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About Mata Vaishno Devi Temple

Vaishno Devi temple is one of the revered Hindu sacred temples dedicated to Durga located near the town of Katra at the Reasi district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The temple is located at an altitude of 5300 feet, and a distance is almost 12 kilometers from Katra in Trikuta Hills. Durga is popular in this place as Vaishno Devi, or Vaishnavi.

The holy cave temple has the cave leading to the Sanctum Sanctorum.  One can have the divine glimpse of Three Holy Pindies (natural rock formations). It is believed that there are three pindies. The uniqueness of the Holy pindies is that although they emanate from one single rock form, each one is distinctly different from the other two in color and texture. The Three Pindies are Maha Lakshmi, Maha Saraswat and Maha Kali. Theses Three Goddess depict the three major qualities of human nature and that are sattva gu?a, rajas gu?a, and Tamas gu?a. In order to lead a meaningful life, a proper balance among these three qualities is necessary. It is believed that Vaishno Devi is considered to be an incarnation of the three Supreme Energies.

Devotees have to cover the distance of 12 kms. to reach to the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi. During the journey Devotees can visit the places such as where Vaishno Devi had spent some time while escaping from Bhairon Nath. The culmination of this journey is at the Holy Cave where She merged Her Human form with the astral form of Her creators, the three Supreme Energies. It is believed that ones devotees reach the holy cave and prayed there with full devotion, they are charged with such energy that it helps in creating this vital but rare balance in a person. This is what makes the Holy Shrine of Vaishno Devi unique in the entire world.

Historical references:

The first mention to the vaishno devi is in the Hindu epic Mahabharata during the battle of Kurukshetra It is one of the many cities of Haryana which has a huge historical significance. The fight between Kauravas and Pandavas, depicted in Mahabharata, was fought on the grounds of Kurukshetra. Bhagavad Gita was also preached here by Krishna to Arjuna. The land is also known as Dhamakshetra. when Arjun invoked the blessings of Mother. It is believed that the Pandavas were the first to build the temples at Kol Kandoli in gratitude. Here, there are five stone structures believed to represent the five Pandavs.

The oldest historical reference is of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs A Sikh is a person who follows Sikhism as his religion. The term ‘Sikh’ has been derived from a Sanskrit word, Sisya which means disciple. The term used is appropriate for the people as they all follow the teachings of their teachers, the ten Gurus, and practice their preaching. They are known for their courage and hard-work. Male Sikhs use ‘Singh’ in their name, whereas women used ‘Kaur’. visit to the Holy Cave.  

In the olden days, the pilgrims used to reach the Sanctum Sanctorum through this cave only. Nowadays, this cave remains closed for a major part of the year. Since the cave is quite narrow, it takes several minutes for a single person to cross it and enter the Sanctum Sanctorum. Shrine board has arranged for new cave after considering the large number of pilgrim visits the Holy temple.

Legend

According to the Hindu epic, Devi Mahatmya, Vaishno Devi was born in the south of India in the home of Ratnakar Sagar. Her parents had remained childless for a long time. Ratnakar prayed to goddess for a child and promised that he would not interfere with whatever his child desired. The next day he was blessed with divine daughter. He called his lovely daughter Trikuta. The divine girl hungered for true knowledge from the tender age of nine years, and nothing could satisfy her. Trikuta started meditation and penance to seek real knowledge.

Trikuta prayed to VishnuVishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,..
in the form of Rama. During Rama’s search for SitaSitaSita
Sita is the most benevolent Goddess, who is known...
, He reached the seashore along with his army. His eyes fell on this divine girl in deep meditation. Vaishnavi said RamaRamaRama
 As of late, in the year 2007, the idea of whether Rama...
that she had accepted him as her husband. Rama told her that during that Incarnation, he had vouched to be loyal to Sita. Rama further replied that he was pleased with her devotion in her worship gave her new name Vaishnavi (believer of Vishnu). Rama confirmed Vaishnavi that in Kaliyuga, he would manifest as KalkiKalkiKalki
According to Hindu scriptures, an era is divided into four ages and each age has its own qualities and nature...
and marries her.

Rama gave her a bow and arrows, army of monkeys and a lion for her protection and told that she would become immortal forever.

He directed her to meditate at the base of the Trikuta hills so she could elevate herself and also bless humankind and remove their sufferings.

Vaishno Devi then shed her human form, became a rock, and immersed herself in meditation forever. This rock form is five and a half feet tall with three heads or three Pindies. These three pindies are of KaliKaliKali
There are several traditions of how Kali came into existence...
, LakshmiLakshmiLakshmi
Lakshmi is a Hindu goddess who is regarded as the ultimate deity of wealth...
and SaraswatiSaraswatiSaraswati
The name Saraswati is a combination of two Sanskrit words...
. Vaishno devi is considered an incarnation of the three Supreme Energies of Kali, She is the embodiment of empowerment and a fierce aspect of the Goddess. She is black in her complexion and thus she is named Kali. She is the Goddess of time, power, change and destruction and is majorly worshipped in South India, Bengal and Assam Lakshmi and Saraswati.

Legend behind the discovery of the Holy Cave Temple:

The legend goes as follows that around 700 years ago, there was a Poor Brahmin The conventional Hindu caste system divided society into four sects and Brahmin was known as the learned class who gained the knowledge of sacred texts written on HinduismPT. Shridhar. He used to reside in village Hansali located at the base of Trikoot Mountains.

He was the staunch devotee of Vaishno Devi. He was poor, but once Goddess appeared in his dreams and inspired him to organize Bhandara for his entire village. He agreed and invited everyone for Bhandara on the auspicious date told by the Goddess. He went to his neighbors for help him with raw material that could be cooked in Bhandara. Few of them helped, and the rest refused. He was worried about the problem how to feed his guests with the limited resources and to accommodate them in his small hut. He felt quite helpless as he was not able to find any answer to his dilemma till the morning of Bhandara. He prayed to the Goddess to help him. By Afternoon, his guests started arriving. Strangely enough, an enormous number of guests were able to sit comfortably inside Sridhar's little hut and still a lot of space remained unutilized. He was worried that how he could inform his guests that he would not be able to provide food. Suddenly he saw little girl came to his hut. She offered food to every guest of their choice, and the Bhandara turned out to be very successful. Meanwhile, Gorakh Nath and his disciple Bhairon Nath came.  They recognized the little girl that she was none other than Vaishno Devi. Both of them knew about the powers of Vaishno Devi, and they wanted to test her. During the Bhandara, Bhairon Nath asked Vaishno Devi to serve him non vegetarian food that she denied. He even asked her to marry him. Goddess understood the intention of Bhairon Nath, she decided to escape into the mountains and remain there uninterrupted. But Bhairon Nath followed her tirelessly.

Vaishnavi halted at (present day) Ban Ganga, Charan Paduka, HimKoti, Ardha Kumari, Garbh Gupha (for nine months), Hathi Mathha, Sanjhee Chhat and then reached the holy cave. Bhairon Nath continued to follow the Goddess till holy cave. Goddess then beheaded Bhairon Nath. The petrified body of Bhairon Nath fell at the entrance gate of the sacred cave, and his head fell on a faraway hilltop. On his death, Bhairon Nath realized his mistake and then pleaded to Vaishnavi to pardon him. The goddess had compassion for him and gave him a blessing that devotees of the goddess would have to visit him after the divine glimpse of her.

In the village, Sridhar was sad that the Goddess had left his Bhandara in between.  He even wanted to ask Goddess about the strange developments of that day. One day Sridhar was fantasizing that the Goddess was directing him to locate downed her cave and also blessed him with four sons. Sridhar was rejuvenated and preceded in search of the cave. When he discovered the cave, he chose to spend his remnant life in reverence of the deity. Shortly fame of the holy cave spread and the devotees began to throng to the cave to give reverence to their beloved Goddess.

Culture and Tradition

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Before proceeding for the trek, obtain a Yatra slip from the Yatra Registration Counter, near bus stand Katra. The slip is issued free of cost. No one is allowed to proceed beyond Ban GangaGangaGanga
    According to Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu in one of....
    check post without obtaining the Yatra slip.
  • If you have your own vehicle, you can drive up to the new gate, adjacent to the Darshani Darwaza and leave it parked there. It is strongly advised to lock it properly and to remove all the valuables before leaving it behind. Parking is at the owner's risk.
  • In case you wish to avail of the facility of rented accommodation at Katra, Adkuwari, Sanjichhat or Bhawan, please get a room reservation done from the Enquiry and Reservation Counter at Niharika Complex (near the Bus Stand) Katra.
  • Kindly confirm the rates of the Porters, Ponies, and Palanquins before hiring them and ensure that they carry a valid registration card. Note down their numbers before entrusting them with your valuables. Please do not pay more than the approved rate.
  • Video cameras and other electronic equipment are not allowed on the track. Please keep them in the clock room.
  • Please leave your entire luggage in the Katra clock room.


Offering to Vaishno devi

The traditional offering to the goddess invariably comprises a coconut. However, for reasons of security, coconut offering is not allowed after a designated point.

At designated point pilgrims have to deposit their coconuts to the temple priests who then take responsibility for the rituals. The token is given to the Pilgrim to reclaim coconut Prasad It is the sacred food that is distributed after an auspicious event or day after offering it to the Godsafter the divine glimpse of Vaishno devi.

Outside the exit tunnel and just beyond the Amrit The term ‘Amrit’ is used for the water or nectar of immortality. The word was used in Rigveda for the nectar which is drunk by Gods to gain immortality. It was one of the outcomes of samudra manthan. There was a curse on gods by Durvasa because of which they started becoming mortal and then they needed this drink for immortality. Later on the water which is given as prasadam to devotees in the temples is also called Amrit as it is believed to be blessed by Gods. It is the holy water which is sweet-tasting. It is consumed in the name of the God. Kund lies behind the Prasad It is the sacred food, first offered to Gods and then distributed among devoteescounter. The temple priest's hand over the blessings of the Goddess in the form of Prasad pouches to the devotees. Each Prasad pouch comprises of the crystalline form of sugar (Mishri), a blessed coin and the image of the Holy Pindies is also placed in the pouch.

It is believed that the blessed coins and image of Holy Pindi that are given to the devotees have blessings and good luck from Goddess to her devotees.

Devotees keep these coins in their cash boxes and image in the temples or other prominent places in their homes or their establishments.

Prayer of Vaishno devi

The prayer is offered twice a day: In the morning, before sunrise and in the evening, after sunset. It is performed by a Hindu priest inside the sanctum-Sanctorum and then again outside the cave.

Before the divine prayer, self-purification (atom pagan) is done. Then the Goddess is bathed in water, milk, pure oil, honey, and sugar. Thereafter, she is dressed in a saree, and ornaments. This takes place while the Divine Hymns (Mantra) A group of sacred words chanted in order to gain something, be it materialistic pleasures or peaceful mind are being recited. The red colored mark is placed on the forehead of the deity and the sacrament is offered. The Hindu priests (pujaris) perform the prayer of various Gods and Goddess along with Vaishno devi as it is believed, and that during the prayer all the Gods and Goddess are present inside the cave.  During the prayer, Pujari places the lamp in the plate (teal), light the lamp and rotate it in OM it is a sacred sound, which is meditated upon and considered as a spiritual icon by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. It is the primordial sound which is considered infinite, all encompassing, the truth of existence, the ultimate reality of the universe, the cause of life and the ultimate reality of being. It is the finest essence of life which helps in gaining the knowledge of self and the universe. shape in front of 3 Goddess. After the prayer, he distributes parsed and the holy water (Charnamrit) to the devotees present there. This Prayer nearly takes two hours during which Divine Glimpse of Goddess (Darshan The term means the vision of the divineof Pindis) remains suspended.

Amenities available

Near Holy Cave temple, The Shrine Board runs three eating joints (Bhozanalyalas) at the Main Bhawan complex and one in Manokamna Bhawan complex. These eating joints provide wholesome vegetarian food to the pilgrims at a reasonable price. They run round the clock and serve a varied but traditional menu. In addition to full meals, packed snacks, beverages, mineral water, and milk are also available.

Medical facilities are also available near to the temple.

In addition to these facilities, toilets, drinking water, inquiry, and announcement booths are available all through the temple complex. STD/PCOs, Bank branches, a Police Station and a post office are also functional. There is also a small market complex where toiletries, medicines, eatables and other utility items are available. Many shops are located near the temples that are selling Prasad, photographs and cassettes are in this complex market. It is reiterated that all establishments of the Board run on a no profit basis and pilgrimage can be sure of the quality and prices of goods offered in these establishments are reasonable.

The Shrine Board has posted various levels of officers, including senior officers at all the prominent locations. Pilgrimages are welcome to contact any of them for advice or assistance.
 

 



 


 
 

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