Gautama was one of the famous seven rishis termed Saptarshi. He was the progenitor of the Gautama gotra. He was the son of Rahugana.There is a hymn called Bhadra in the Sama Veda which is ascribed to Gautama Maharishi.
Chirakari means one who acts or does a piece of work after a good deal of thought. He proceeds only after carefully considering the pros and cons, the antecedents and the consequences of a deed. Therefore naturally his actions will not be quick but delayed. The son of Gautama, by nature, he was a very discreet man. He was not a lazy man. This temperament of his had earned him the name 'Chirakari.' Once Gautama, was terribly angry with his wife Ahalya. He did not think of what he was doing. He summoned Chirakari. "Kill your mother, finish her off," he hastily ordered and went away to a far-off forest. Chirakari began to think and worry about this. A son's right duty is to obey his father and at the same time equally right is to protect his mother. Chirakari was very badly confused and went on thinking and arguing within him. No amount of thinking helped him to find a correct answer. He could not arrive at any decision. Thus, many days passed by. Gautama sat doing penance in the distant forest. Slowly his anger against Ahalya cooled down. A conflict arose in his mind. He now felt, "Ahalya has served me for so many years. She has looked after the children affectionately. I ordered that she should be killed for a small mistake." By that time Lord Indra came in the guise of a hermit. He opened conversation with Gautama. The subject of Ahalya fared in it and Lord Indra put lot of valuable questions against Gautama. Gautama's mind was completely changed. "It was foolish of me to have ordered Chirakari like that. Matricide is a big sin. How can he kill his own mother? Generally he uses his discretion before doing anything. He does not do anything in haste. May be he has not yet carried out my orders. Let me go back to the ashrama right now and find out what has happened there." So deciding he hurriedly went home. "O Chirakari, where are you?" cried sage Gautama as he approached his place. Hearing his voice, Chirakari came out and made obeisance to him. Gautama, in a voice of anxiety, asked, "Chirakri, my dear, may you be true to your name. I hope you have not killed your mother. Have You?"
There was one more situation in his life similar to the earlier one. Ahalya was very beautiful and she had an enviable charm. The very moment Brahma created her, Indra was captivated by her looks and he did plead for her with Gautama. He used to participate personally in all the yajnas performed by Gautama. He used to visit his Gurukula now and then. All this has caused some suspicion in the mind of Gautama. Once he found that Devendra had come to his house during his absence. He at once suspected the character of Ahalya. He cursed her to turn into a stone. Ahalya pleaded her innocence shedding tears. Then the anger of the sage cooled down. "I cannot revoke the curse. But I can tell you about one relief," he said. "God Vishnu will incarnate as Sri Rama in future to kill Ravana. He will come to this place along with sage Vishwamithra. Then you will be relieved of this curse. And you shall get back your beauty as before." Then he went to the Himalayas for penance. Ahalya instantly turned into a stone. Gautama's ashrama became deserted.
As Gautama had said Sri Rama's incarnation took place. Vishwamithra brought Sri Rama and Lakshmana to guard the yaga he was performing. After the yaga he travelled to Mithila taking Rama and Lakshmana with him. On the way they came across the forsaken ashrama of sage Gautama. Vishwamithra had known that Ahalya was under curse. He had brought Sri Rama to free her form the curse. The moment Sri Rama steeped on the stone, the curse of Ahalya was gone. Right at that time Gautama returned from the Himalayas. He settled down happily in the ashrama with Ahalya. Again gradually the place picked up its original lustre. The Gurukula started functioning.
There was one student by name Uttanka in Gautama's Gurukula and he was the favourite of his guru. He was a model for others. Gautama used to permit students to go home after their education was completed. No one was allowed to go without his permission. Uttanka's education was completed, but Gautama did not give permission to go home. Uttanka waited and waited in vain for a long time to get his permission. He became very sad as he could not get permission to go while so many other students were going home after finishing their education. As he was very shy and modest he did not express his feelings to his guru. He only thought that the master was not satisfied with his service. He went on doing his routine duties with the same interest and earnestness. As it went on like this, one day Uttanka was on his way home from the forest carrying a bundle of dry sticks for the sacrificial fire. He was feeling hungry and exhausted. After putting the burden off his shoulders he sat down worrying. "I have learnt all the subjects taught by the master. I have also served him with great devotion. Still the master has not taken pity on me. I have not been blessed yet and not permitted to go", he said to himself in distress. He burst out in tears and started crying, being unable to control himself. Gautama's daughter was Uttanka's class mate. She heard someone crying aloud. When she came out see who it was, she was surprise to find him to be Uttanka. She went near him and tried to control him.