Gautama Maharishi

Gautama Maharishi (Sanskrit: महर्षिः गौतम Mahariṣiḥ Gautama), was a sage in Hinduism, who is also mentioned in Jainism and Buddhism. Gautama is prominently mentioned in the Ramayana and is known for cursing his wife Ahalya, after she had relationship with Indra. Another important story related to Gautama is about the creation of river Godavari, which is also known as Gautami.


Rishi Gautam saptrishi 100.jpg
An Early 19th Century Painting Showing Maharishi Gautama
ChildrenShatananda and others
HonorsOne of the Saptarishis (Seven Great Sages Rishi)


According to Valmiki Ramayan, Gautama's eldest son with Ahalya is Satananda. But according to Adi Parva of Mahabharata, he had two sons named Saradvan and Cirakari. Saradvan was also known as Gautama, hence his children Kripa and Kripi were called Gautama and Gautami respectively. A daughter of Gautama is referred too but her name is never disclosed in the epic.[1] In Sabha Parva, he begets many children through Aushinara (daughter of Ushinara), amongst whom eldest in Kakshivat. Gautama and Aushinara's marriage takes place at Magadha, the kingdom of Jarasandha.[2] According to Vamana Purana, he had three daughters named Jaya, Jayanti and Aparajita.[3]

Ahalya's curseEdit

Gautama (left) discovers Indra disguised as Gautama fleeing, as Ahalya watches.

The Ramayana describes Ahalya as his wife. Their marriage is recorded in the Uttara Kanda, which is believed as an interpolation to the epic. As per the story Brahma, the creator god, creates a beautiful girl and gifts her as a bride to Gautama and a son named Shatananda is born. The Bala Kanda mentions that Gautama spots Indra, who is still in disguise, and curses him to lose his testicles. Gautama then returns to his ashram and accepts her.


  1. ^ "Puranic encyclopaedia: a dictionary with special reference to the epic and Puranic literature". 1975.
  2. ^ Mahabharata Sabha Parva Section XXI
  3. ^ "Puranic encyclopaedia : a dictionary with special reference to epic and Puranic literature". 1975.

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