APALA – A daughter of the sage Atri

A story in the Rigveda says that Apala was abandoned by her husband when she came down with leprosy. She began living in the ashram of her father Atri and did austerities (tapas) to please Indra. One day when she was coming back from her daily rituals beside the river, she happened to taste soma (amrita) that was to be offered to Indra. Perhaps she could be healed by this magical ambrosia of the gods, or she could even gain immortality. But when Indra appeared, she immediately gave the soma offering to him. Indra was so pleased by Apala‘s action that he cured her of leprosy.

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