Ahalya is the wife of the sage Gautama Maharishi in Hindu mythology.
Many Hindu scriptures say that she was seduced by Indra, cursed by her
husband for infidelity, and liberated from the curse by Rama (an avatar
of the god Vishnu). Created by the god Brahma as the most beautiful
woman, Ahalya was married to the much older Gautama. In the earliest
full narrative, when Indra comes disguised as her husband, Ahalya sees
through his disguise but nevertheless accepts his advances. Ahalya and
her lover (or rapist) Indra are cursed by Gautama. Although early texts
describe how Ahalya must atone by undergoing severe penance while
remaining invisible to the world and how she is purified by offering
Rama hospitality, in the popular retelling developed over time, Ahalya
is cursed to become a stone and regains her human form after she is
brushed by Rama's foot. Medieval story-tellers often focus on Ahalya's
deliverance by Rama, which is seen as proof of the saving grace of God.
Her story has been retold numerous times in the scriptures and lives on
in modern-age poetry and short stories, as well as in dance and drama.
Ahalya is extolled as the first of the panchakanya ("five virgins"),
archetypes of female chastity whose names are believed to dispel sin
when recited. While some praise her loyalty to her husband and her
undaunted acceptance of the curse and gender norms, others condemn her
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahalya>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Byzantine–Arab Wars: The Byzantine navy sacked and plundered
the port city of Damietta on the Nile Delta, whose garrison was absent
at the time.
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, and Danish King Christian IV
signed the Treaty of Lübeck to end the Danish intervention in the
Thirty Years' War.
A riot broke out in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England, over
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American Civil War: Union forces began to lay siege to the
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A magnitude 9.5 earthquake devastated Valdivia, Chile, and
generated destructive tsunamis that reached Hawaii the following day.
Ceylon changed its name to Sri Lanka (emblem pictured), adopted
a new constitution, and officially became a republic.
Pac-Man, an arcade game that became an icon of 1980s popular
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Washington, D.C., police announced that the skeletal remains of
missing Federal Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy were found in Rock
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Composure, self-possession or imperturbability especially when in a
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I will make my meaning more clear when I say that I think right and
wrong are both tools which are being wielded by those great hands which
are shaping the destinies of the universe, that both are making for
improvement; but that the action of the one is immediate, and that of
the other more slow, but none the less certain. Our own distinction of
right and wrong is founded too much upon the immediate convenience of
the community, and does not inquire sufficiently deeply into the
--Arthur Conan Doyle
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