Mata Vaishno Devi…India is a land of spiritualism and religion, where people have immense faith in their beliefs and Gods. One such religious destination is Mata Vaishno Devi, a Hindu pilgrimage site located in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
It is believed to be one of the holiest shrines in India and attracts millions of devotees every year. The shrine is dedicated to the Hindu goddess, Vaishno Devi, who is also known as Trikuta or Vaishnavi.
The pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi is considered as one of the most significant spiritual journeys for the Hindus. In this article, we will explore the history, significance, and rituals of the Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrimage.
History of Mata Vaishno Devi
The history of Mata Vaishno Devi goes back to the times of the Mahabharata. According to legend, the Pandavas, during their exile, met an old woman named Vaishnavi who gave them food and shelter.
Impressed by her kindness, the Pandavas asked her to accompany them, but she refused and revealed her true form as a goddess. She told them that she would appear in the future as Vaishno Devi and bless her devotees with prosperity and happiness.
The shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi was discovered around 700 years ago by a Pandit named Shridhar, who was a devotee of the goddess. He dreamt of the goddess asking him to discover her idol and build a temple at the same spot.
He found the cave where the goddess had hidden herself and built the temple there. The temple was further developed by the Dogra rulers of Jammu and Kashmir during the 19th century.
Significance of Mata Vaishno Devi
Devi The pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi is considered as one of the most significant journeys for the Hindus. It is believed that the goddess grants wishes to her devotees and blesses them with happiness and prosperity.
The journey to the shrine is not just a physical one but also a spiritual one. It is believed that the goddess tests her devotees’ determination and devotion before granting their wishes.
The shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is also significant because of its location. It is situated in the Trikuta Hills, which is considered as a holy place in the Hindu religion. The three peaks of the Trikuta Hills are believed to represent the three forms of the goddess – Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, and Maha Saraswati.
Rituals of Mata Vaishno Devi Pilgrimage
The pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi involves various rituals and traditions that are followed by the devotees. The journey starts from the base camp at Katra, which is around 50 km from Jammu. From here, the devotees have to trek for around 14 km to reach the shrine. Alternatively, one can also take a helicopter ride to reach the shrine.
The trek to the shrine is considered as a test of one’s determination and devotion. The path to the shrine is steep and difficult, and it takes around 6-8 hours to complete the trek. The devotees chant the holy mantra, “Jai Mata Di” during the trek, which is a way of expressing their devotion to the goddess.
Once the devotees reach the shrine, they have to take a bath in the Charan Ganga, a small stream that flows near the shrine. After taking the bath, the devotees have to perform the darshan of the goddess. The darshan involves passing through a narrow cave that leads to the sanctum sanctorum where the idol of the goddess is placed.
The devotees have to crawl through the narrow cave, which is believed to represent the birth canal of the goddess. It is believed that by crawling through the cave, the devotees are reborn and purified.
After performing the darshan, the devotees offer their prayers and seek the blessings of the goddess. They also tie a sacred thread or a “moli” around their wrists, which is believed to protect them from evil spirits and bring them good luck.
The pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi is not just about visiting the shrine, but it also involves various other traditions and rituals. The devotees have to maintain celibacy and abstain from alcohol and non-vegetarian food during the journey.
They also have to observe various other customs and rituals, which are believed to please the goddess and bring them good luck.
Facilities for Pilgrims
The shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi attracts millions of devotees every year, and therefore, various facilities have been set up to cater to their needs. There are numerous guest houses, lodges, and hotels near the base camp at Katra, where the devotees can stay. The facilities range from basic to luxury, depending on the budget of the devotees.
Various other facilities have also been set up to make the journey easier for the devotees. For example, there are numerous shops along the trekking route that sell food, water, and other essential items. There are also numerous medical camps set up along the route to provide medical assistance to the devotees in case of any emergency.
STORY OF BHAIRAV
The story of Bhairav is closely associated with The Mata Vaishno Devi. Once Mata Vaishno Devi encountered a tantric named Gorakh Nath, who questioned the reason for her journey to the shrine. Mata Vaishno Devi replied that she was on a pilgrimage to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu.
However, Gorakh Nath was not satisfied with her answer and asked her to marry him instead. Mata Vaishno Devi refused his proposal, and in anger, Gorakh Nath sent his disciple Bhairav to kill her.
Bhairav, who was a fierce warrior, set out to kill Mata Vaishno Devi. However, when he reached her, he found her meditating in a cave. He tried to attack her with his sword, but she disappeared and reappeared in another form. This continued for nine days, during which Bhairav tried to kill her nine times, but she evaded his attacks each time.
On the tenth day, Mata Vaishno Devi appeared in her true form and killed Bhairav with a trident. However, before he died, Bhairav realized his mistake and apologized to Mata Vaishno Devi. He requested her to forgive him and asked for her blessings.
Mata Vaishno Devi forgave Bhairav and granted him a boon that he would be worshipped alongside her. She also told him that his shrine would be the first one that the devotees would visit before reaching her shrine.
Thus, the shrine of Bhairav Nath was established at the base of the Trikuta Hills, and it is believed that the pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi is incomplete without paying a visit to the shrine of Bhairav Nath.
Today, the shrine of Bhairav Nath is an integral part of the pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi. The devotees visit the shrine and seek the blessings of Bhairav Nath before proceeding to the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi. The shrine is believed to fulfill the wishes of the devotees and bring them good luck and prosperity.
Mata Vaishno Devi is one of the most significant pilgrimage destinations in India, attracting millions of devotees every year. The journey to the shrine is not just a physical one, but it also involves various traditions and rituals that are followed by the devotees.
The shrine is believed to grant wishes and bring happiness and prosperity to its devotees. The facilities for the pilgrims have also been set up to make their journey easier and comfortable. Overall, Mata Vaishno Devi is a holy destination that should be visited by every spiritual seeker.
- Ram Navami: Celebrating the Birth of Lord Rama
- Exploring the Significance and Legends of Kamakhya Temple in India
- RAMADAN: A HOLY MONTH OF FASTING AND SPIRITUAL REFLECTION
- Dussehra: Celebrating the Triumph of Good Over Evil
- Raksha Bandhan: The Festival of Love and Protection
- The Significance and Celebrations of Holika Dahan in India
- The Impact of ISKCON on Hinduism and Spirituality
- The Significance and Story Behind Celebrating Mahashivratri
You must log in to post a comment.