Ahalyā

biographical name
the wife of the great sage Gautama Ṛṣi. Indra, the chief of the devas, was infatuated with the beauty of Ahalyā. Once in Satya-yuga, while Gautama Ṛṣi was away, Indra assumed the form of Gautama by mystic power and had union with Ahalyā. When Gautama returned he could understand the whole situation through his yogic power. Furious with his wife, Gautama cursed her to become a stone. Ahalyā was deeply aggrieved and fell crying at Gautama’s feet to beg for deliverance from the curse. Gautama consoled her by saying that in Tretā-yuga, when Bhagavān Rāmacandra would appear on the earth, He would touch the stone with His foot and she would thus be delivered from the curse.
Normally Satya-yuga is followed by Dvāpāra and then Tretā in the cycle of the four yugas. Ahalyā appealed to Gautama, saying that she would not be able to bear waiting so long for the appearance of Rāmacandra. Gautama assured her that in this particular cycle of the four yugas, Tretā would follow Satya. By the desire of Gautama Ṛsi, the order of the yugas was reversed. When Rāmacandra appeared, He touched that stone with His foot and Ahalyā was released from the curse. Thus Ahalyā, who had assumed the form of a stone, was liberated from the state of covered consciousness (āchādita-cetana), at which time she was reunited with her husband

The Bhaktivedanta encyclopedia. 2015.

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