(continuation of this story)
Thus many benifited from the Tapas-shakti of Shri Gautama maharshi. Many great munis used to live under his aashrayam. He with the help of his wife and shishyas used to grow vegetables, rice etc., then cook and serve to all the aashritas. Thus everyday Gautami maharshi, Ahalya and his shishyas used to get the entire phalam of Annadaanam. Thus they used to live happily following their nitya-naimittika-aadi Karma.
Maanava buddhi is chitraatichitram. When something is not there one feels its need and longs for it. Whereas once he gets it steadily, he completely forgets its importance and leaves Krutagnyata. Instead Krutaghnata starts. Iirsha, asuuya started in the muni-patnis first and then in munis staying with Shri Gautama maharshi. Everything which Gautama maharshi and Ahalya do, used to make the munis feel Gautama-Ahalya have ahankaaram that they got the Akshaya-jalam for them. This was because of the Asuuya they developed on Gautama-Ahalya, without having any Krutagnyata.
Once the munis and muni-patnis decided that somehow they must drive away Gautama-Ahalya from their place. They thought of doing apakaaram to the great Upakaari who saved them from Praanaapaaya-kshaamam. They used their Mantra-shakti and did puuja of Ganapati. Ganapati gave His divya-darshanam and asked the munis for a varam. They asked Ganapati to somehow make Gautama-Ahalya go away.
Devatas are aadhinas to Their Mantras. Many things which cannot be done otherwise can be done through Mantras. What the munis did was kaamyopaasana (they used their Mantras for satisfying their wants). Since Bhakti had no sthaanam in it, the munis were entirely responsible for their varam. For such upaasana their will be no Aadhyaatmika gains. The Tapas of Bhasmaasura and others were of similar nature (Svaartham is the only reason).
Vighneshvara was surprised by the Krutaghnata of the munis. He told munis “you thought of doing apakaaram to that person due to whom you are existing. Uttamas do Upakaaram to apakaaris. What should I say about you people who do apakaaram to a Upakaari? This will never cause Kshemam to you (so dont ask for it)”. Munis didnt like the hita-vaakyas of Mahaganapati. They still insisted on it. Ganapati said “ok. Praarabdham can never be changed. But you can never ever escape the phalitam of this Krutaghnata. Even though Gautama-Ahalya leave this place, because of them this Prapancham will only gain” and gave them the varam.
Ganapati did Shrushti of a maaya-dhenu. It started spoiling the crops (which Gautama-Ahalya were growing for Annadaanam). Knowing that a Gomaata must never even be driven away harshly, he took darbhas and put on the Gomaata. To his great surprise the maaya-dhenu died there only. Seeing this the muni-patnis and the munis did Haahaakaaras. They said “we thought that Gautama maharshi is an Uttama, but he did Go-hatya!”.
Gautama maharshi became a Vihvala. He called Ahalya and said “what is this Vidhi-vaipariityam? Did Paramashiva get angry on me? What must be done now? With Darbhas a Gomaata getting killed is unbelievable — and Go-hatya-mahaapaatakam!”. The munis and muni-patnis continued “we must never see your face. Devatas wont come to this aashramam to recieve Havis if such patitas stay here. You must immediately go away from here”. They started throwing stones on Gautama-Ahalya.
With Teevra-vedana, that he did Go-hatya-mahaapaatakam, Gautama-Ahlaya left the place and returned after going for some distance (1 krosha) to ask the munis for Praayashchittam.
This is Saampradaayam. One must immediately go to elders and ask for a way of Praayashchittam if one knows he committed a paapam. Munis replied “Gautama! You can either do (and try saving yourself from Go-hatya-paatakam):
1. 3 times Bhu-pradakshinam and do a maasa-vratam here.
2. Do 101 times Giri-pradakshina of this Brahma-giri. After that do 1 crore Linga-aaraadhana. Then Ganga-snaanam.”
Gautama maharshi did Brhama-giri Pradakshina and then Paarthiva-Linga-aaraadhana. Paarvatii-Parameshvara became prasanna seeing the puuja of Gautama-Ahalya and gave them Their Divya-darshanam, along with Pramadha-gana. Gautama maharshi did stotram of Shiva and then asked Him to save himself from Go-hatya-mahaapaatakam. Maheshvara said
“Gautama! My boy! You are a Krutaartha. You are a Dhanya. There is no paapam for you. You are an aajamna-shuddha. You were cheated by the kutantram of these Braahmanas who were bitten by asuuya. If anyone even does your naamasmaranam or has your Darshanam will loose all his paapams.
There is no praayashchittam for these krutaghnas (see this too). From today they will be Bhrashtas. They will be away from Me, leave Veda-Dharmas and their entire santaanam will become patitas. You please ask Me a varam”.
Gautama maharshi with great Vinayam and aanandam replied “Saamba-Mahaadeva! I think these Braahmanas did Upakaaram to me. Because of them only today I had the adrushtam of Your Darshanam”. Aadi-deva became happy seeing the Kshamaa-gunam of Gautama maharshi. Gautama maharshi continued “Parameshvara! If You are really impressed with me, please give Ganga for Loka-kalyaanam”. Ganga-devi appeared as soon as Parama Shiva did Sankalpam. Seeing Ganaga-maata Gautama maharshi said
“Ammaa! You are the one who makes the Trijagas pavitras. Once you blessed Bhagiiratha and saved the Sagara-kumaaras. Entire Uttara-Bhaaratam became sasya-shyaamalam because of You. Please bless the Dakshina-Bhaaratam too.”
Taking Shiva-aagnya Gangadevi took Jala-ruupam and said like this to Parama Shiva “I will go make Gautama and his parivaaram puniitam and return soon to Your Lotus feet”. Shankara said “Gangaa! You stay till the end of Kaliyugam in the 28th Mahaayugam (present Mahaayugam) of Vyvasvata-manvantaram (see this too). Then You return to Your nija-dhaamam”. Gangadevi agreed and requested Parama Shiva “Svaami! Please stay on My nadii-tiiram and bless Us”.
Shankara then became a Jyotirlingam at Tryambakeshvara. Ganga then became paravasha and started flowing from a tree (Medi chettu) on Brahma-giri. This pavitra sthaanam became Gangaa-dvaaram and Ganga got the name Gautamii because Gautama maharshi brought Her. It also got the name Godaavarii because it flowed on the place where a maayaa-gomaata fell. Many great rushis like Vasishtha and Bharadvaaja, with thier Tapobalam, did vistaaram of Godaavarii. There are many Shiva-Keshava kshetras on Godaavarii-nadii-tiiram.
Morals in the story:
- The importance of Krutagnyata, Kshama and Loka-shrayam are well shown by Gautama maharshi.
- Story shows what downfall can one durgunam like asuuya or Krutaghnata can bring even to great people. The muni-patnis and the munis coming under the influence of asuuya and iirsha even forgotKrutagnyata to Gautama maharshi.
- The importance of atithi-seva and anna-daanam is well shown by Gautama-Ahalya. They everyday used to grow vegetables, rice etc., cook and then serve them to the needy.
- Even though Gautama maharshi was driven away by the munis, he came back to ask them advice on what praayashchittam needs to be done. This shows how much importance one must give to aachaara-saampradaayas.
Search Terms: Gauthama, Gouthama, Goutama, Gowthama. Gowtama, Vighneshwara, Vinayaka, Ganapathi, Ganesh, Vighneshvara, Godavari, Gowtami, Goutami, Gouthami, Gowthami, Gauthami, Gautami