Mithila was ruled by king Janaka. The royal priest in his court was Shanthananda and he was a great son nknown for his unequalledknowledge in all the three worlds. He was the eldest son of sage Gauthama. He was thrilled when he heard about the releaseof his mother Ahlaya from his father's curse. As soon as he heard it from sage Visvamithra he fell at his feet and said,"O great sage did you show my mother who had been doing penance for a thousand years to Sri Rama and Lakshamana.?"he continued,"Did my mother play host to divine Sri Rama? Did she join her husband, my father? Did great Gauthama have darshana of Sri Rama? Did my father play host to Sri Rama?Had my father's anger subsided? Did he bless Sri Rama happily?" ThusShanthananda rained questions on sage Viswamithra. Viswamithra who had understood shanthananda's great eagerness andexcitement spoke cooly.
"O great sage Shanthananda, everything went well, I have played my part successfully. Your father, the great Gauthama is reunited with your mother. It is as if Renuka got reunited with sage Jamadagni"
Viswamithra's words amde Shantananda very happy. he welcomed Raghunandana Sri Rama whole heartedly saying,'Swagtam te narashreshta disphya praptosi Raghava"
These are the references we have about Gauthama in Thretayuga. In Dwapara Yuga as well Gauthama one among the Saptarshis, exhibited his great power of penance, unequalled knowledge and wisdom.
Once the seven sages felt very hungry. while searching for food they saw a lake with pellucid water full of lotus flowers. They knew that the stems of these flowers offered nutritious food and thry decided to eat them. They had to get into the laketo collect the stems for which they needed the permission of Yathudhani, an angel guarding the lake. When they asked herfor permission she demanded that everyone of them should explain the meaning of hsi name. when his turn came Gauthama gavethe following explanation.
"I am capable of controlling my senses(Govus) therefore I'm Godama. I'm as bright as fire without smoke. I look at thingsimpartially. My greatness cannot be equally or cowed down by anyone"
When Pandu was living in the forest along with his two queens Kunti and Madri, after the birth of Dharmaraya, and Bhima, it wasthe time when Arjuna was about to be born. It was with the blessing of the Lord of Heaven devendra that all powerful,lustrous and lovable Arjuna was born. Among the sages who came to bless the child, Gauthama was one.
Sage Gauthama was bold and straight forward and he would always give his clear opinions on matters of dharma. Once his owncolleague Atri praised a king by name Vainya who was strrped in worldly pleasures, calling him by great names such as Brahma, Indra and dispenser of human beings, fate , bringer of good fortune and so on. Gauthama could not tolerate themisplaced praise and without hesitation he chided Atri. He argued that for the sake of a little wealth, it is wrong, toextol one to the state of divinity and such an act is unpardonable. This incident shows his straightforwardness and honesty. When the terrible battle of Kurushetra was gaing on Dronarcharya took over the commandershio of the Kauravas army and duringhis tenture an fortunate incident happened. In order to subdue great Drona who was an unmatched wielder of the bow and arrows, Sri Krishna devised a plan. He made Bhishma say 'Aswathama Hatah', meaning Aswathama was dead. But Drona was sure thatAswathama could not have died and he resumed the battle with redoubled vigour. He knew for certain, that it was Sri krishna'splot to make him leave the battle field. He got ready to destroy the entire Pandava army. At that point Gauthama andsix other sages entered the battle field, addressed the fire brand Drona thus. "Stop your cruel killings and give up arms.You are fighting a battle completely against your varnashrama dharma. Embrace death and go to heaven". Drona, giving respectto the words of these sages, made an effort to find out whether his son Aswathama was alive or really dead. He askedDharmaraja to tell him the truth. At the instances of Sri Krishna and pressure from BhimaSena, Dharmaraja made a statementwhich was both true and false. He announced Aswathama hathah loudly and adds in a soft tone 'Kunjarah' - meaning anelephant by name Awathama was dead.
When he heard Dharmaraja's words Drona came to the conclusion that his son was really dead and he gave up his arms and leftthe battle field. As advised by Gauthama he went to heaven by the Yogadharana way.
Gauthama used to travel all over the world with the intention of helping the people live better and to have darshan of greatsages. At the end of the Kurushetra war, when uttarayana was about to begin the Saptarishis went to Kurushetra in orderto have darshan of 'Sharatalpe Shayanastu Bharathanam Pitumahah'. Bhishma who was about to give up his mortal body and journeyto heaven. A number of great men including sages, devarishis, Mahamunis, chaste brahmins, the righteous and thousands ofothers used to visit the spot. Sage Gaowthama was one among the people thus congregated at that place.
When he was lying on the bed of arrows, Bhishma, long before he had to give up his body gave a long discourse on how to rulw a country well. In the course of his discourse he made a reference to a discussion between Yama the Lord of Deathand sage Gowthama.