राघवौ तु ततस्तस्याः पादौ जगृहतुस्तदा । स्मरन्ती गौतमवचः प्रतिजग्राह सा च तौ ॥

– श्रीमद्वाल्मीकिरामायणे बालकाण्डे एकोनपञ्चाशस्सर्गः (१७)

The meaning of this beautiful shloka by sage Valmiki is: “Raama and Lakshmana fell at the feet of Ahalya, who is a great pativrataa, and did a pranaam (saluted) to her. Following the words of her husband, Ahalya also did the same to Raama and Lakshmana”.

This shloka glorifies the ultimate respect that a pativrata gets in our culture. Through this shloka Valmiki proved that even Paramaatma Himself will prostrate before a pativrataa. Here, the humble nature of Raama and Lakshmana is also illustrated. This is because, they just heard from sage Vishwaamitra that the curse on Ahalya Devi will be released at the very sight of Raama and Lakshmana. Even on knowing this, they did not even have the slightest of pride nor did they have even slightest of dis-respect for AhalyaDevi and prostrated to her.

Also, AhalyaDevi knew that it was Paramaatma Himself, who prostrated before her. Even then, she did not get even the slightest of pride. She immediately followed her husbands word’s and prostrated before the Lord (who is currently in human form).