By Swami Harshananda
Madālasā is one of the great women described in the purāṇas who was a devoted wife and worthy mother.
She was the exquisitely beautiful daughter of the gandharva king Viśvāvasu. A demon named Pātālaketu once abducted her but was rescued by the prince Rtadhvaja who married her later. She remained extremely devoted and faithful to him.
Once when she was falsely informed that her husband had died, she gave up her body immediately in extreme grief. She was however revived by Aśvatara, a nāga king. Aśvatara was the father of Rtadhvaja’s friends. She is said to have been a great yoginī and imparted ātmajñāna or Self- knowledge to her first three sons who became recluses. The fourth, Alarka succeeded the king Rtadhvaja.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore