Jai Mata Di!
To know the history of Mata Vaishnodevi temple we must go back to Treta Yug when the virtuous people were tormented by the Asuras (demons) Ravana, Kumb-Karan, Khardooshan, Tadka and others. The Gods decided to create a divine personality, in the roop (form) of a girl for their protection. The divine girl asked the Gods the cause and reason for her birth. The divine forces told her that she had been created to protect Dharma and rekindle spirit of religion. She took birth in South India at the home of Ratnakar Sagar as a girl named Trikuta. Later the same girl was called Vaishno because of her taking birth from Lord Vishnu’s lineage. The religion propagated by this goddess girl was called Vaishno-Dharm.
In her lifetime Trikuta attracted many devoted followers including saints. The fame of her divine power and miracle spread far and wide. People started visiting the abode of Trikuta to get benediction.
After some time Trikuta sought permission from her father for taking penance on the seashore. She prayed to Lord Vishnu in the form of Rama who reached the seashore alongwith his army in search of Sita, his eyes fell on this divine girl in deep meditation. Rama asked Trikuta her name and reason for penance. She replied that she had accepted Rama as her husband by mind and heart.
On hearing this Ram told her that he had vowed to be faithful to wife. However, Ram ji wished that penance of Trikuta should no go waste and unfruitful. Therefore he said to her, “I will definitely come to see you in a disguised form. If you can recognise me at that time then I will accept you.”
It is said that on his return from Lanka, Lord Rama went to see the girl in the form of an old monk (Sadhu) but she did not recognise him as God.
He revealed his identity and assured Trikuta that in ‘Kaliyug’ he would manifest himself as ‘Kalki’ and would marry her.
He asked Trikuta to meditate in Trikuta range of Manik Mountains, situated in north India. He said that Trikuta would become immortal forever and would become famous as ‘Vaishno Devi’.
It is believed that Mata Vaishno Devi, who was also known as Trikuta observed the ‘Navratra’, to pray for the victory of Lord Rama against Ravana. It is also said that Lord Rama also ensured her that the entire world would sing her praises and revere her as Mata Vaishno Devi. Thus, it is due to Rama’s blessings that Mata Vaishno Devi attained immortality and now attracts thousands of pilgrims to the shrine each year.
The mention of Vaishno Devi is made in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The epic states before the Great War of Kurukshetra, Arjuna meditated upon the Goddess, seeking her blessings for victory. Arjuna is said to have described the Devi as “Jambookatak Chityaishu Nityam Sannihilaye”, which means “the one who permanently resides in the temple located on the slope of the mountain in Jamboo”. Here Jamboo might refer to Jammu according to several scholars.
Vaishno Devi is amongst the most revered Hindu pilgrimages sites in India. Nestled in the Trikuta Hills in Jammu, the cave temple of Goddess Vaishno Devi, who is the manifestation of Goddess Parvati or Shakti is the said to be the abode of 33 Hindu gods. An all season pilgrimage, Vaishno Devi is thronged by more than 10 millions pilgrims every year. The devotees choose different ways like walking bare feet as well as crawling all the way up to seek Goddess’ blessing and pay gratitude for the wish fulfillment. Vaishno Devi is believed to be the bestower of strength to the weak, sight to the blind, wealth to the poor and bless childless couples with children. This is why followers make it a point to visit her regularly, in spite of the shrine being quite unapproachable, location-wise
Jai Mata Di!!
Om Shri Matre Namaha!