By Swami Harshananda
Mudgala was a great sage performing austerities at Kurukṣetra. He was the father of Divodāsa and Ahalyā. He was well-known for his hospitality to guests. He once rejected the offer of the gods to go to heaven since he was interested in mokṣa or liberation.
He is said to have performed a great sacrifice near the bridge built by Śrī Rāma. Pleased with it Lord Viṣṇu created a big pond of milk of Kāmadhenu, the celestial cow to be used in his sacrifice. This pond called Kṣīratīrtha is near Rāmeśvaram. It is still visited by the pilgrims.
Mudgala is the sage of the Ṛgvedic sukta. It is mentioned there that his cows were once stolen. He yoked an old ox to his cart, followed the thieves and got back his cows after routing them with his drughaṇa. His wife, Mudgalāni drove his cart or chariot, thus helping him in this venture.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore