ॐ Hindu Of Universe ॐ

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”

Maharishi Gautama
Gautama, the Nyaya & Hindu Logic
Gautama is the founder of the Nyaya school, one of the six orthodox schools of Hinduism, and the author of the Nyaya Sutra, the greatest text on logical debate of ancient India and a sacred scripture. He is supposed to have lived at the same time as the Buddha, sometime around 600 to 500 BCE, during the culminating years of the golden age of Indian thought, just ahead of and overlapping with the golden ages of Greek and Chinese thought. The Buddha, who is possibly the most influential thinker of India’s golden age, is also called Gautama, as Gautama Siddhartha was his personal name, as both Gautama of the Nyaya and the Buddha were from the same area of Northern India and what is today Nepal. Some scholars used to claim that the two were in fact the same individual, as Buddha is also a master of logic and debate, but they are almost certainly two different sages and their systems of thought are opposed to one another.

Gautama of the Nyaya (the Gautama we are talking about in this lecture) is also known as Akshapada, (eyes in the feet, or gazes at his feet), a name which, like Kanada of the interrelated Vaisheshika atomist school of Hinduism, could mean someone who is gathering up many particular things in the lower world into higher universal concepts, or someone lost in thought. A legend says that Thales, the first famed Greek thinker, was gazing at the stars as he fell into a well. A legend says that the same happened to Gautama, who fell into a well while lost in thought, so Brahma gave him eyes in his feet.

Nyaya means right, just, justified or justifiable, the same way we use logical to mean justifiable and defendable debate or speech. The Nyaya school reached its height in 150 CE, but it traces itself back to Gautama and his teachings. In ancient India, a king, authority or rich patron could organize a debate and banquet, invite participants from various schools of thought to debate. A story from the period says that a scholar who gave up on the Vedas and turned entirely to logic turned into a Jackal. This story was likely told by Vedic scholars and priests who found the new systems a threat to the old established traditions. The other famed Nyaya logicians, each writing commentaries on the Nyaya Sutra of Gautama and the others before them, are Vatsyayana (c. 450 CE), Uddyotakara (c. 550 CE), Vacaspatimishra (c. 900 CE) and Udayana (c. 1000 CE).

The Nyaya Sutra presents many debates that raged in India at the time, with many centered on dividing the mortal and particular from the eternal and universal, such as whether or not the self, or world, or laws of the cosmos are permanent or fixed in this or that way. One of these questions, asked previously by Kanada, is whether or not sound is temporary, and Kanada says it is, like a Buddhist says all things are, though Kanada and the Nyaya following Gautama would insist that the self and laws of the cosmos, unlike sound, are eternal, following orthodox, established Hindu positions. These debates often take the form of a basic bifurcating disjunction, as we are told in Gautama’s text: Is A B or not-B? Vedic priests argued that the individual self is eternal, while the Charvakas and Buddhists argued that it is temporary. Buddhists who debated the Nyaya often used relative qualifiers such as A is sometimes B, or A is somewhere B, or A is B in some things, in some ways to relativize and counter Nyaya claims.

Gautama and the Nyaya base their system, which they argue, like the world, is a coherent, positive whole, on one primary source of knowledge, perception, but they also argue that there are three other sources of knowledge that serve as bases for justifiable positions, beliefs and arguments, inference, as do the Vaisheshika, but also comparison (which some translate as analogy, an extensive comparison) and testimony, like the evidence of a witness in court for something we didn’t see. Thus, there are four sources (pramana) of knowledge for the Nyaya, but the later three are secondary and inferior to the first, direct experience of what we infer, compare or hear about through testimony of others.

The word pramana, which the Nyaya use for source, foundation, or evidence, means proof, and comes from the word roots for out from (pra) and measurement (ma), such that measuring out things to judge them is talking things out in debate. The Buddhists refer to it as pramanavada, the way or viewpoint of measuring things out. The Nyaya argue a proper understanding of the inventory of reality is important to act effectively, assuming reality has an order independent of our minds and cultural practices. Vatsyayana, the foremost Nyaya logician after Gautama, says that all of the Nyaya method is investigation of subjects by means of sources, and Uddyotakara says the best reasoning involves many sources to establish a position well.

The Nyaya lean towards “innocent until legitimate doubt” about positive belief, unless things are disproven or there is some evidence against them. Inferences can be hastily drawn, but if they are drawn slowly, based in good, careful reason, we should entertain them positively and favorably, not as certain but as openly possible. The same is true of perception, comparison and testimony, such that they are overall reliable, if we are careful with them. If a belief that exists is doubtable, we should investigate it with sources and testing possibilities, using hypothetical reasoning (tarka). The Charvakas, Buddhists, and other skeptics doubt that conviction and coherence is what we need as opposed to tranquility and perspective. In the beginning of Vatsyayana’s commentary on the Nyaya Sutra, he argues:

When things are grasped through sources of knowledge (pramana), it is possible to act and succeed. Thus, sources of knowledge are useful (arthavat). Without sources of knowledge, there would be no successful action… Success is a relationship with its result: gaining or losing things, which could be happiness or sadness, or some way to or from either. The ends served by sources of knowledge are innumerable, since the living things who use sources of knowledge are themselves innumerable.

When sources of knowledge are connected to things, so are the knower, known and knowledge. Why? Because without all of these knowledge of things is impossible. Of these, the person who acts with desire or fear is the knower, the way it is known is the source of knowledge, the known is the object, and truthful thought made the right way is knowledge. Truth is fully grasped when these four are in place.

So, what is truth? It is the grasping of being in something that is and not-being in something that isn’t. Grasping what is as what is, and what isn’t as what isn’t, is truth, as it is, unchanging.

How can something that isn’t be grasped through a knowledge source? At the time something that is is grasped, there is not grasping something that isn’t, like the light of a lamp that shows something that is and so also what isn’t. We think, if it was there, it would have been seen, but it wasn’t seen, so it isn’t there.


In Through The Looking Glass, Alice tells the White King she sees no one on the road, and the king praises her for having such eyes, seeing no one, and at such distance, which he can’t do. We can’t see no one, but we can look, and not see anyone, which can be said and understood as seeing no one. The play on words works in ancient India, Greece, China, and today in modern English. Wittgenstein argued similarly about the non-existence of a rhino in the room with Bertrand Russell as one of the most influential of modern logicians. In Zen Buddhism, Hakuin painted blind men walking carefully on a log bridge several times, as the question had been asked, What does it look like to us that they cannot see? It need not look like anything with perception or imagination, but whether or not it does, it requires a logical understanding that something isn’t, the not grasping mentioned. As Tweedledee tells Alice, “if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be, but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

Uddyotakara says in his commentary on the Nyaya Sutra that all sources depend on perception. Sources of knowledge give us a true grasp of things, but there are fake sources of knowledge. Acting on a true source of knowledge leads to success, and acting on a fake source leads to failure. How does failure or false look, if not like a lack of success, another sort of seeing what you don’t see, or imagine, but understand and grasp? The Nyaya Sutra and commentaries tell us that there are problems we can have with the four sources of knowledge such that we can misunderstand and see or imagine what isn’t there, or not what is there, even though perception is the primary source that supports all others insofar as the others are ultimately justified in understanding and logic as true belief.

Perception is seeing or experiencing something for oneself, and can only be valid if it tells you something that doesn’t vary or change according to Gautama. Three examples of false perception given in the Nyaya Sutra are confusing smoke and dust, confusing a rope with a snake, and thinking that the hot earth is wet when in fact this is a mirage. There is a popular modern Indian novel by Raja Rao about a man in a loveless arranged marriage who falls in love with a prostitute called The Rope and The Snake (1960). Vatsyayana says that some argue that for every thing there is a word and name that is based on conventional practices (vyavahara), and so they say perceptual thinking is verbal in nature, but this is a mistaken view, seeing words where they aren’t there, as we can look at an object without knowing its name, so perceptual understanding is not dependent on language. (10.11 – 20) His view is remarkably similar to Wittgenstein’s, who is sometimes misunderstood as a philosopher of language rather than of logic which determines practice and meaning in all practices and forms of life, including language practices, or language games.

Vatsyayana argues that we can see what we think is smoke and infer there is fire, or hear that there is a fire by testimony, or make comparisons for ourselves from afar, but it is perception, seeing the fire, that is best and that best confirms comparisons, testimony and inferences. Giving a negative example, he similarly argues that seeing a mirage and hoping for water, it is only when we see what isn’t there, the water’s absence, and grasp this that our inference is disproved. We can also make solid inferences, such as hearing thunder and inferring there was lightning, without making comparisons or hearing the testimony of others.

With knowledge, perception is best. When we learn something from trustworthy testimony, we may still want to know it another way, such as by inference. Understanding by inference, we may still want to know it through experience, but seeing it, the desire to know ceases, as in the example of fire above.

Vatsyayana explains comparison with the example that yak is like a cow, and this sameness is understood and grasped in terms of universals, classes of things with shared properties, such as having horns, or having four legs. Comparisons can be valid or invalid, depending on whether or not they are supported by inference, testimony, and of course, perception. Testimony, like perception and the rest, can be valid or not, as we all know from personal experience. Sometimes witnesses lie, and other times they are mistaken, either seeing what they couldn’t have, or not seeing what they could have. There are psychology experiments that show we often miss what is there, or imagine something that isn’t there, mistaken in basic understandings.

Vatsyayana says inference, logical reasoning in accord with understanding, is the source that comes last, after experience involving perception, analogy and testimony. The Sutra says there are three types of inference: 1) from something prior, 2) from something later, and 3) from something in common. Vatsyayana gives an example of each. If we see swollen storm clouds and infer it will rain, we infer from something prior, inferring an effect from a cause prior to it. If we see an overflowing river and infer it rained up stream, we infer from something later, inferring a cause from the effect later to it. If we infer that the sun was in one place and now another in the sky, we can infer that it moved, as a difference between the two.

The Sutra says (1.1.41) that certainty is grasping something by thinking about possibilities, investigating thesis and counter-thesis, and that the sources can be objects of knowledge themselves, like a measuring scale. Vatsyayana adds that a scale can calibrate a second scale if we weigh gold with the first and then with the second, such that we know the second scale is off or not. Thus, we can use a tried and true knowledge source, like watching with our eyes, to test another knowledge source, like a theory we find in a text or the testimony of witnesses.

The Sutra says that critics (such as Jains and Buddhists, we imagine) say this leads to an infinite regress, such that no source can be entirely established by other sources. Consider that the first scale could be off, which would mean we can’t use it to check against a second, but where do we know a scale is good without checking it against another? The answer for the Nyaya is that evidence is like the light of a lamp, self-evident in itself, leaning towards positive belief of what seems consistently true as establishing itself as true without controversy. The Nyaya Sutra says sometimes no further source is required, sometimes there is, and there is no fixed rule for determining this. (2.1.20) Because we, like Hindu Nyaya, seek freedom, discipline, pleasure and wealth in this proper descending order of importance, we proceed from what is to what we desire which isn’t.

The Sutra says that opponents argue that objects are like dreams, mirages, or magic cities in the sky, not fixed as real, and says that they haven’t provided a reason to accept this. Vatsyayana says when we wake, we see with perception that the dreams weren’t real, which shows us perception and illusion are different. A Buddhist could object that they are merely making a comparison. The Nyaya would argue that perception is primary and more certain than comparison, such that physical objects are like mirages, but not entirely, as they are better established. But how can we say this without making a comparison to check, just as we are checking perception against comparison, with comparison, right now?

The Nyaya Sutra says that words are used to refer in three ways, to individuals, forms, and classes, and these multiple ways produce doubt, which sparks inquiry. (2.2.59) Vatsyayana provides us with the example of cow, and says the word refers to an individual cow, and anything shaped like a cow (to use the word metaphorically, as cow-ish-ness), and the class of all cows, which the Nyaya argue all have horns and four legs, like other classes of animals, forms of animals and individual animals. Vatsyayana says that the object of the word is thus determined by our ability to use it in these ways. The Sutra refutes those who think words refer to only one of these things, simply individuals, or simply forms, or simply classes, and says the meaning of a word is clearly all three of these uses. The Sutra uses the example of a clay cow, which has the form of a cow, and is included in classes such as things that have four feet, like a cow, but as Vatsyayana adds, if someone says to wash, bring or donate a cow, and we hand them a clay cow statue, we are wrong, and do not satisfy their requests, as it lacks the category of being alive, or an animal at that, so it is certainly the wrong sort of individual.

Debate manuals like the Nyaya Sutra of Gautama, the Organon of Aristotle and works by Moists and the School of Names in China were designed to introduce students and scholars to forms of argument, methods of attack and defense. Like Aristotle, Vatsyayana argues that debate proceeds from motives, and so a destructive skeptic debates destructively, without a committed motive or acceptable doctrine. Some have claimed that Aristotle’s syllogisms are deductively valid but Gautama’s syllogistic form of proof is not and based on induction. However, we can see induction and deduction working together in the syllogistic forms of both Aristotle and Gautama, and the similarities are quite striking. There are five formal steps to the Nyaya formal proof, but as Buddhists later perceived the first and second steps are identical to the fifth and the fourth, and can be eliminated.

To make each form of proof easier to study, I take liberties with both the Indian and Greek syllogistic forms, preserving the information but changing the order it is presented to show how the information connects in sequence. In the texts of Aristotle, the most famous and basic form of syllogism is not If A then B, if B then C, so if A then C, as I prefer it, but rather If B then C, if A then B, so if A then C, such as Aristotle’s famous example, All men are mortal, Socrates is a man, so Socrates is (or rather, was) mortal. It does work, but it works better as Socrates is a man, all men are mortal, so Socrates is mortal.

Similarly, Gautama’s central example is, Wherever there is smoke there is fire, as in a kitchen, so because there is smoke on the hill, there is fire on the hill. This is almost identical to Aristotle if we change the subjects to his, and say, Whoever is a man is moral, like Plato, so since Socrates is a man, Socrates is mortal. Thus, we can reorder Gautama’s proof in a similar A to B to C way, such that it reads, There is smoke on the hill, wherever there is smoke there is fire, as in a kitchen, so there is fire on the hill. Notice that this is not perfect, because perception of smoke is a central example of possible misperception, but it need not be, as smoke can look quite dissimilar from a dust cloud sometimes. The second example would then read, in line with Kanada’s cosmic observations, Sound is made, and whatever is made is impermanent, like a pot, so sound is impermanent. Those who say Gautama relies on induction focus on the addition of the extra example offered, and not on the clear similarities of the forms.

The Nyaya Sutra also lists fallacies, forms of mistakes in debate that sound solid but have flaws, much as the Nyaya say we could see a post in the dark and mistake it for a man. The Sutra warns us, much like Aristotle, that debate is about winning, but if we make arguments that are faulty, called clinchers by translators, cheap-shots, and if we point out faults that aren’t there in our opponent, called quibbles, nit-picking, we risk losing the debate if anyone notices, and we shouldn’t make them in the first place if we want to not only win, but be right.

For fallacies, the Sutra includes silence (which would lose a debate indeed), changing the thesis, contradicting the thesis, evasion (in one commentary, it is translated, I am called by nature… and then, we hear screeching tires outside), meaningless or incoherent speech (Chomsky gave the example for linguistics of Colorless sleep furiously green, which he thinks is meaningless), repetition (rather than additional argument where it is needed), overlooking the fallacies in an opponent’s argument (which could be pointed out by others), and my personal favorite, sharing the fault, pointing out a fault in an opponent that is also a fault in one’s own argument, or a fault in everyone (such as, My opponent is putting forward a mere mortal point of view).

The Sutra gives three types of quibbling, which correspond to the three uses of words, thing, form and class. Vatsyayana give us examples for each, as he does with his commentary for everything in the Sutra. For quibbling over words used for things, he says someone could say they had a new (nava) blanket, and someone else could misunderstand the individual word and think they claimed they had nine (also nava) blankets, and point out the false fallacy. For quibbling over form, someone could say, The stands cry out, and someone could foolishly say that stands can’t cry, as they don’t have feelings, but they are wrong. I have mistaken this for scaffolds, and thus the hangman rather than parade crowds, due to an earlier translation. For quibbling over class, someone could say, All Brahmins are educated, possibly to construct an example of a Nyaya syllogism for your assignment, and someone else could wrongly object, Not all Brahmins are educated, because some are only three years old, and just learning to talk!



Introduction and History of Nyāya
Darshanas of Dharma
The Nyāya-sūtra and the many karikas argue that epistemic success is central in the search for happiness, since we must understand the world properly should we desire to achieve the goods it offers (Dasti.) Thus, Nyāya darhma is the pursuit of Truth.

Nyāya is the foundational darshana for Dharmika Realism, one of the two major categories of Indian philosophy. Akṣapāda Gautama’s Nyāya-sūtra formally established the Darshana around 2nd century C.E. However, its origins can be traced back to 1500 BCE with Ānvīkṣikī (Pepper.) Even the character Narada in the Mahabhrata seems to be of Nyayaka influence, as exemplified by his deductive reasoning skills, and Nyayaka writers attributed several aphorisms to Narada (Vidyabhusana.)

The darshana concerns itself primarily with Pramana or valid sources of knowledge, and epistemic responsibility (Dasti.) Nyāyakas also focus on understanding the nature of reasoning and create logical systems which lead to truthful knowledge. The Nyāya-sūtra concerns itself with 16 Padārthas, which are meant to represent all that does and can exist (Junankar.) These Padārthas can be categorized in four categories — epistemology, metaphysics, procedures and elements of inquiry, and debate theory (Dasti.) Thus, forming the basis for Indian literary criticism, jurisprudence, logic, aesthetics, philosophy of language, and theory of value. Early Nyāyakas were also notably theists, and engaged in constant debate with atheistic darshanas such as Mīmāṁsa and Bouddhya. However, over the course of time Nyāyakas have become distributed among non-theists, and atheists as well.

Early Nyāya history is tied to the Vāda–śāstra, ancient rules of debate and reasoning, or simply Dharmika Debate Theory. The Vāda–śāstra forms an essential base for Nyāya, and is crucial in the development of all Dharmika philosophy. It will be getting an essay (& video) of its own very soon, as it is one of the most important theories of Dharmika philosophy.

Much of Nyāya’s development occurred via the founding Sutra and subsequent commentaries; however, the darshana entered a new phase — Navya Nyāya in 1325, thanks to epistemologist Gaṅgeśa Upādhyāya (Dasti.) His work the Tattva-Chintāmaṇi became popularized through the Navadvipa University, which was founded in 1503 (Pepper.)

Despite the importance of Nyāya in the fundamental developemnt of Dharmika philosophy, it laid dormant in the modern world. However, the efforts of a new generations of rshis and rshikas have brought itfourth once more in the circles of Indian academia, and the future looks bright for the development of the Nyāya darshana.

Maharishi Gautama – Life and His Contributions
Since the Vedic period, thousands of great sages have contributed incomparably to literature, medicine, yoga, meditation, chemistry, physics, metaphysical, Dharma, Karma, liberation, and more. Among them is Gautama Maharishi.

According to Shatapatha Brahmana, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, and Krishna Yajurveda, he is one of the Saptarishis (a group of seven greatest sages). He created numerous mantras and hymns in Sanskrit dedicated to various deities. That’s why Sage Gautama is also called Mantra-Drastra.

The Vedas like Rig Veda and Sama Veda mentioned sage Gautama in hymns.

Background History
Maharishi Gautama is the son of sage Dirghatamas or Rahugana and belongs to the great Angirasa lineage. Maharishi Angirasa was one of the manasputras (mind-born sons) of Lord Brahma. Another prominent sage of ancient India, Rishi Bharadvaja, also belongs to the same family line.

Maharishi Gautama got married to one of the most beautiful women in the entire universe, Ahalya. She is the only one not born from a woman. According to Puranas, Lord Brahma himself crafted her as the most beautiful woman in the entire cosmos. Besides that, she belongs to the group of five virgins (Panchakanyas).

In Ramayana, sage gautama and Ahalya had a son named Satananda. However, Mahabharata mentioned they had two sons, Saradvan and Cirakari. Saradvan also known as Gautama, named his son and daughter, Kripa, and Kripi as Gautama and Gautami.

Another story from Shava Parva highlights that Gautama Rishi and Aushinara (King Ushinara’s daughter) had three daughters. As mentioned in the Vamana Purana, they were Jayanti, Jaya, and Aparajita.

Godavari River
The river Godavari, or the southern Ganga, is one of the most sacred rivers in India. The river has equal religious status as the Ganges. On the banks of the Godavari river, several great sages meditate, create hymns, and perform rituals. Sage Gautama lived in the village of Govuru, Brahmagiri hills, Triambakeshwar, with his wife, Ahalya.

In Satya Yuga, there was a drought in Maharishi village. So, he did harsh penance. As a result, the god of water, Varuna, blessed him with rainfall in his ashram. That’s why, at the ashram, he used to conduct food donations to starving people. For that purpose, he cultivated varieties of crops.

Once, the malicious sages sent a deceptive cow to destroy the field. The cow died soon after Maharishi touched it. Everyone in the village blamed him for committing such an unforgivable sin. Regretting his sin, the sage did austerity for a thousand years to please Lord Shiva so that Goddess Ganga could come to Earth to flow over the dead cow. Pleased with Maharishi’s penance, Lord Shiva unlocked Ganga from one of his Jata (locked hairs). Finally, the cow got revived with the touch of the holy Ganga River.

In Ramayana
In Valmiki’s Ramayana first book Bala Kanda, Lord Rama and his brother Lakshamana once traveled to Mithila with their guru sage Vishwamitra. When they arrived near the sage Gautama’s ashram, Sage Vishwamitra remembered Ahalya’s curse. So, he said the entire incident to Rama and his brother.

He said Devi Ahalya was so beautiful that the lord of gods, Indra, lusted over her. So, Indra impersonates Rishi’s appearance and enters the hermitage when her husband goes to the river for a bath. When the sage returned to the ashram, he saw Indra coming out, resembling his appearance.

The Rishi, in a rage, cursed Indra to lose his testicles and would have thousands of female genitalia (sahasrayoni). As for his wife Ahalya, he cursed her to become a rock. After that, he said only the touch of Lord Rama’s feet would liberate her from the curse. In doing so, Maharishi lost all the spiritual powers and knowledge he gained from a thousand years of penance. Therefore, he went to the mountains to perform austerity to regain his lost powers.

In Mahabharata
After Bhishma Pitamah left his body in the battleground of Kurukshetra, Guru Dronacharya became chief commander of Kauravas. With his vast warfare knowledge and powerful celestial weapons, he killed millions of Pandavas’ army. The battlefield was filled with blood, dead bodies, and the sound of crying.

At that time, Maharishi Gautama, who was exploring the world to spread the Dharma, noticed these terrifying views. He then went to Dronacharya and said he went against his Dharma by killing innocent lives. Therefore, he must put down his weapon and embrace his death. After realizing his sins, Dronacharya accepted his death and went to heaven through Yog-Vidya.

Throughout Gautama Maharishi’s lifetime, he had written several texts. Among them, Dharmasutra is his most remarkable work. It is one of the oldest Dharmasutra in Sanskrit, dating around 600-400 BCE.

The text follows the concise style, with 28 chapters with about 973 verses. The subject of the Dharmasutra includes;

Gautama Maharishi (Hindi: गौतम महर्षि) is one of the Saptarishis (Seven Great Sages Rishi of the current Manvantara (seventh) [1]. He was one of the Maharishis of Vedic times, known to have been the discoverer of Mantras — ‘Mantra-drashtaa’, in Sanskrit. The Rig Veda has several suktas (Sanskrit: ‘hymns’) that go with his name. He was the son of Rahugana, belonging to the line of Angiras. The Devi Bhagavatam says that the river Godavari is so named because of its association with Gautama. He had two sons by name Vamadeva and Nodhas, both themselves discoverers of Mantras. There is a hymn called Bhadra in the Sama Veda which again is ascribed to Gautama Maharishi.

Personal life
His wife is Ahalya, herself the ‘mind born daughter’ (Sanskrit: manasa putri) of Creator Brahma. The Puranas speak of the story wherein it is described how Gautama won the hand of Ahalya by circumambulating the divine cow in order to fulfill the stipulation of Brahma that whoever first goes round the whole Earth will win the hand of Ahalya. The ‘chief priest’ (Sanskrit: Purohita) of King Janaka of Mithila, by name Shatananda, was the son of Gautama and Ahalya. Gautama’s sixty-year long penance is mentioned in the Shanti parva of the Mahabharata. The Narada purana describes the story of the 12-year famine during which Gautama fed all the Rishis and saved them.

Gautama was one of the famous seven rishis termed Saptarshi. He was the progenitor of the Gautama gotra. He was the son of Rahugana.

With Bharadvaja, Gautama shares a common ancestry as they are both descended from Angirasa, and sometimes they are both bracketed together under the name Angirasa.

The sons of Gautama are Vamadeva and Nodha. The 4th book of the Rigveda is that of the Vamadeva Gautama family.

The descent of Lord Shiva as Tryambakeshvar, that constitutes the source of the Jyotirlinga nearby, happened for the sake of Gautama. The Brahmaanda-purana mentions that one of the sub-branches of the Raanaayani branch of Sama Veda was initiated by this Gautama. Some famous disciples of Gautama were Praachina-yogya, Shaandilya, Gaargya, and Bharadwaja.

According to the Ramayana, Rishi Gautama once went to take bath in the river Ganges early morning. The king of the devas, Indra, was fascinated with Gautam’s wife, Ahalya. Indra came in the form of Gautam and made love to Ahalya. As he was escaping, he was caught by Rishi Gautama who was returning to the Ashrama from his bath. Gautam cursed Ahalya and Indra both for this act. Ahalya was converted to stone, while Indra was cursed with one thousand female genitals (Sahasrayoni). Later, taking pity on both, Gautama converted both these curses to boons. Indra’s female genitals (yonis) became eyes, and he came to be known as Sahasraaksha. As for Ahalya, Gautama granted her the boon that she would be brought back to human form by the touch of the feet of Lord Rama and would reunite with him.

Author of the earliest Dharma-sutra
Gauatama was also the author of Dharma-sutra known as Gautama Dharma sutra [2] [3] It is in fact the earliest Dharma Sutra. It contains 28 chapters with 1000 aphorisms. Almost every aspect of the observances of Hindu dharma – including the rules for the four Ashramas, the forty sanskāras, the four varnas, kingly duties, the punishments for various offences, the obsequies for the dead, do’s and don’ts of food consumption, the dharmas of women, the rules for Praayaschitta (atonement for sins), and the rules of succession of property. In this sense Gautama’s Dharma Shastra may perhaps be considered the oldest law book of the world.

Akṣapāda Gotama, the 2nd century founder of the school of philosophy that goes by the name of ‘Nyaya’ (Logic), is not to be confused with Gautama Maharishi.


Gautama Maharishi – The Creator Of Godavari River
Creator of the river Godavari, Gautama Maharishi is one of the most revered rishis and in fact one of the Saptarishi as well in the Indian culture. He is also known as Vamadeva Gautama in Rigveda. He has been prominently mentioned in Jainism and Buddhism as well. His father is Rahugana/Gotama and his wife is Ahalya. He is the founder of the Vamadeva family. Mandala 4 of Rig Veda describes him as Maharishi Vamadeva Gautama.

He is very famous for various stories. Two of them are prominently known to the world – the creation of the Godavari river and the curse of Ahalya. Let us first understand the story of the Godavari river’s creation.

Kotirudra Samhita in the Shiva Purana describes the story of the Godavari river’s creation. On the Brahmagiri mountain, the mind-son of Brahma, Gautama Maharishi was engrossed in penance and meditation. There was a drought in that area for a hundred whole years and hence crops could not grow there. For the goodness and wellness of the residents of that area, Gautama Maharishi started meditating in a direction to impress the god of the ocean, Varuna.

Varuna appears to Gautama after six months of his penance. Varuna denies the request of Maharishi Gautama as it would be against the wishes of the other gods who have made this happen in the area. Gautama wisely asked for a permanent result for water in this area to which Varuna asked him to dig a ditch. Varuna filled the ditch with water. Residents in the area were very happy with this. They started planting crops and enjoying the source of water.

One fine day Gautama sends his disciples to get water. The wives of other rishis demand to get the water first. The disciples come back and complain to Ahalya, wife of Gautama. Ahalya then goes to the water body and collects water before anyone else can. Rishis and their wives get angry at this incident and decide to take revenge. They pray to Lord Ganesha to appear in front of them and demand him to make Gautama leave the hermitage. Ganesha explains to them that Gautama Maharishi has done good to all of you and everyone must think calmly and not intend to hurt or harm anyone for a petty incident. Rishis insisted that Ganesha take action.

Lord Ganesha took the form of a cow and started eating the crops from Gautama’s field. To avoid the cow from destroying all his crops, Gautama throws grass at it. As soon as the grass touches the cow, he falls dead. Gautama is petrified that he has performed Gohatya. Gohatya according to Hindu traditions is the most punishable sin which knows no mercy since a cow is considered equivalent to a mother. He leaves his hermitage along with his wife and gets involved in circumambulating the mountains of Brahmagiri. He had to confess his sin to everyone he met and make lingams to worship Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva finally appears around him and tells him that he did not commit any sin. Gautama Maharishi is a great sage and he would continue to be that. Gautama requests Lord Shiva to bring Ganga here and purify him and other people of their sins.

Ganga agrees to stay only if Shiva manifests himself in that area which gave rise to Trymbakeshwara and twelve jyotirlingas. She was known as Gautami, a name arising from Gautama and later came to be known as the Godavari.

Ramayana tells the story of Ahalya’s curse. Lord Brahma created a beautiful girl and gifted it to Gautama as his bride. Indra was fascinated by Gautama’s wife Ahalya and appeared to her in the form of Gautama. He made love to her but while escaping was caught by Gautama. Maharishi Gautama cursed both of them for this act. Ahalya was turned into a stone and Indra was cursed with 1000 female genitals. Taking pity on them, he turned these curses into boons. Indra was given 1000 eyes while Ahalya was said to be brought back to human form on the touch of Lord Rama’s feet. She would then reunite with the Maharishi.



About Gautam Rishi:

Gautam Rishi is among of the Saptarhṣi or Seven great sages. He was one of the Maharishis of Vedic times who discovered Mantras in Sanskrit. The Rig Veda has several ‘hymns’ that go with his name. Sage Gautam is one of the greatest amongst all Saptarshis (seven sages). He was the son of Rahugana. He married to Ahalya and had two sons Vamadeva and Nodhas both themselves discoverers of Mantras. Ramayan (Treta Yuga) and Mahabharatha (Dwapara Yuga) have references to Sage Gautam as he lived during these two Yugas.

Sage Gautam’s sixty-year-long penance is mentioned in the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata. He is the progenitor of the Gautama gotra.


As per Brahmanda Purana, one of the sub-branches of the Raanaayani branch of Sama Veda was initiated by Gautam. Some famous disciples of Gautam were Shaandilya, Gārgya, and Bharadvaja. According to the Ramayana, sage Gautam once went to take a bath in the river Ganges early morning. Lord Indra, was fascinated with Gautam’s wife, Ahalya. Indra went to Ahalya in the disguise of As he was escaping, sage Gautam caught him who had just returned to his Ashrama. Gautam cursed Ahalya and Indra for their act. Ahalya was converted to stone, while Indra was cursed with one thousand of female genitalia (Sahasrayoni). Later, Gautam annulled both the curse. Gautam granted Ahalya a boon that she would be liberated from the curse by the touch of the Lotus feet of Lord Ram. As a result of uttering terrible curses, Sage Gautam lost the extraordinary power he had acquired from long years of penance. To win back his power, he left his ashram and went to the Himalayas.

Sage Gautam in Kurukshetra:

When the battle of Kurukshetra was going on, Dronacharya took over the commandership of the Kaurava army and got ready to destroy the entire Pandava army. At that point, Gautama entered the battle field, addressed the Drona, “stop the killings and give up arms. You are fighting a battle against your Varn-ashram dharma. Embrace death and go to heaven”. Drona, giving respect to the words of these sages, gave up his arms and left the battle field. As advised by sage Gautama, he went to heaven by the Yogadharana way.

Sage Gautam used to travel all over the world with the intention of helping people. Sage Gautam had mastered the great Savitri Mantra. Sage Gautama was the one to whom the great Vyahrthimanthra ‘Janah’ was revealed. He was a great Tapasvi. He was devoted to God and a generous host. The Narada Purana describes the story of the 12-year famine during which sage Gautam fed other sages and saved them. Once the country was reeling under a great famine, but owing to the virtue of Sage Gautam, his ashram dwellers had not experienced the calamity. Thousands of sages took refuge in his ashram. Sage Gautam welcomed everyone with open arms and played host to them. The famine continued for years, but Gautam offered them great hospitality.


The Story Of Gautam Rishi And Ahliya
Since the ancient times in India, there have been many ways to worship God. The devotees of God would carry out different practices based on how their teachers taught them. Though there were different practices, the intention was always to sing the praises of God. Amongst the devotees, there was one named Gautam Rishi. He is mentioned in Gurbani (Guru’s Words),

ਸੁਖਦੇਉ ਪਰੀਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਤੁ ਗੁਣ ਰਵੈ ਗੋਤਮ ਰਿਖਿ ਜਸੁ ਗਾਇਓ ॥

Sukh Dayv and Preekhyat sing His Praises, and Gautam the rishi sings His Praise.

This means, in whichever way, Gautam Rishi sang the praises of Vaheguru, became a beloved devotee of God. In the Puranas (Hindu Scriptures), one of his stories is mentioned, and this is how the saints tell the story.

Gautam used to worship Shivling-Shaligram. For many years he did aggressive meditation, upon which King Shiva (Deity of Destruction) was very impressed with him and gave him a boon. He said, “Oh Gautam, whatever you ask, you shall receive. I shall fulfill your wishes.”

Gautam accepted this offer and was delighted. He started spending his days in meditation. One day, through his intuitions, he found out that the daughter of Mudgal, whose name was Ahliya, was going to get married. She was gorgeous, and every man wanted to marry her. Many deities like King Indra (King of Demigods) were also ready to marry her. Many of these deities started fighting over her, and Ahliya’s father didn’t like this, as they had lustful thoughts about her. He pleaded to King Brahama to advise the deities and think of a solution. Brahama listened to his prayers and summoned all the gods to a meeting.

The Competition for Ahliya Begins

Brahama said, “Look everyone, Ahliya is indeed very beautiful, but she needs a husband now and all of you are more than ready to make her your wife. If this is so, you will have to follow the code of conduct of a Suambar (an ancient Indian custom of a girl choosing her spouse in an open assembly or through competition). The one who can go around the whole earth in 24 minutes, and returns first, shall be the one to marry Ahliya.”

Everyone was shocked to hear this, but eventually they accepted the challenge. Brahama’s and Indra’s sons were also very confident that they could win this challenge. This challenge, they thought, was quite an easy one. On the other hand, Gautam, who had heard about the beauty and grace of Ahliya, also created the desire to marry Ahliya. He said a prayer to Saligram Shivling. In no time, Saligram appeared in front of Gautam and said, “Oh Gautam, if this is your wish, then it shall be fulfilled. Just circumambulate me. It is equal to circling the whole Earth in 24 minutes. Everyone, including Brahama, will be a witness to this.”

The race began. Gautam circled the Saligram stone. Deities like Indra were rotating at a higher speed than the wind itself, but every time they looked, Gautam was at the same pace as them. Everyone was shocked. Some even tried to kill him, but it was to no avail. With the help of Saligram, Gautam was the first to reach Brahama. Brahama was pleased and decided to wed him to Ahliya. Upon hearing this, the deities were upset and jealous of Gautam. Some even wished to steal Ahliya away with their magical powers and strength, but no one could do anything in front of Brahama. They left in dismay. Gautam brought Ahliya to his Ashram (home/place of meditation), which was situated at the banks of the Ganges River. He continued his meditation. The story of winning the race spread fast, and many people praised Gautam.

Gautam is Forced to Commit a Sin

Suddenly, a disaster struck the town. King Indra was furious, and so it didn’t rain for many days. The Earth beneath dried up. The saints, scholars, and the villages were all in distress due to a lack of food. Gautam, upon witnessing this, felt sad, and compassion filled his heart. He prayed to Saligram and pleaded for strength to start a free kitchen to serve these people. Saligram fulfilled his wish, and soon enough, Gautam served food to everyone. There were so many blessings that they never ran out of food. Everyone ate as much as they wanted. Everyone was singing the praises of Gautam.

Indra’s rage grew such that he used his power to create a cow that was supposed to die when Gautam touched it. That cow reached Gautam’s ashram. Gautam saw the cow and signalled for the cow to return, but the cow died when he touched it. The Brahamins saw this and started shouting, “Gautam has killed a cow! He must repent!” Killing a cow is considered one of the greatest sins for a Hindu, as cows are sacred in the religion. Gautam found out that this was all done by King Indra. Gautam cursed the Brahamin, “Go now! Your hunger will never be quenched. You shall remain hungry for many ages!” The Brahamins went home in dismay, and Gautam stopped serving food to them.

After this incident, Gautam continued living his life with Ahliya. Ahliya gave birth to a baby girl who was not only beautiful but strong as well. She grew up in the ashram. King Indra still didn’t give up on Ahliya. He was determined to obtain her, and all kinds of lustful thoughts were running in his mind. Bhai Gurdas Ji mentioned this state of Indra in their Vaaran (Ballads written by Bhai Gurdas Ji, known to be the key to unlocking the wisdom of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji),

Ahalya and Gautam

ਗੋਤਮ ਨਾਰਿ ਅਹਿਲਿਆ ਤਿਸਨੋ ਦੇਖਿ ਇੰਦ੍ਰ੍ਰ ਲੋਭਾਣਾ।

Ahalya was wife of Gautam. But when she set eyes Indhar, the king of gods, lust overpowered her.

ਪਰ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਇ ਸਰਾਪੁ ਲੈ ਹੋਇ ਸਹਸ ਭਗ ਪਛੋਤਾਣਾ।

He entered their house, got curse of being with thousands of pudendums and repented.

ਸੁੰਞਾ ਹੋਆ ਇੰਦ੍ਰ੍ਰ ਲੋਕੁ ਲੁਕਿਆ ਸਰਵਰ ਮਨਿ ਸਰਮਾਣਾ।

The Indralok (abode of Indr) became desolate and getting ashamed of himself he hid in a pond.

ਸਹਸ ਭਗਹੁ ਲੋਇਣ ਸਹਸ ਲੈਂਦੋਈ ਇੰਦ ਪੁਰੀ ਸਿਧਾਣਾ।

On revocation of the curse when all those holes became eyes, only then he returned to his habitat.

ਸਤੀ ਸਤਹੁ ਟਲਿ ਸਿਲਾ ਹੋਇ ਨਦੀ ਕਿਨਾਰੈ ਬਾਝੁ ਪਰਾਣਾ।

Ahalya who could not remain steadfast in her chastity became stone and remained lying on the river bank

ਰਘੁਪਤਿ ਚਰਣ ਛੁਹੰਦਿਆਂ ਚਲੀ ਸੁਰਗ ਪੁਰਿ ਬਣੇ ਬਿਬਾਣਾ।

Touching the (holy) feet of Ram she was lifted to the heavens.

ਭਗਤ ਵਛਲ ਭਲਿਆਈਅਹੁੰ ਪਤਿਤ ਉਧਾਰਣੁ ਪਾਪ ਕਮਾਣਾ।

Because of His benevolence He is mother-like to the devotees and being forgiver of the sinners He is called redeemer of the fallen ones.

ਗੁਣ ਨੋ ਗੁਣ ਸਭ ਕੋ ਕਰੈ ਅਉਗੁਣ ਕੀਤੇ ਗੁਣ ਤਿਸੁ ਜਾਣਾ।

Doing good is returned by good gestures always, but he who does good to the evil is known as virtuous.

ਅਬਿਗਤਿ ਗਤਿ ਕਿਆ ਆਖਿ ਵਖਾਣਾ ॥੧੮॥

How can I explain the greatness of that unmanifest (Lord).


Indra is Taken Over By Lust

Indra was engrossed in the lustful thoughts of Ahliya. Many wise people advised him, “It is sinful to have a physical relationship with a wife of another. One suffers the worst of hell for this. One should not even imagine being with another’s wife. You have many wives of your own. Do not deceive them.” On the other hand, one of the cunning ministers advised Indra, “Gautam goes to the river during morning prayers. During this time, one should not indulge in sexual behavior. One sings the praises of God during this time. It will be good to ask help from the rooster and the moon.” “What kind of help?” Indra asked hastily. “From the call of the rooster, Gautam wakes up, and when the moon comes out, he goes to the Ganges river to take a bath. If the rooster call and the moon rising happen simultaneously, Gautam would wake up and go to the river. This will be a good time for you,” the minister said. “This is a great idea! I will seek help from the rooster and the moon now. I shall speak to them. They will surely help me,” Indra said.

Indra told everything to them, and they agreed to help him. In the middle of the night, the rooster began to call, and the moon came out. Gautam got up and went towards the river. It was not the time to take a bath in the river, but he still went. While bathing, the river spoke to him, “Hey Gautam, you have come so early to take a bath while there is a thief in your house. You have been cheated. Go home and check if everything is alright. This doesn’t seem right.” While Gautam was gone, King Indra took the form of a cat and went to Gautam’s house. He took the form of a cat because Gautam had little trust in Ahliya. Many deities were after her, so whenever he used to go to the river he would ask his daughter, Anjani, to sit in front of the house door.

When King Indra came, he saw Anjani at the front door. He turned into a cat and went inside the house. Anjani didn’t pay any heed to the cat. Upon entering, Indra transformed himself into Gautam. Ahliya did not know that it was actually Indra, and he started making love to her. When Gautam came home, he asked Anjani, “Who is inside?” Gautam was angry, and he was feeling uneasy. “Majaar!” Anjani said. Majaar has two meanings; one means mother’s lover, and the other a cat. Gautam went inside and saw Indra, looking like Gautam, lying down naked next to Ahliya.

Gautam was enraged, he remembered Saligram and cursed Indra, “Indra, you have sinned for momentary pleasure. Your body shall be covered with thousands of vulvae! You shall suffer and pay for your sins!” Indra became afraid, his body started changing and vulvae started to appear. With shame, he began to hide his body. Gautam then cursed the moon, “You were religious. You gave light to the world. You helped this sinner; therefore, you shall not be a full moon all the time. You shall go through waning and waxing, and you shall be a full moon only once a month!’” Gautam looked at the rooster and cursed it, “In Kaljug (the dark age), you shall make your call late in the morning, and no one will trust you!”


Once he had cursed everyone, now he looked at Ahliya. He cursed her, “Ahliya, you were a faithful wife. But now, you have lost your intellect. You couldn’t differentiate between your husband and another man. You just lied there like a stone. Go, you shall take the form of a stone and shall never be liberated. In Kaljug, womanhood will be weak.” When Ahliya heard this, she pleaded with folded hands, “Oh husband, this is not my fault. He took your form, and I only saw you. I was cheated. I am faithful to you.” Gautam then said, “You will be a stone only until Sri Ram Chandar (Incarnation of Treta Jug) takes birth in this world. When his feet touch you, you will transform back into a woman and will be liberated.

Ahliya left the ashram and went to the river bank. She transformed into a stone. For many ages she was a stone, until one day, Raam Chandar Ji came to the river bank and stepped on her. She was liberated.

King Indra came back to Gautam to seek forgiveness and pleaded that he take the curse away from him. He promised never to look at another woman. Gautam then forgave him.

Anjani was cursed to be a mother while being a virgin. She gave birth to Hanuman.

This was the story of Gautam Rishi and Ahliya.



Ahalya and Gautama maharshi
Gautama Maharishi, a prolific sage from the Vedic era, was a Brahma Manasa Putra (mind-born son) of Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma, when he realized that there were flaws in his creations, curated Ahalya Devi.

Ahalya means ‘a person devoid of Halya’, where Halya means flaws in Sanskrit. A Brahma Manasa Putri, as her name suggested, her beauty was unparalleled according to Lord Brahma. There wasn’t anyone who couldn’t fall for her. Lord Brahma wanted Ahalya Rushika to marry a person who wouldn’t lay his eyes on her. It was Gautama Maharshi who could pass the test of Lord Brahma and marry her.

The Brahmanas reflect the greatness of this pious couple. Brahmanas are a more foolproof context than the Puranas. Among the Brahmanas, Shathapada Brahmana gives more information about the lives of the divine couple.


Shathapada Brahmana proclaims ‘AHALYAYE JAARETHI’. According to Sanskrit, the word Jaarethi has 17 meanings, one of them, which means a prostitute. Many scholars misinterpret Ahalya Devi as a prostitute. But in reality, the actual context signifies the peaceful state of Ahalya Devi, drawing a comparison with the peaceful ambiance of the sunrise.

Gautama Maharishi’s connection with Lord Shiva:

The origin of the river Godavari or Gowthami was the result of his penance. He had performed rigorous penance in Trayambakeshwar and Tiruvannamalai, both being the centers of important Lord Shiva shrines. This stands as a witness for his ardent devotion to Lord Shiva.

Misleading facts and Logical Evidence:

Padma Purana and Ananda Ramayana show Gautama Maharishi had cursed Ahalya Devi as a punishment for her sinful acts. He had cursed her to be a statue or river and wait till Lord Rama would come to relieve her from the curse. The incident as written was to happen in Treta Yuga when Lord Rama would free her from the spell. Since Ahalya and Gautama Maharishi being Brahma Manasa Putras belonged to the Krita Yuga, 30 lakh years away from Treta Yuga. It is illogical for a stone to stay for 30 lakh years, which claims that the accusations as per the context were completely false.

Ahalya Rushika and Gautama Maharishi are an exemplary couple after Lord Shiva and Parvati. They as a divine couple, have performed rigorous penance and contributed for the welfare of their future generations. They have contributed to Vedas by penning down the hymns visualizing them in their meditation. Despite their great contribution to the mankind, Ahalya Devi was misinterpreted to be a woman of no character though there are no situations which acquire relevance to this claim. People till this date have kept writing books, poems and songs criticizing her for the sinful deeds that she never had committed. These people and the audience which encourage this kind of content will surely face the wrath of Siddhaguru and will have to endear the sins for shamelessly mocking a revered figure down the history.


The Curse of Rishi Gautama From Varaha Purana
Gautama’s curse on the brahmanas who wished to leave, creating a deception as an excuse to do so. From Varaha Purana.
In ancient times, the sage Gautama performed austerities in Dandakaranya forest. Lord Brahma became pleased and gave him some divine seeds capable of producing eternal crops. Gautama then went to Saptasring mountain and made his hermitage there. He sowed the seeds and was very pleased to see rice grains sprouting up within moments. Gautama lived there happily with his disciples. In due course of time, the whole country was plagued by a great famine — everywhere except at the hermitage of Gautama.

One day, a few sages arrived at Gautama’s hermitage, and he treated them with all respect. These sages enjoyed the hospitality of Gautama, staying at his hermitage and engaging in long discussions with him, until eventually the famine was over. Then they decided to go back to their respective native places. When they sought Gautama’s permission, he requested them to stay for a few more days.

The sages then decided to use deceitful means for taking their leave of Gautama’s association. They created a superficial cow with the help of their illusionary powers and left it near the hermitage of Gautama.

Gautama was very pleased to see that cow. He eulogised it by sprinkling water on it. Hardly had he finished his act than the cow died. All the deceitful sages then returned to the scene, and cursed Gautama for killing an innocent cow. They told him that they could never live along with a person who had killed a cow, and on this excuse, they took their leave, just as they had meant to do all along.

Gautama then strictly observed the prescribed atonement for such an inauspicious act as killing a cow. Afterwards he discovered that the cow had simply been an illusion created by the brahmanas as part of their deception. He angrily cursed them to lose their Vedic knowledge. In this way, knowledge turned to ignorance.


Family Tree of Gautama Maharishi
Here is Gautama Maharishi’s family tree in a list view:

Father: Brahma (one of the three primary deities in Hinduism and the creator of the universe)
Mother: Saraswati (the goddess of knowledge, music, and the arts)
Grandfather: Marichi (one of the seven sages or Sapta Rishis)
Wife: Ahalya (daughter of Brahma’s foster son, Rishi Gautam)
Son: Shatananda (a renowned sage and teacher)
Dharmapala (a sage known for his wisdom and knowledge)
Jyotirindra (a sage considered to be one of the most learned sages of his time)
Satyakama (a prince who later became a great sage and a teacher of the Vedas)
Kshemaka (a king who ruled over a kingdom in ancient India)
This family tree shows the lineage of Gautama Maharishi and his descendants who played important roles in the development of Hinduism and its traditions.


Rishi Gautam is the son of Rahoogan and one of the Saptarshi of the present Manvantar. Each Kalp has 14 Manvantar and each Manvantar has its own Saptarshi. The present Manvantar is the 7th one and its Saptarshi are Atri, Vashishth,, Kashyap, Gautam, Bharadwaaj, Vishwaamitra and Jamadagni.

Rishi Gautam was married to Ahalyaa, the daughter of Mudgal, a Paanchaal King. Mudgal was in the lineage of Raajaa Bharat >> Rantidev. Gautam and Ahalyaa had three sons named Vaam Dev, Nodhaa and Shataanand. Among them Vaam Dev was one of the Rishi with Soorya Vansh – Raajaa Dasharath, Shataanand was the Purohit of Raajaa Janak in Janak Puree, in Mithilaa. Shataanand had the son named Satyadhriti and his son was Maharshi Sharadwaan. One day Maharshi Sharadwaan saw Urvashee Apsaraa and his semen fell on a bush of Moonj. It caused to born a boy and a girl. Mahaaraaj Shaantanu saw them and brought them home and brought them up. He named them Kripaa and Kripee. Kripaa became the Kul Guru of Kaurav and Paandav and Kripee was married to Aachaarya Drone who taught weapons knowledge to Kaurav and Paandav.

All his three sons were the seers of Mantra. There is a hymn called Bhadraa in Saam Ved which is attributed to Rishi Gautam.

Gautam’s 60-year old penance is described in Mahabharata, Shaanti Parv.

Naarad Puraan also describes a 12-year long famine in which Gautam fed the Rishi and saved them.

Devee Bhaagvat relates Godaavaree River with Gautam Rishi.

The Tryambakeshwar Jyotirling is there because of Rishi Gautam.

Some famous disciples of Maharshi Gautam were Praacheen-yogya, Shaandilya, Gaargya and Bharadwaaj.
Gautam has written Dharm Sootra also, containing 28 chapters with 1,000 aphorisms – the oldest book on Dharm.

Gautam shares the Angiraa ancestry with Bharadwaaj

Who was Ahalyaa? – Another Version
Once it happened so that Brahmaa Jee took the best of every creature and created a woman and named her Ahalyaa. Brahmaa was very happy to see her. He was so much happy that he himself started staring at her. She was going around the Dev Sabhaa. In whichever direction she went Brahmaa started looking at her in the same direction. Since she went in all the directions, Brahmaa Jee had to have four faces to look at her in all the directions. All Devtaa were also noticing this. Seeing this Brahmaa Jee came to himself and to save himself from her temptation he gave her to Maharshi Gautam to serve him. Ahalyaa stayed with him for a long time and served him well for many years. After that Brahmaa finally gave her to Rishi Gautam and Rishi Gautam Jee married her. Indra was also attracted to her since she was created and he had her in his mind since then but as Brahmaa Jee gave her to Rishi Gautam, he was not happy. He was always thinking about Ahalyaa.

Ahalyaa-Indra Incident – One Version
Well, Ahalyaa was very beautiful. Since Indra saw her he wanted to have her. According to this version, Ahalyaa had also seen Indra in the Dev Sabhaa and she was also attracted to Indra, but she could not disobey Brahmaa Jee so she went with Rishi Gautam. Thus Ahalyaa was also attracted to him. So one day Indra asked Chandramaa to help him. CHandramaa agreed. The plan was that Gautam Rishi used to go for his morning ablutions at about 4 am. On that fateful day Chandramaa and Indra would go there together. Chandramaa would take a form of a cock and crow at 2 am, and when Muni would go for his daily chores early in the morning, Indra would come in the form of Gautam and had her. So on that day Chandramaa assuming the form of a cock crowed before the usual time of cock’s crow. Muni did not know it so he rose and went out early, but as he was on his way he felt something fishy. He was suspicious that how come that the crow crowed today so early, but he didn’t pay much attention to it.

But when he returned home, he saw Indra coming out of his hut. He understood everything. He gave Shaap to Ahalyaa that she should become a stone. On asking forgiveness of Ahalyaa he reduced the Shaap to “that when Raam will incarnate in Tretaa Yug, and He will touch you with His foot, you will regain your beauty and life and will come to me.” And he gave Shaap to Indra that “he should lose his manhood”. Ahalyaa became the stone and waited till Raam incarnated on Prithvi and touched her with His foot; but Devtaa became very worried with Muni’s Shaap to Indra. So they went to Brahmaa Jee and prayed him to help Indra.

Ahalyaa-Indra Incident – Another Version
According to the other version Ahalyaa was sinless. She did not know that the coming person was Indra. Since he was in the form of Muni Gautam, she thought that Muni had come back early. She was in fact highly surprised to see him come back from his chores so soon, and asked him the reason also. Muni told her that he wanted to make love with her that is why he had come back. Although Ahalyaa could not digest this reason, because that was not the time for it, and since she was a Pativrataa woman, she could not say no to him. They had a good time and when the impersonated Gautam Rishi got ready to go again for his daily chores, he showed her his real form – of Indra. Seeing this Ahalyaa got frightened and asked him to get out of the hut immediately, but unfortunately Gautam Rishi was coming back at the same time as he was going out of the hut, so both got trapped.

With this version Gautam Rishi gave Shaap to Indra that since he came there with the desire of the lust, he should have thousand marks of the woman’s vagina all over his body. Indra got very ashamed of this Shaap. He then did severe Tap for Shiv Jee and Shiv Jee gave him Var that those marks would change into thousand eyes. Since then Indra has been called thousand-eyed Indra.

It is said that after this incident with his wife, Gangaa told Rishi Gautam that he should not need to go anywhere for his daily chores and she came very near to his Aashram.

Gautam Brings Gangaa
Once a natural drought occurred and the rain did not fall for 100 years. All vegetation became dry, earth’s surface became too dry to produce anything, so Gautam did penance to bring water on Earth to comfort Earth’s creatures. He pleased Varun Dev, because he was the Devtaa of water, and when he appeared before him he asked him to rain for the benefit of the world. But Varun said – That it all was in the hands of Shiv, and he should ask him only that thing which he can give to him. At this Gautam asked him an Akshaya Kund of water. Varun asked him to dig a pond and put an everlasting lotus flower in it, so that the pond is always filled with water. Rishi Gautam dug a pond, Varun filled it with water and blessed that pond – “This pond will always have water up to the area of one arm’s length and whoever will serve this pond will get his wishes fulfilled.”

Rishi Gautam started farming with that water. The news spread and people started living near that pond. Because of Varun’s blessings the pond never dried. Once Gautam Rishi drew water from that pond urgently, so his students came to fetch water from that pond. Some Rishi’s wives also came to take water at the same time. Rishi’s wives requested the disciples to take water after they had taken water from the pond. The disciples felt insulted and they told Ahalyaa that Rishi’s wives did not let them fetch water from the pond. Hearing this Ahalyaa herself came with them and let them take water and went away. Seeing this Rishi’s wives also got angry and told some false things to their husbands.

In turn Rishi wanted to teach Gautam a lesson. They could not teach him the lesson on his own so they started worshipping Ganesh Jee. Ganesh Jee got pleased, appeared before them and said – “O Rishi, Your intention is not good, you should not bring destruction at your hands.” Rishi said – “We are insulted without any reason, that is why our wish should be fulfilled.” Ganesh Jee again said – “Since Gautam Rishi is blessed by Shiv, so he will remain unharmed but since your intention is bad, you will be in great difficulty.” After saying this Ganesh Jee disappeared.

Then one day Ganesh Jee appeared as a sick cow and started grazing on Gautam’s field. Coincidentally Gautam was near his field, so he saw a cow spoiling his crop. He tried to make her go but when she did not go just like that, he took a straw a grass and touched her body with it to make her go. Unfortunately the as the straw touched to cow’s body, she died. All this was planned so as soon as the cow died, the other Rishi soon gathered there and blamed Gautam and their wives blamed Ahalyaa for the death of that cow. They all decided that nobody should even see the face of Gautam like Rishi; and they made Gautam Rishi, his wife and disciples move from that place. Rishi Gautam went one Kos away from that spot. Gautam was also very sad after the death of the cow, so he decided that until he will clear of this sin, he will not touch anybody and will not do any religious ceremony. This period was very painful for him.

After 15 days Gautam Rishhi went to those Rishi and asked them to clear the cow killing sin. Seeing the condition of Rishi Gautam, the other Rishi felt pity on his, but because of their ego they said to him – “Since your disciples and wife have insulted our wives they have to bear the consequences. Only Lord Shiv will free him from this sin. For this he has to go around the earth and call loudly out about your sin; after that he should keep fast for one month and circumambulate 100 Braahman. Then only you would be free from your sin. After this he should make Gangaa appear at this place, take bath in her, make 1 Crore mud Shiv Ling (Paarthiv Poojan) and start meditate on him.” Gautam did it and pleased Shiv Jee. Shiv Jee got pleased and appeared before him with Paarvatee and his Gan and asked him to ask for a boon. Gautam said – “If you are pleased, please release me from my sins.” Shiv said – “You were cheated and were given so much stress for the sin you have not committed. Those Braahman will have to suffer for this, They will have only fake knowledge, because whoever harasses my devotee can never be happy.”

Gautam was very kind, he said – “Those Braahman are innocent, because, because of them only he could see him. But I will be very happy if you give me Gangaa from your head.” Shiv put down Gangaa from his head and giving her to Gautam he said to Gangaa – “From today Gautam will serve you and you wash away his all sins.” Gangaa said – “I will surely follow your orders, I will purify Rishi and his family and then go back to my place.” Shiv Jee said – “You stay here till the beginning of Vaivaswat Manvantar.” Gangaa said – “I will stay here till then only when I will be worshipped here and Shiv, Paarvatee and his Gan will stay on my banks.” All Devtaa got very happy to hear this, they said – “When Brihaspati will be in Sinh Raashi (Leo Sign), her importance will spread in the three Lok. After 12 years when the Time comes, and people will come there, take holy bath there, and visit Shiv temple, they will be free from their sins.”

So Gangaa flowed from Brahm Shail (Vindhya Giri) through Udumber branch and flowed in the form of River Gautamee. This source of that river is called Gangaa Dwaar. Gautam Rishi, his disciples , and Ahalyaa took bath in it, worshipped Shiv Ling and got free from their sins. but when the Rishi who blamed him came to take bath, she disappeared. At present this pace is called Panchvatee in Naasik.

During the last days of Brahm Shail, Gautam and Ahalyaa came there. When Ahalyaa was taking bath there, Rishi got attracted to her and looked at her with desire. This sight made her pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl Anajanee. When Gautam moved from Brahm Giri, Anjanee was 9 months and 27 days old.

Gautam, Ahalyaa and their daughter lived at Brahm Giri (Naasik) for some time. Those other Rishi used to come there to visit but they were jealous with him for his simplicity. When they threw stones on him, they became flowers to Gautam. After the birth of Anjanee, Gautam moved to Chandrabaanee, in Uttaraakhand region. Chandrabaanee is also considered Dronaachaarya’s in-law’s place, means Ashwatthaamaa’s mother’s place, means Kripee and Kripaachaarya’s place.

Here it is written that Ahalyaa cursed Anjanee to be a virgin mother, because she spoke to Gautam Rishi against her. In fact all the three information, that Anjanee was the daughter of Gautam and Ahalyaa, and that she was cursed by her mother, and that the curse was to become the virgin mother; are new to me.