Interest in Jammu-Kashmir
Vaishno Devi Tourism
Goddess Vaishno Devi's abode is in 100 feet long cave with a narrow opening.
The holy cold and crystal clear water washes the lotus feet of the Mata's "Pindian".
There are three natural pindies representing Maha Sarswati, Maha Lakshmi, Maha
Kali, which represent creative, preservative, and destructive aspects of the
Super Power. It is an ancient shrine whose reference is found in the Vedas and
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine
is one of the oldest shrine of India, located
at a height of 5300 feet on the holy Trikuta Hills of the Shivalik Hill Range.
The Holy cave is 13 Kms from the Base Camp Katra. The Town Katra is 50 Kms away
from Jammu and 35 Kms from District HQ Udhampur and is linked by road. The Mata
Vaishno Devi Shrine is one of the most popular Shrines of India.
'Vaishnavi' means the one who is related to lord "Vishnu''. Goddess Vaishnavi
is the manifestation of the collective spiritual strengths of Mata Maha Kali,
Mata Maha Lakshmi and Mata Maha Saraswati. It is described in Durga Sapatshati
that the goddess was born as a young girl of extraordinary beauty and strength,
out of the collectively pooled 'Tejas' of various 'Devtas' and three lords Brahma,
Vishnu and Shankar. The immediate purpose of the creation of the goddess was
the annihilation of Asura (Devil) Mahishasura. However another purpose of her
creation was that she might usher on earth an era of pious and ascetic life
so that the peace could prevail upon the world and she through her penance could
rise to higher levels of spirituality and ultimately merge with Vishnu.
'Goddess' having been created by the Devtas and the three lords ordained the
human form in the house of one Ratnakar as his daughter whom the family named
as Vaishnavi. The girl right from her childhood displayed a hunger for knowledge
which was like a vortex and which no amount of teaching and learning could sufficiently
Subsequently, Vaishnavi started looking into her inner self for knowledge and
soon learned the art of meditation and realized that meditation and penance
only could bring her close to her greater objective. Vaishnavi thus relinquished
all household comforts and went deep into the forest for Tapasaya (meditation).
Meanwhile, Lord Rama, during his fourteen years of exile happened to visit Vaishnavi
who recognized him immediately as no ordinary being but the incarnation of Lord
Vishnu and immediately asked him to merge her into himself so that she could
become one with the supreme creator.
However Lord Rama, knowing that it was not the appropriate time, dissuaded her
by saying that he will visit her again after the end of his exile and at that
time if she succeeded in recognizing him, he will fulfill her wish. True to
his words, Rama visited her again after being victorious in the battle, but
this time he did so in the guise of an old man. Unfortunately, Vaishnavi was
unable to recognize him this time and was distraught. Upon this, Lord Rama consoled
her that the appropriate time for her being one with the creator had not come
and he will eventually do so in 'Kaliyug' in his incarnation of 'Kalki'. Rama
also directed her to meditate and set up an Ashram at the base of Trikuta hills
to elevate her level of spirituality so as to bless the mankind and rid the
poor and destitute of their sufferings and only then will 'Vishnu' merge her
after immense hardships reached the foot of the Trikuta Hills and after setting
up her ashram there she began to meditate. As predicted by Lord Rama, her glory
spread far and wide and people began to flock to her Ashram to seek her blessings.
As the time passed, a Tantrik named Gorakh Nath who had a vision of the episode
between Lord Rama and Vaishnavi in the retrospective time frame, became curious
to find out whether Vaishnavi has been able to attain a high level of spirituality
He, therefore, sent his most able disciple 'Bhairon Nath' to find out the truth.
Bhairon Nath on locating the ashram started observing Vaishnavi secretly and
realised that though a 'Sadhvi' she always carried bow and arrows with her and
was always surrounded by langoors (apes) and a ferocious looking lion. Bhairon
Nath was enamored by Vaishnavi's extraordinary beauty and losing all good sense
he began to pester Vaishnavi to marry him.
Meanwhile a staunch devotee of Mata Sridhar organised a Bhandara (Community
meal) in which the whole village and Guru Gorakh Nath along with all his followers
including Bhairon were invited. During the course of Bhandara Bhairon Nath attempted
to grab Vaishnavi but she tried her best to daunt him. On failing to do so,
Vaishnavi decided to flee away into the mountains to continue her 'Tapasaya'
undisturbed. Bhairon Nath however chased her to her destination. The goddess
after halting at Banganga, Charan Paduka, and Adhkwari, finally reached the
holy cave Shrine.
Bhairon Nath continued to follow her despite the goddess trying to avoid a confrontation,
the goddess was compelled to kill him. Bhairon Nath met his ultimate fate when
the goddess, just outside the mouth of the cave, beheaded him. The severed head
of Bhairon fell with a force at a distant hilltop. Bhairon Nath upon death realised
the futility of his mission and prayed to the deity to forgive him. The almighty
'Mata' had mercy on Bhairon and gave him a boon that every devotee of the goddess
shall have to have the Darshans of Bhairon after having the Darshans of the
goddess and only then shall the yatra of a devotee be complete. Meanwhile, Vaishnavi
decided to shed off her human form and assuming the face of a rock she immersed
her self into meditation forever.
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