The guide for a good husband-wife relationship (Part 1)

February 06, 2018Unknown

I am really excited to write this post. The reason is it being a spiritual one. My humble request to the readers is not to misunderstand this post as a religious one talking about a particular religion but kindly try to grasp the spirituality in it which would enhance your personality. This, in a way is a tutorial for your personality development. Let me introduce this post as the first one among the three posts which are going to talk about husband and wife relationship.

It so happened that once Lord Vishnu created a beautiful lady named Oorvasi for a reason. All the devas were astonished to see such a beautiful lady who is very alluring and charming. Lord Brahma (the creator) was taken back when he got know about this and he took it as a challenge to create an extremely glamorous girl called Ahalya. When the baby girl was born, he wanted a good caretaker for her. So he chose Gauthama Maharshi for the task because of his pious nature and extreme devotion. He gives the responsibility of raising her to this Maharshi. Once the girl was in her youth and was ready to get married, Gauthama took her to her father abiding to dharma because a father has to conduct his daughter’s marriage. Lord Brahma calls for a swayamvara (a process in which the bride has liberty to choose her groom) for which kings from all the three worlds appeared. The king of devas, Indra was also attracted by her beauty and came to the Congress. While Indra was coming to the Congress, Ahalya saw him and had feelings for him instantly because of his charm and valour. Lord Brahma decided to conduct a competition and decide the groom so he asked everybody to go round the Earth once and come back. One who comes first would be declared the winner was the decision made. So everybody starts off with their divine vehicles but Gauthama doesn’t go. Upon asking, he replies that going around the Kamadhenu (the divine cow) gives the result of going around the Earth so he prostates to the cow and goes around the cow twice. After a long time, the others came and were told by Brahma that Gauthama has already completed 2 rounds and is waiting for a long time. After the devas came to know how he achieved it, they were astonished to see his wisdom. It was decided that  Ahalya would be married to Gauthama Maharshi. But one thing Lord Brahma missed to do was to consult his daughter about her opinion before conducting the offering (Kanya Daana). 

After the marriage, they returned to their Hermitage. They were leading a very peaceful life and Gauthama Maharshi would always be in deep penance. One day, it so happens that Indra comes in the disguise of Gauthama when Maharshi is out for the morning bath in the river. Ahalya notices that it is Indra who came in the disguise of her husband but due to her interest in Indra, she accepts to satisfy his sexual desires. After the intercourse, Ahalya asks him to leave as soon as possible and Indra gets ready to leave. By this time, Gauthama returns and sees a man looking similar to him coming out his Hermitage and with his spiritual knowledge he understands what has happened. Upon knowing this, he curses Indra to lose his masculinity explaining that, even if Ahalya was moved by this desire it should have been Indra who should have suggested her that what she was thinking is not right but he didn’t so Gauthama took out those which were responsible for his ego that he is a male and can experience pleasure in a wrong way. The reason for Indra coming and involving in this was that Gauthama was doing severe penance and was about to reach penance of a thousand years and if he achieves that then he would become Indra. In order to stop him, Indra had to make him curse someone so that he loses the power of his penance. 

Now, the aspect we are interested in is what happened to Ahalya after the incident. There was no question of divorce in Sanathana Dharma because Gauthama Maharshi need not have a more valid reason than this to give divorce to Ahalya but he didn’t because Sanathana Dharma doesn’t teach that at all. Instead, he punished her telling that it was the mind that had this feeling of having pleasure with Indra so it has to be made pure by doing penance and the body which supported her to fulfil her desire so he asked her to take only air as food and nothing else. He also told that she would be covered with ash and the hermitage would be empty thereafter. She has to do deep penance till a divine soul steps into the Hermitage. Valmiki Ramayanam doesn’t state that Gauthama cursed her to become stone. It is in this way that she has just become motionless and she has to undergo this for several hundreds of years before Lord Rama stepped into the Hermitage. The moment he entered the hermitage, Ahalya began to come back to her senses and Gauthama came to the hermitage to accept her again as his wife because now she has washed away her sins.

This is the greatness of our land where there was nothing called as divorce; once a marriage takes place, under no condition the couple can be separated. This is the message that the life of Gauthama and Ahalya tells us. 

I humbly place this article at the feet of Sri Chaganti Koteswara Rao and feel extremely privileged for having got an opportunity to translate his speech so that it benefits the society. The interesting thing is, this post is just a beginning of a series of posts that I am planning. The future posts would also be about the relation of husband and wife taking examples of 2 more couples from Ramayana. Even these lectures were told by Brahmasri Chaganti Koteswara Rao.

Picture credits - Wikipedia, Quora

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