So remember the story of Ahalya – Indra looked down from heaven and saw, Ahalya, who was the wife of Gautam Muni, who’s the most beautiful of all the women, and suddenly he desired to enjoy with her. And he watched for some time. And one morning early in the morning when the Rishi Gautam got up to take his bath in the river, Indra recognized his opportunity. He changed his appearance into the appearance of Gautam Muni. And he went into the cottage of Ahalya.
And Ahalya said, “This doesn’t seem like my husband’s behavior, but suddenly my husband desires to enjoy with me in romantic embrace, how can I deny him?” And when Indra was finished, he came outside the cottage, and Rishi Gautam was just coming back from his bath. And when he saw another man wearing his same appearance, he knew that some deceit had taken place. He took some water in his hand, and he said, “Who are you in reality?”. And Indra became in his own form. And Rishi Gautam got mad. He said, “I curse you with impotency.” And threw the water.
When Ahalya heard the commotion she came running outside and she saw the two men wearing the same form. And she said, “I knew that I was tricked.” And Gautam got mad and he said, “You knew you were tricked, then why did you allow him?” She said, “He looked exactly like you!” And Gautam said, “Well you should have looked inside. Because inside was only deceit. And I’m cursing You, that you didn’t look inside. I curse you, you become a stone.” And he threw the water. And Ahalya instantly was turned into a stone.
And when Ram was coming to Mithila, in the company of the Rishi Vishwamitra, they came to a desolate ashram, in the midst of which was a stone. And out of the stone was growing a tulsi plant. And Ram said, “Guruji, Vishwamitraji, this is amazing, how is it that everything seems desolate here, and yet there is a tulsi plant growing out of the stone.” And Vishwamitra said, “Inside this stone resides the soul of a woman. A woman who was cursed by one man, and deceived by another man. And Ram, everyone knows how to give blame and punishment to a wrongdoer, but only special individuals have the power to redeem the fallen. Patita Pavana! You, Ram, are that special person, so touch that stone with your foot and you will redeem Ahalya from the curse.”
Ram went and put his foot on the stone as directed by Vishwamitra Rishi. And the stone became Ahalya. And she was redeemed by Ram’s touch. And she looked into his eyes and she said, “I thought my husband had cursed me, but that curse turns out to become the greatest blessing, because of all those years of making japa of the name of Ram, I get to look into the face of God. It was a blessing, the greatest blessing that my husband could have bestowed upon me was to allow me the privilege of looking into the face of God. And had I not been cursed I would never have received that privilege.”