestures always, but he who does good to the evil is known as virtuous.

ਅਬਿਗਤਿ ਗਤਿ ਕਿਆ ਆਖਿ ਵਖਾਣਾ ॥੧੮॥

Abigati Gati Kiaa Aakhi Vakhaanaa ॥18॥

अबिगति गति किआ आखि वखाणा ॥१८॥

How can I explain the greatness of that unmanifest (Lord).

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Authors who mention Ahalia and Gotam in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji:

Bhagat Ravidass Ji, Ang 710
Bhagat Naam Dev Ji, Ang 874, 988
Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Ang 1344
Bhatt Kal, Ang 1390

Read the other stories in this Bhagat Maalaa series: 

Part I: Raja Ambrik
Part II: Bhagat Angra ji and Bhagat Bidar

Part III: Sri Dhru Bhagat & Sri Prahladh Bhagat ji

Part IV: The Story of Ajaamal

Part V: Bhagat Sudama

 

Harjinder Singh Khalsa

I have translated the stories from the Aadh Guru Granth Bhagat Maala into English & have worked on a number of other articles exploring Gurbaani, Sikh history and the Sikh Gurus. My mission is to spread and share the Divine Universal message contained within Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

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