After Ramayana, during Satya yuga, there were seven Rishis and they were:

  1. Angirasa
  2. Atri
  3. Pulastya
  4. Pulaha
  5. Marichi
  6. Kratu
  7. Vasishta.

Later, when the manvanthara changed, some of the Saptarshis also changed. Even though they were meeting together, say as in the north sky as seven stars, there was no unity within them but there was concurrency among them. They started their lineages and later they continued with their disciples as gothras. Regarding Vishwamithra and Vasishta,the articles have been already presented and about Gauthama Rishi, would be narrated here.

Gauthama Rishi pleasing Lord Shiva
Gauthama Rishi praying to God Shiva

His father was Dirghatama and mother was Pradweshi. Gauthama Rishi had been trained under Angirasa lineage and his wife was Ahalya. His Ashrama was very wide and stretched from Rewa River up to the River Godavary which got its name after Gauthama Rishi. The father of Hanuman, Kesari had studied in this Ashram of Gauthama Rishi. The area required for the Military training of Princes of olden days were very large and safety for others would be ensured in such wider areas and then they were accustomed with forest dependent life.

Gauthama Rishi had a very long period of life but his wife got a lesser period of living life on this universe to live. Yama and Indra discussed the matter and then Vishnu was to take his incarnation as Rama and Adishesha as Lakshmana. The education of Rama and Lakshmana had to be completed under a very great sage such as Vishwamitra, for which a holiday period for Gauthama Rishi should be planned. There were some other minor reasons also.

Hence, the sufferings of Ahalya, by converting her as rock were played by Indra and Yama and then the Ashram area had been abandoned. Then all the disciples disbursed from there, making way for Rama, Lakshmana and Vishwamitra taking chance as the area marking for their education there. After the Marriage of Sita with Rama, Vishwamitra had moved towards Kosala and Janakapura and their education completed there, without returning to that old place.        

After passing of many years, when the dust had fallen from the feet of God Rama on the rock, Ahalya had been awakened and got the human form.  The period elapsed, for which she had been laid as rock, would not count in her living life span or her ‘aushya’. Then Gauthama Rishi had returned, after his penance of a long time and found that he would be completing his full life of one hundred and twenty years, the day when the life span of his wife, Ahalya would also be completed. Gauthama could command over nature also.

 Thereafter, Gauthama Rishi and his wife Ahalya started their Ashram again and students started coming there. Jabala, Uttanka and Satyakama were among them and they were his good students. Again he expanded his educational institutions along with looking after many cows. Uttanka helped them as an obedient student.

Then there was no rain and famine swiped the nearby areas. After many long years, there was no harvesting of food grains. That might be for ten long years, the rivers, making dry. People visited Gautham’s hut to drink water. Other Rishis also came to his hermit due to famine. Since Gautham and Ahalya were pious persons, people had spoken of their ability to persuade, the angel of rain and water, Varuna to cause rain, and prayed with them to do so. But he was busy in the welfare of the cows and hence God had always blessed his Ashram with green grass and sufficient water resources.

Goutham was very serious about his guests and students. Anybody who entered his Ashram was treated with due reverence and provided with food and all basic facilities. Also he had to sanction his permission to them for leaving the Ashram. One day, God Shiva came to his hermit to test him. Gautham Rishi treated him as if a God visited him. He announced with everybody regarding his habit of granting permission before leaving his hermit as mandatory.

For a long time, God Shiva waited for his permission but could not get it and he was unable to ask for it also. Without Shiva returning, Parvathi felt perplexed and sought the help of Indra. Indra, one fine morning, arranged a cow and a calf on the footpath of his way to the river. In the hurry for taking bath early in the morning, he had just pushed the calf to the side of the foot path but the mother cow being touched slipped then fell down and died. God Shiva announced the omen as a great sin and he left his Ashram.

Since God Shiva felt unhappy over his Ashram, rain also gradually reduced there. Famine erupted there and Gauthama Rishi had to sit for penance. He started penance by sitting at Nasik first, and God had appeared there as Triambaka and agreed to shower a little rain there. That water was insufficient and Gouthama Rishi could not have a dip for bath in that water.

Then he sat in another place called Ramalakshmana Thirtha and started penance there also. Then God Shiva appeared there again and showered sufficient water by rain. The River flowed with water. Thereafter the entire area flourished with food grains by cultivations and forests in plenty. Thus the river became ever filled with water and his name was assigned to it as Godavary. In Sanskrit, Gou or Go referred to cow as alternative word. When he took bath in the river water at Ramalakshmana Thirtha, all his sins had washed away.  

Later, God had blessed the couple, Gauthama Rishi and Ahalya, one daughter and he put her name as Anjana. She had studied under his Ashram and Gauthama Rishi had started to think of a suitable bride groom when she had grown up. Also then, Uttanka had completed his education and waiting to give his GuruDakshina to take leave of his Ashram.  When Uttanka enquired about the GuruDakshina, Gauthama Rishi told him to wait for some time. He helped him to look after the Ashram and started to teach his juniors. Anjana was his student. One day, Gauthama Rishi arranged their marriage and he told to Uttanka that accepting Anjana would be the GuruDakshina of his part. Both Uttanka and Anjana agreed and their marriage was over.

But Uttanka waited till the completion of the education of his wife Anjana. He wished to give some Gurudakshina to his mother in law, since she also taught his wife. Ahalya informed him, if possible, to bring some special ear rings from Patala loka and with great heroic actions, he succeeded in it and gave them to her. This part would be narrated in the next posting of article in this website.

Gauthama Rishi had authored Rigveda verses, Dharma Shastra books and Nyaya Shastra books in Sanskrit which are always available. Both Gauthama Rishi and Ahalya were expert yogis also. When Gauthama Rishi had completed one hundred and twenty years, of his life, the life span of Ahalya was also over. And on the final day morning, they called their children to offer the water of Godavary to them and sat on yoga Samadhi in their Ashram. Then Chirakari, Sharadwanta, Shatanda, Uttanka and Anjana offered Godavary water to their parents who were sitting in the posture of yoga Samadhi and their holy life souls have been elevated to Vishnu loka. The same descriptions are available in Vishnu Purana also. Then God Rama had already become Mahavishnu, and shining in Vaikunta with Mahalakshmi.

Statue of Gauthama Maharshi at Gujarat
Statue of Gauthama Maharshi at Gujarat

It is humbly prayed for the blessings of God Rama upon us.

Next post, being of Uttanka of Ramayana, may not be missed. Shabari of Ramayana would be presented separately in another article. Readers may provide feedback and share this story with friends and family.

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