NO matter how the women are looked upon, men have always kneeled to the supreme power of feminine divinity. Vaishno Devi Temple is one such place of utmost worship and devotion to a female divinity.
Vaishno Devi Temple is situated at 5200 ft in the folds of the three-peaked mountain named Trikuta, Jammu, and Kashmir.
Devotees undertake a nearly 12 km long trek from the base camp at Katra and, at the culmination of their pilgrimage, are blessed with a glimpse of the Goddess inside the Sanctum Sanctorum – the Holy Cave. Present in the shape of three natural rock formations called the Pindies. There are no statues or idols inside the Cave.
A geological study of the Holy Cave has indicated its age to be nearly a million years; however, the mountain Trikuta does find its mention in Rigveda, the oldest of the four Vedas. The practice of worshipping Shakti largely started in the Puranic period.
In Mahabharat, Lord Krishna is said to have directed Arjuna to pray before the mother goddess for a victory which they did eventually gain. On a mountain just adjacent to the Trikuta Mountain and overlooking the Holy Cave are five stone structures, which are believed to be the rock symbols of the five Pandavs.
It is said that Guru Gobind Singh himself is said to have gone there via Purmandal. The old foot track to the Holy Cave passed through this well-known pilgrimage center.
Features of the temple
Like the Trikuta Mountain, it is situated in, which is one at the base but has three peaks; the revelation of the Mother Goddess in the Holy Cave is in a natural rock form which is one at the base but has three heads at the top.
These three heads in a natural rock form are known as the Holy Pindies and are worshiped as the revelation of the Mother Goddess. The entire rock body is immersed in water, and a marble platform has been constructed.
The main Darshans remain to be the three heads called the Holy 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.
Towards the devotee’s right is the Holy Pindi of Mata Maha Kali (the Supreme Energy of Dissolution) in color associated with Her i.e., black. She represents the Tama Guna- the quality associated with life’s darker and unknown realms. She is the primary source of all that is mystical and unknown to man. In her attribute of Maha Kali, the Mother Goddess constantly guides her devotees to conquer the forces of darkness.
The center is the Holy Pindi of Lakshmi with a yellowish-red tinge, the color associated with Mata Maha Lakshmi. She is the Supreme Energy of Maintenance and represents Rajas Guna- the quality of inspiration and effort. She is considered the primary source of wealth, prosperity, material gains, quality of life, etc. Wealth and prosperity are better represented by the color of gold, which is yellow and hence associated with Mata Maha Lakshmi.
The Pindi, to the extreme left of the viewer, is worshiped as the Holy Pindi of Mata Maha Saraswati and has a whitish tinge to it. Being the Supreme force of Creation, Saraswati is considered the source of all Creation, Knowledge, Wisdom, Righteousness, Art, Spiritualism, etc. Since white is a color that denotes piousness and purity, hence it is associated with Mata Maha Saraswati. She represents the Satva Guna- the quality of purity.
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is considered an incarnation of the three Supreme Energies.