Vishvamitra narrates the legend of Ahalya to Rama and Lakshmana when they arrive at the precincts of Mithila, bidding farewell to the King of Vishaala. Indra is infatuated with Ahalya desires a union with her, for which she complies. However, Gautama catching them unawares curses both Indra and Ahalya.
पृष्ट्वा तु कुशलम् तत्र परस्पर समागमे |
कथाअन्ते सुमतिः वाक्यम् व्याजहार महामुनिम् || १-४८-१
kathaaante sumatiH vaakyam vyaajahaara mahaamunim || 1-48-1
When those two, Vishvamitra and Sumati, have met one another there at that place, king Sumati raised the topic of Rama and Lakshmana, after exchanging greetings and enquiring about the well-being of the great-saint Vishvamitra. [1-48-1] .
इमौ कुमारौ भद्रम् ते देव तुल्य पराक्रमौ |
गज सिंह गती वीरौ शार्दूल वृषभ उपमौ || १-४८-२
पद्म पत्र विशालाक्षौ खड्ग तूणी धनुर् धरौ |
अश्विनौ इव रूपेण समुपस्थित यौवनौ || १-४८-३
यदृच्छया एव गाम् प्राप्तौ देवलोकात् इव अमरौ |
कथम् पद्भ्याम् इह प्राप्तौ किम् अर्थम् कस्य वा मुने || १-४८-४
gaja siMha gatii viirau shaarduula vR^iShabha upamau || 1-48-2
padma patra vishaalaakShau khaDga tuuNii dhanur dharau |
ashvinau iva ruupeNa samupasthita yauvanau || 1-48-3
yadR^icChayaa eva gaam praaptau devalokaat iva amarau |
katham padbhyaam iha praaptau kim artham kasya vaa mune || 1-48-4
“These two youngsters, oh, sage, let safety betide you, striding like audacious elephants and arrogant lions, bearing a similitude to adventurous tigers and adamantine bulls, and wielding quivers, swords, and bows, are valorous with their valour matching that of Vishnu, and with their eyes broad like lotus-petals and with youthfulness in the offing they look like the exceptionally beautiful twin-gods, Ashwin-brothers, by their physique. How these two have footslogged and chanced here as though immortals have chanced on earth from the abode of gods at their pleasure? What for they have come here, and whose scions are they? [1-48-2, 3, 4]
The word deva can easily be said as a ‘god’ but, this is said to be Vishnu, as implied at 4-43-56 of Kishkindha ‘There the Cosmic-Souled God, namely Vishnu…’ etc. Now the enquirer himself is no less than a godly king, hence he identified the boys as non-terrestrial. No fatherly person accepts youngsters to footslog miles and miles, and so far this is an unobserved and an uncared for aspect by other sages and saints, because all of those sages and saints are footsloggers. This may be one of the reasons for Dasharatha in refusing to send Rama with Vishvamitra. However, King Sumati, being a glorious and fatherly king brought up this topic. Vishvamitra is giving a ‘rehearsal’ for these brothers for their real forest trekking later in the legend. Further, if a divine deed is to be done and a benefit therefrom is to be acquired, one has to footslog. Now Rama is going to perform a divine feat called ‘bending the bow of Shiva’ and thereby winning the hand of an unusual princess Seetha, in marriage. Hence, he footslogged this much distance for siitaa kalyaaNa artham, loka kalyaaNa artham Seetha’s marriage, which is for the ‘universal goodness.’ .
भूषयन्तौ इमम् देशम् चन्द्र सूर्यौ इव अंबरम् |
परस्परेण सदृशौ प्रमाण इन्गित चेष्टितैः || १-४८-५
किम् अर्थम् च नर श्रेष्ठौ संप्राप्तौ दुर्गमे पथि |
वर आयुध धरौ वीरौ श्रोतुम् इच्छामि तत्त्वतः || १-४८-६
paraspareNa sadR^ishau pramaaNa ingita ceShTitaiH || 1-48-5
kim artham ca nara shreShThau saMpraaptau dur.hgame pathi |
vara aayudha dharau viirau shrotum icChaami tattvataH || 1-48-6
“These two best ones among men are identical to one another by their bodily proportion, facial-language, and by bodily gestures, and with their presence they refurbish this province like the Moon and Sun brightening the firmament. In truth, I would like to know for what reason these valiant ones who are wielding best weapons have arrived here travelling on an arduous path.” Thus, king Sumati asked Vishvamitra. [1-48-5, 6]
The word facial-language translated for ingita may be an extended expression for the body language.’ This word is for the voice muted facial expressions, given through smiles, eyebrows, lip movement etc. A person could be analysed by these very expressions as we presently call this as face reading. This is what Sugreeva says when sending Hanuma to Rama and Lakshmana for the first time, ‘because you are an expert in reading faces, know them by their facial expressions…’ .
तस्य तद् वचनम् श्रुत्वा यथा वृत्तम् न्यवेदयत् |
सिद्ध आश्रम निवासम् च राक्षसानाम् वधम् तथा | १-४८-७
siddha aashrama nivaasam ca raakShasaanaam vadham tathaa | 1-48-7b
On hearing those words of King Sumati, Vishvamitra informed him about the visit of Rama and Lakshmana to the Hermitage of Accomplishment, also about the elimination of demons, as it has happened. [1-48-7a, 7b] .
विश्वामित्र वचः श्रुत्वा राजा परम विस्मितः || १-४८-७
अतिथी परमौ प्राप्तम् पुत्रौ दशरथस्य तौ |
पूजयामास विधिवत् सत्कार अर्हौ महाबलौ || १-४८-८
atithii paramau praaptam putrau dasharathasya tau |
puujayaamaasa vidhivat satkaara ar.hhau mahaabalau || 1-48-8
King Sumati is highly astonished to hear the words of Vishvamitra about the visit of Rama and Lakshmana, and treating them to have come as the most prominent and honour-worthy guests that king started to honour those two great-mighty sons of Dasharatha customarily. [1-48-7c, 8] .
ततः परम सत्कारम् सुमतेः प्राप्य राघवौ |
उष्य तत्र निशाम् एकाम् जग्मतुः मिथिलाम् ततः || १-४८-९
uShya tatra nishaam ekaam jagmatuH mithilaam tataH || 1-48-9
On getting high honours from King Sumati, Raghava-s stayed there along with Vishvamitra and with the community of sages for one night, and then they all have moved on to Mithila. [1-48-9] .
ताम् दृष्ट्वा मुनयः सर्वे जनकस्य पुरीम् शुभाम् |
साधु साधु इति शंसन्तो मिथिलाम् समपूजयन् || १-४८-१०
saadhu saadhu iti shaMsanto mithilaam samapuujayan || 1-48-10
On seeing Janaka’s auspicious city Mithila, all of the saints who are accompanying Vishvamitra, Rama, and Lakshmana, extolled it saying, “Splendid! Splendid!” and admired it highly. [1-48-10]
Ayodhya is not fortunate enough to receive any worship from the onlookers, but it will be admired for its fortification. However, Mithila is a venerable city, because by itself it is a temple town and the Vedic-rituals etc., will be going on forever. It is a blessed place as it has Shiva’s Bow, for which bow ritual worship is be ongoing from time immemorial. .
मिथिल उपवने तत्र आश्रमम् दृश्य राघवः |
पुराणम् निर्जनम् रंयम् पप्रच्छ मुनि पुंगवम् || १-४८-११
puraaNam nirjanam raMyam papracCha muni puMgavam || 1-48-11
On seeing a hermitage in the fringes of Mithila, that appeared to be age-old, but now uninhabited, yet pleasing, Rama asked the eminent sage Vishvamitra. [1-48-11] .
इदम् आश्रम संकाशम् किम् नु इदम् मुनि वर्जितम् |
श्रोतुम् इच्छामि भगवन् कस्य अयम् पूर्व आश्रमः || १-४८-१२
shrotum icChaami bhagavan kasya ayam puurva aashramaH || 1-48-12
“This is semblable to a hermitage but sages seem to have discarded it. Oh, venerable sage, whose is this hermitage previously, I wish to listen of it.” Thus, Rama asked Vishvamitra. [1-48-12] .
तत् श्रुता राघवेण उक्तम् वाक्यम् वाक्य विशारदः |
प्रति उवाच महातेजा विश्वमित्रो महामुनिः || १-४८-१३
prati uvaaca mahaatejaa vishvamitro mahaamuniH || 1-48-13
On hearing that sentence spoken by Raghava, the expert in sententiousness, a great resplendent sage and eminent-saint Vishvamitra replied him in this way. [1-48-13] .
हन्त ते कथयिष्यामि शृणु तत्त्वेन राघव |
यस्य एतत् आश्रम पदम् शप्तम् कोपान् महात्मना || १-४८-१४
yasya etat aashrama padam shaptam kopaan mahaatmanaa || 1-48-14
“What a pleasure! You may listen as I narrate, Raghava, whose hermitage is this factually, and which great soul has resentfully cursed this. [1-48-14]
The pleasure expressed by Vishvamitra is for the arrival of time, for the event of Rama’s grace, in releasing Ahalya from her cursed state. .
गौतमस्य नरश्रेष्ठ पूर्वम् आसीत् महात्मनः |
आश्रमो दिव्य संकाशः सुरैः अपि सुपूजितः || १-४८-१५
aashramo divya saMkaashaH suraiH api supuujitaH || 1-48-15
“Oh, the best one among men Rama, this hermitage with a heavenly glisten, and highly hallowed even by gods, once belonged to the great-souled sage Gautama. [1-48-15] .
स च अत्र तप आतिष्ठत् अहल्या सहितः पुरा |
वर्ष पूगानि अनेकानि राजपुत्र महायशः || १-४८-१६
varSha puugaani anekaani raajaputra mahaayashaH || 1-48-16
“In this hermitage, oh, prince Rama, once that highly renowned Sage Gautama sat tight in asceticism for numerous cycle of years along with his wife Ahalya. [1-48-16] .
तस्य अन्तरम् विदित्वा तु सहस्राक्षः शची पतिः |
मुनि वेष धरो भूत्वा अहल्याम् इदम् अब्रवीत् || १-४८-१७
muni veSha dharo bhuutvaa ahalyaam idam abraviit || 1-48-17
“On knowing the meantime of Gautama’s availability at hermitage, Indra, the husband of Shaci Devi and the Thousand-eyed god wearing the guise of sage Gautama and becoming such a sage, approached Ahalya and said this to her. [1-48-17] .
ऋतु कालम् प्रतीक्षन्ते न अर्थिनः सुसमाहिते |
संगमम् तु अहम् इच्छामि त्वया सह सुमध्यमे || १-४८-१८
saMgamam tu aham icChaami tvayaa saha sumadhyame || 1-48-18
” ‘Oh, finely limbed lady, indulgers do not watch out for the time to conceive, as such oh, slender-waisted one, I desire copulation with you. [1-48-18]
Vividly: ‘Oh, Ahalya, Brahma crafted you so well that all your limbs are symmetrically conjoined, so who in the universe will not yearn to have intercourse with you… and on seeing your slender waist and thickset hips I wish to copulate with you now itself… and let there be no fear of safe period or unsafe period for I do not wish to have any progeny of mine from you… .
मुनि वेषम् सहस्राक्षम् विज्ञाय रघुनंदन |
मतिम् चकार दुर्मेधा देव राज कुतूहलात् || १-४८-१९
matim cakaara durmedhaa deva raaja kutuuhalaat || 1-48-19
“Oh, Rama, the legatee of Raghu, though knowing him as the Thousand-eyed Indra in the guise of her husband Gautama, she is inclined to have intercourse ill-advisedly, only to satisfy the impassion of the King of Gods. [1-48-19]
Her thinking is: ‘This is none but Indra in the guise of my husband, for my husband never asks me like this nor he violates times… I heard that Indra is seeking me for a long time… and when King of Gods expresses such a desire, it cannot be refused… let him have it .
अथ अब्रवीत् सुरश्रेष्ठम् कृतार्थेन अंतरात्मना |
कृतार्था अस्मि सुरश्रेष्ठ गच्छ शीघ्रम् इतः प्रभो || १-४८-२०
आत्मानम् माम् च देवेश सर्वदा रक्ष गौतमात् |
kR^itaarthaa asmi surashreShTha gacCha shiighram itaH prabho || 1-48-20
aatmaanam maam ca devesha sarvadaa rakSha gautamaat |
“She felt fulfilled in her heart of hearts and then she said this to that best god Indra, ‘I am gratified in complying with your wish, oh, best of gods, get going oh, lord, from here quickly, oh, ruler of gods, always safeguard yourself and me from Sage Gautama.’ Thus, Ahalya said to Indra. [1-48-20, 21a] .
इन्द्रः तु प्रहसन् वाक्यम् अहल्याम् इदम् अब्रवीत् || १-४८-२१
सुश्रोणि परितुष्टो अस्मि गमिष्यामि यथा आगतम् |
sushroNi parituShTo asmi gamiShyaami yathaa aagatam |
“Indra on his part smilingly said this word to Ahalya, ‘oh, well-hipped lady, I am quite delighted, here I go as I have came.’ [1-48-21b, 22a] .
एवम् संगंय तु तया निश्चक्राम उटजात् ततः || १-४८-२२
स संभ्रमात् त्वरन् राम शन्कितो गौतमम् प्रति |
sa saMbhramaat tvaran raama shankito gautamam prati |
“Oh, Rama, Indra then came out of the cottage flustering hurriedly after copulating with her with an uncertainty about the arrival of Sage Gautama. [1-48-22b, 23a] .
गौतमम् स ददर्श अथ प्रविशंतम् महामुनिम् || १-४८-२३
देव दानव दुर्धर्षम् तपो बल समन्वितम् |
तीर्थ उदक परिक्लिन्नम् दीप्यमानम् इव अनलम् || १-४८-२४
गृहीत समिधम् तत्र स कुशम् मुनि पुंगवम् |
deva daanava durdharSham tapo bala samanvitam |
tiirtha udaka pariklinnam diipyamaanam iva analam || 1-48-24
gR^ihiita samidham tatra sa kusham muni puMgavam |
“Indra has then seen the great-saint Gautama, an unassailable sage either for gods or for demons owing to his ascetic prowess, though thoroughly wet with the water of pious river he is luminous like ritual fire, and a foremost saint among all saints who just entered the hermitage carrying ritual firewood and sacred grass. [1-48-23b, 24, 25a] .
दृष्ट्वा सुर पतिः त्रस्तो विषण्ण वदनो अभवत् || १-४८-२५
अथ दृष्ट्वा सहस्राक्षम् मुनि वेष धरम् मुनिः |
दुर्वृत्तम् वृत्त संपन्नो रोषात् वचनम् अब्रवीत् || १-४८-२६
atha dR^iShTvaa sahasraakSham muni veSha dharam muniH |
dur.hvR^ittam vR^itta saMpanno roShaat vacanam abraviit || 1-48-26
“On seeing the sage the lord of gods Indra is scared and became dreary-faced. Then the well-behaved Gautama furiously spoke these words on seeing the ill-behaved Thousand-eyed Indra who is donning the guise of a saint. [1-48-25b, 26] .
मम रूपम् समास्थाय कृतवान् असि दुर्मते |
अकर्तव्यम् इदम् यस्मात् विफलः त्वम् भविष्यति || १-४८-२७
akartavyam idam yasmaat viphalaH tvam bhaviShyati || 1-48-27
” ‘Oh, dirty-minded Indra, taking hold of my form you have effectuated this unacceptable deed, whereby you shall become infecund.’ Thus, Gautama cursed Indra. [1-48-27] .
गौतमेन एवम् उक्तस्य स रोषेण महात्मना |
पेततुः वृषणौ भूमौ सहस्राक्षस्य तत् क्षणात् || १-४८-२८
petatuH vR^iShaNau bhuumau sahasraakShasya tat kShaNaat || 1-48-28
“When that great-souled sage Gautama spoke that way with rancour, the testicles of the cursed Thousand-eyed Indra fell down onto ground at that very moment. [1-48-28] .
तथा शप्त्वा च वै शक्रम् भार्याम् अपि च शप्तवान् |
इह वर्ष सहस्राणि बहूनि निवषिस्यसि || १-४८-२९
वायु भक्षा निराहारा तप्यन्ती भस्म शायिनी |
अदृश्या सर्व भूतानाम् आश्रमे अस्मिन् वषिस्यसि || १-४८-३०
iha varSha sahasraaNi bahuuni nivaShisyasi || 1-48-29
vaayu bhakShaa niraahaaraa tapyantii bhasma shaayinii |
adR^ishyaa sarva bhuutaanaam aashrame asmin vaShisyasi || 1-48-30
“On cursing Indra thus the sage cursed even his wife saying, ‘you shall tarry here for many thousands of years to come without food and consuming air alone, and unseen by all beings you shall live on in this hermitage while contritely recumbent in dust. [1-48-29, 30] .
यदा तु एतत् वनम् घोरम् रामो दशरथ आत्मजः |
आगमिष्यति दुर्धर्षः तदा पूता भविष्यसि || १-४८-३१
aagamiShyati durdharShaH tadaa puutaa bhaviShyasi || 1-48-31
” ‘When that unassailable son of Dasharatha, namely Rama, arrives at this squalid forest, for it will be henceforth rendered so along with you, then you will be purified. [1-48-31] .
तस्य आतिथ्येन दुर्वृत्ते लोभ मोह विवर्जिता |
मत् सकाशे मुदा युक्ता स्वम् वपुः धारयिष्यसि || १-४८-३२
mat sakaashe mudaa yuktaa svam vapuH dhaarayiShyasi || 1-48-32
” ‘On your welcoming Rama, oh, ill-behaved woman, you will be divested of your greed and craze in which you lingered so far, and then you will assume your own body and then you can be in my proximity, rejoicingly.’ Thus, Sage Gautama cursed his wife Ahalya. [1-48-32] .
एवम् उक्त्वा महातेजा गौतमो दुष्ट चारिणीम् |
इमम् आश्रमम् उत्सृज्य सिद्ध चारण सेविते |
हिमवत् शिखरे रंये तपः तेपे महातपाः || १-४८-३३
imam aashramam utsR^ijya siddha caaraNa sevite |
himavat shikhare raMye tapaH tepe mahaatapaaH || 1-48-33
“On cursing immodest Ahalya thus, that great-resplendent Sage Gautama shed this hermitage which was once adored by celestials like siddha-sand caarana-s, and that great-ascetic Gautama practised his asceticism on the pleasant peaks of Himalayas.” Thus, Vishvamitra continued his narration about the legend of Ahalya. [1-48-33] .