Ahalya, aka: Ahalyā; 6 Definition(s)


Ahalya means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Katha (narrative stories)

Ahalyā (अहल्या) is the wife of hermit Gautama by whom she got cursed after he found out her secret affair with Indra, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 17. Accordingly, the curse uttered by Gautama ran as follows:—“Harlot, take for a long time the nature of a stone, until thou behold Rāma wandering in the forest.”

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Ahalyā, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
context information

Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.


Ahalyā (अहल्या):—The female counterpart of the twin children of Mudgala (one of the five sons of Bharmyāśva), while the male was called Divodāsa. She gave birth to a son named Śatānanda by her husband called Gautama. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.21.34)

(Source): Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

Ahalyā (अहल्या).—Turned into stone by the curse of her husband, Gautama. Ahalyā was a princess of the Pūru dynasty. Genealogy. Descended in order from Viṣṇu as follows: Brahmā-Atri-Candra-Budha-Purūravas-Āyus-Nahuṣa-Yayāti-Pūru-Janamejaya-Prācinvā-Pravīra-Namasyu-Vītabhaya-Śuṇḍu-Bahuvidha-Saṃyāti-Rahovādi-Raudrāśva-Matināra-Santurodha-Duṣyanta-Bharata-Bṛhatkṣetra-Hasti-Ajamīḍha-Nīla-Śānti-Śuśānti-Puruja-Arka-Bharmyaśva-Pāñcāla-Mudgala-Ahalyā. (See full article at Story of Ahalyā from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Ahalyā (अहल्या).—The daughter of Mudgala, the wife of Gautama and the mother of Śatānanda.1 A tīrtha in her honour, as she performed tapas and attained release there.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 21. 34.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 191. 90-1.

1b) A daughter of Vindhyāśva (Badhyāśva, and wife of Śaradvat; mother of Śadānanda;1 redeemed of her sins by Rāma.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 50. 7-8; Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 201; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 19. 62, 200-2.
  • 2) Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 4. 91.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Ahalya was a daughter of Lord Brahma. He sent her to the hermitage of sage Gautama to learn the scriptures. When the time came for her marriage, her divine beauty ensured that she did not lack for suitors. Indra, many other Devas and even her teacher Gautama sought her hand in marriage. Brahma announced that he would give her in marriage to the first person who completes traveling around the world. Indra was leading in this race. However, acting on the advice of sage Narada, Gautama walked around a cow. Since the scriptures say that a cow is equal to the whole world, he was adjudged to have won the race. Gautama's marriage with Ahalya was duly celebrated. They had a son named Shataananda.

(Source): Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ahalya (अहल्य).—a.

1) Unploughed.

2) Not arable.

-lyaḥ Name of a country.

-lyā Name of the wife of Gautama [According to the Rāmāyana she was the first woman created by Brahmā, who gave her to Gautama. She was seduced by Indra who assumed the form of her husband and so deceived her, or, according to another version, she knew the god and was flattered by the great God's condescension. There is another story which states that Indra secured the assistance of the moon who, assuming the form of a cock, crowed at mid-night. This roused Gautama to his morning devotions, and Indra went in and took his place. Gautama, when he knew of her seduction expelled her from his hermitage and cursed her to be a stone and become invisible till she should be touched by the feet of Dāśarathi Rāma which would restore her to her former shape. Rāma afterwards delivered her from her wretched state and she was reconciled to her husband. Ahalyā is one of the five very chaste and pure women whose names every one is recommended to repeat in the morning; अहल्या द्रौपदी सीता तारा मन्दोदरी तथा । पञ्चकं ना स्मरेन्नित्यं महापातकनाशनम् (ahalyā draupadī sītā tārā mandodarī tathā | pañcakaṃ nā smarennityaṃ mahāpātakanāśanam) || Kumārila Bhaṭṭa explains the seduction of Ahalyā as Indra's (the sun's) carrying away the shades of night, Ahalyā signifying night.] For a very succinct account, see also Mv.1.

2) Name of a sea.

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

Relevant definitions

Search found 35 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Ahalyanandana (अहल्यनन्दन).—the sage Śatānanda, son of Ahalyā. Derivable forms: ahalyanandanaḥ ...
Ahalyeśvaratīrtha (अहल्येश्वरतीर्थ).—Name of a तीर्थ (tīrtha). Derivable forms: ahalyeśvaratīrt...
Ahalyajāra (अहल्यजार).—Indra. Derivable forms: ahalyajāraḥ (अहल्यजारः).Ahalyajāra is a Sanskrit...
Ahalyahrada (अहल्यह्रद).—Name of a Tīrtha near the hermitage of Gautama.Derivable forms: ahalya...
Ahalyātīrtha (अहल्यातीर्थ).—On the Narmadā. Here she performed tapas and got salvation. B...
Ahalyapallī (अहल्यपल्ली) is a place name ending in pallī mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. A...
Gautama (गौतम) or Gautamasaṃhitā is the name of a Vaiṣṇava Āgama scripture, classified as a tām...
1) Śatānanda (शतानन्द).—Priest of King Janaka. He was the son of Gautama by Ahalyā. (Bhāgavata,...
Jayā (जया) or Jayātantra refers to one of the twenty-three Vāmatantras, belonging to the Śāktāg...
Indra (इन्द्र) refers to a deity that was once worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) accordin...
Viśālā (विशाला) is the name of one of the thirty-two Yakṣiṇīs mentioned in the Kakṣapuṭatantra,...
1) Jara (जर).—A forester. It was this forester who shot an arrow at Śrī Kṛṣṇa and killed him mi...
Sugrīva (सुग्रीव) or Sugrīvatantra refers to one of the twenty-eight Gāruḍatantras, belonging t...
1) Kṛpa (कृप).—A King in ancient India. He never ate flesh. (Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 115, Vers...
Menakā (मेनका).—1) Name of an Apsaras (mother of Śakuntalā).2) Name of the wife of Himālaya.

Relevant text