Ahalya, aka: Ahalyā; 4 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

Kathā (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
Kathā book cover
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Kathās (कथा) are special kind of Sanskrit literature: they are a kind of a mix between Itihāsa (historical legends) and Mahākāvya (epic poetry). Some Kathās reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of the historical deeds of the Gods, sages and heroes.


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
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

General definition (in Hinduism)

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: 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

Relevant definitions

Search found 21 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Ahalyajāra (अहल्यजार).—Indra. Derivable forms: ahalyajāraḥ (अहल्यजारः).Ahalyajāra is a Sanskrit...
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).—Name of (1) the sage Bhāradvāja; (2) of Śatānanda, Gotama's son; (3) of Kṛpa, D...
Indra (इन्द्र) is the name of a ancient authority on the science of Sanskrit metrics (chandaśās...
Jarā (जरा, “old age”) refers to one of the thirteen “conditions” (saṃskāra) that are “unassocia...
Śatānanda (शतानन्द) is the name of a sage who was in the company of Bharata when he recited the...
Sugrīva (सुग्रीव) refers to one of the 53 gods to be worshipped in the western quarter and give...
Menakā (मेनका).—She was sent by Indra and other gods to disturb the penance of Sage Viśvāmitra ...
1) Vālin (वालिन्) and Sugrīva were the two sons of Ahalyā, wife of Gautama ṛṣi. Without the kno...
1a) Mudgala (मुद्गल).—A son of Bharmyāśva. From him sprang the Brahmana family Maudgalyas...
1a) Satyadhṛti (सत्यधृति).—The son of Kṛtimat (Dhṛtimat), and father of Dhṛḍhanemī.** Bhā...
Ahala (अहल).—a. Unploughed, unfurrowed.See also (synonyms): ahali.
Gotamī (गोतमी).—Ahalyā, wife of गोतम (gotama).
1a) Śaradvān (शरद्वान्).—A sage by garbha of the Sāvarṇi epoch;1 husband of Ahalyā and f...

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