The Redemptions of Ahalya

Listening to the story of the sacred river Ganga, Sri Rama and Lakshmana, in the holy company of Vishwamitra and other members of his ashrama walked towards Mithila. When the city of Mithila was within sight, they saw an old, delightful, yet desolate hermitage in a grove.

In response to Sri Rama's query about the strange place, Vishwamitra told him about Sage Gautama.

One day, in the absence of Gautama Rishi, Indra, disguised as that Sage, entered the ashrama and misbehaved with Ahalya.

He was caught red-handed by the Sage. The Rishi cursed Indra to lose his manhood. He then cursed Ahalya to remain there for thousands of years without food or drink, living on air, lying on ashes, woe-begone. She would be invisible to all created beings. Her redemption would come when Sri Rama visited the place. By then the Sage Gautama too would return and reclaim her. So saying, the Sage went away for penance. Now, on the advice of Sage Vishwamitra, Sri Rama and his brother stepped into the ashrama. Ahalya regained her form after long years of hibernation as it were, the moment Rama's feet touched the site.

Sage Gautama also returned to his abode and the couple received the redeemer Sri Rama, with great reverence and joy. Sri Rama too showed his respects to the reunited, elderly and saintly couple.

The visitors moved on to the next lap of their journey.

In India, the faith is that God's blessings would redeem a person from all his sins. Life is full of hopes for redemption and renewal; and ever ready for a new beginning , to move towards higher goal, greater perfection.

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