Saturday, April 4, 2015

D for Dalliance

What leads people to a dalliance? Is it lust, is it unfulfilled desires, or a combination of both?

This is a tale of lost love, lust, and unfulfilled desires, all of which led an unsuspecting woman to dally and finally led to her destruction.


 Ahalya, the daughter of Lord Brahma, was indeed one of the Lord’s most beautiful creations. While gods, demigods, and men alike vied for her attention, Lord Indra, the king of the gods, was secretly in love with her and nurtured the dream to marry her one day. Ahalya was in love with Indra as well and hoped that he would win the challenge at her Swayamvar and take her hand in marriage. But it was Rishi Gautam, much elder to Ahalya and devoid of desires for worldly pleasures,  who fulfilled the challenge of crossing the three worlds in the shortest time, and thus was married to the beautiful Ahalya. Indra was devastated and he craved to be united with his beloved.

One early morning, Rishi Gautam had gone to the river Ganges to take his bath. Sensing an opportunity, Indra mounted his royal white elephant, Airavata, and descended down to earth. He quickly took on the guise of Rishi Gautam and knocked at Ahalya’s door.

“Swami, did you not just go to the Ganges to take your bath? Why are you back so soon? Did something happen?” asked the beautiful Ahalya.

“As I walked to the Ganges, my mind was full of your thoughts, my beloved,” said Indra disguised Rishi Gautam, “The fragrance of your hair, the fullness of your lips, and the depth of your kohl-lined eyes, have brought me back to you, my love.”

Ahalya was surprised to see her husband talking thus. The usually reticent sage was bestowing her with praise and extolling her beauty and she was overjoyed. She blushed, her cheeks flushed pink, and she lowered her eyes, lest her husband read the longing in her eyes.

“I cannot wait another moment for our bodies to join together in conjugal bliss,” he teased her, lifting her face to enjoy the coyness in her eyes.

Ahalya was taken aback. She remembered her husband refusing her the night before saying she was not in her fertile period. What could have made him change his mind? And why was he speaking to her so seductively? He had never done so before. But she had been longing for the sage’s attention and affection for so long, that she decided to put her doubts to rest and enjoy the moment instead.

As Indra embraced her, tenderly kissed her and ignited the flame of desire in her, she suddenly smelt Indra’s celestial fragrance and recognized the impersonator. But by then, she was so engulfed in the throes of passion that she chose to ignore the deception and continued to enjoy the dalliance.

A dalliance that would later leave them both cursed; she cursed into turning into a stone for many years, till Lord Rama blessed and set her free and Indra cursed with a human birth with a thousand eyes on his body, being born as Sahasraksha.

Could Ahalya be faulted for dallying? As a woman, is she not entitled to fulfill her own desires? Must she repress her feelings because she is a woman? Or did she indeed commit adultery? What do you think?

Linking back to the A to Z challenge


This day...Last year...D for Dream

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