sabato 18 febbraio 2012

Gautama, Indra and beautiful Ahalya

The sage Gautama, one of Saptarishi (the seven greatest sages of Hinduism), lived with his beautiful wife Ahalya in a isolated hermitage near the city of Mithila.

Ahalya was born from the mind of Brahma as the purest and most beautiful woman in the universe. In fact, her name A-Halya in Sanskrit is "without ugliness" and also "non-plowed", meaning "virgin."
The texts of the Indian tradition, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, many Brahmanas and Puranas narrate the incredible story of Ahalya, Indra and Gautama. Here, more or less how things went.
Indra, the king of the Gods, the slayer of the demon Vrita, the God always drunk as a drinker of soma, the nectar of the Gods, he was very sensitive to the feminine charms. One day he saw the beautiful Ahalya, filled with desire, sought a way to join her in secret from her husband.
One day, as soon as Gautama had left the hermitage to perform his meditations, Indra took the form of Gautama and went to Ahalya pretending to be her husband.
According to some traditions, at once the beautiful young woman knew that the man was Indra and not Gautama, but she was pleased that the king of the Gods wanted her.
According to other texts, she was deceived, or even raped by Indra.
However, Indra and Ahalya joined sexually with mutual satisfaction.
When Gautama returned, met with Indra and knew, through his yogic powers, what had happened.
The rishi, angry, cursed Indra. 
Even here the traditions are differ. According to some, Indra was forced to have a green beard, very little punishment of his sin. According to other texts, Indra was doomed to be defeated and imprisoned by Indrajit son of the demon Ravana, then what actually happened.
According to other traditions, the punishment was even more atrocious. It is said that Gautama punish the king of the Gods covering his body with thousands of vaginas (yoni) and hence the Indra’s nickname "sayoni" "full of vulvas”. 
The Gods, pitying, transformed those vaginas into eyes and Indra’s nickname from "full of vulvas" became "sahasraksha" "with many eyes."
According to the Ramayana however, Gautama cursed Indra, saying, "You cannot contain your erotic desires, you have deceived a wise man, you will lose your manhood!"
That said, the testicles of Indra fell to the ground leaving the king deprived of his virile power.
The unfaithful wife was cursed too. What?
According some traditions, she was petrified, according others she, a symbol of beauty, became ugly and dry, according others she was forced to live eating air, lying in the ashes, suffering the guilt and remaining in this sad situation without the comfort of her husband for hundreds of thousands of years.
In any case, the curse against Ahalya would dissolve as soon as the God Ram, avatar of Vishnu, had not passed from those places restoring the lost purity.
Indra, for his part, was desperate. The king of the Gods could not be castrated andwent to other Gods, begging them to help him. In front of them Indra justified his own behavior, "I joined Ahalya not because of lust but to arouse the wrath of the sage Gautama who with his austerities and meditations had attained too much energy and too much power and could undermine the dominance of the Gods, now he is angry and cursed me, but he has lost its ascetic powers."
The Gods believed a little what Indra sayed, but they decided to help him and went to Mani, telling him, "Oh Mani, you have a beautiful ram, give its genitals to Indra who is free, we promise that from now on, the castrated ram will be used for sacrifice and then eaten."
Indra received the testicles of a ram and then used ram for the sacrifice and men began to eat the meat of castrated rams.

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