Gautama Maharishi, a prolific sage from the Vedic era, was a Brahma Manasa Putra (mind-born son) of Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma, when he realized that there were flaws in his creations, curated Ahalya Devi.
Ahalya means ‘a person devoid of Halya’, where Halya means flaws in Sanskrit. A Brahma Manasa Putri, as her name suggested, her beauty was unparalleled according to Lord Brahma. There wasn’t anyone who couldn’t fall for her. Lord Brahma wanted Ahalya Rushika to marry a person who wouldn’t lay his eyes on her. It was Gautama Maharshi who could pass the test of Lord Brahma and marry her.
The Brahmanas reflect the greatness of this pious couple. Brahmanas are a more foolproof context than the Puranas. Among the Brahmanas, Shathapada Brahmana gives more information about the lives of the divine couple.
Shathapada Brahmana proclaims ‘AHALYAYE JAARETHI’. According to Sanskrit, the word Jaarethi has 17 meanings, one of them, which means a prostitute. Many scholars misinterpret Ahalya Devi as a prostitute. But in reality, the actual context signifies the peaceful state of Ahalya Devi, drawing a comparison with the peaceful ambiance of the sunrise.
Gautama Maharishi’s connection with Lord Shiva:
The origin of the river Godavari or Gowthami was the result of his penance. He had performed rigorous penance in Trayambakeshwar and Tiruvannamalai, both being the centers of important Lord Shiva shrines. This stands as a witness for his ardent devotion to Lord Shiva.
Misleading facts and Logical Evidence:
Padma Purana and Ananda Ramayana show Gautama Maharishi had cursed Ahalya Devi as a punishment for her sinful acts. He had cursed her to be a statue or river and wait till Lord Rama would come to relieve her from the curse. The incident as written was to happen in Treta Yuga when Lord Rama would free her from the spell. Since Ahalya and Gautama Maharishi being Brahma Manasa Putras belonged to the Krita Yuga, 30 lakh years away from Treta Yuga. It is illogical for a stone to stay for 30 lakh years, which claims that the accusations as per the context were completely false.
Ahalya Rushika and Gautama Maharishi are an exemplary couple after Lord Shiva and Parvati. They as a divine couple, have performed rigorous penance and contributed for the welfare of their future generations. They have contributed to Vedas by penning down the hymns visualizing them in their meditation. Despite their great contribution to the mankind, Ahalya Devi was misinterpreted to be a woman of no character though there are no situations which acquire relevance to this claim. People till this date have kept writing books, poems and songs criticizing her for the sinful deeds that she never had committed. These people and the audience which encourage this kind of content will surely face the wrath of Siddhaguru and will have to endear the sins for shamelessly mocking a revered figure down the history.