Friday, August 24, 2012

The Calling to Ma Vaishno

Thats what popular slogans say about a journey up to vaishno devi.
If she has not called you; then you may not go. ("Bulawa aaya hai Mata Rani ka" - The calling has come finally from mother queen!)

Vaishno devi is in north state of Jammu/Kashmir in India and is one of the most crowded hillocks in the world. The number of people which climb this ancient hill to view 3 rock formations inside a small cave is un believable.
In north India one of the popular cults is of the 9 different forms of mother goddess - each present in a different place (and generally all are natural rock formations). The nine temples are spread across punjab, Himachal, Jammu. They to me; are all power centers where natural power was felt by our ancient travelers.

The nine temples are :
Mansa Devi/ Jwalamukhi/ Chintpurni/ Naina Devi/ Vaishno Devi/ Chamunda Devi/ Baijnath/Lakshmi Narayan and one more.

But the most famous ofcourse if Devi Vaishno. She is visited by immense number of people all through the year (except peak winters where it becomes difficult for people to climb up).
I undertook the visit some time back, after perhaps I got my calling with my folks. We took a train up to a small town in Jammu before taking a vehicle to the base of the hill.
I was sorely disappointed intially (well cause I thought naively that the hill climb would be a purificatory journey - which it is intended to be). The hill has been destroyed by rampant capitilism - stores selling all types of crap like audio / video what not; apart from eating and resting joints.
If a person does brisk walk it will take him close to 3 hours to climb up, and if one decides to cut through the path - then the journey might be even shorter in time.
The entire way is littered and chaotic with tons of people of varied age and cultures - apart from the locals who make a damn good business taking people up down on their ponies/donkeys what not.
We wanted to walk up the way; and we did in our good time. My mother cannot walk up hill for a long duration and we had to stop many times over before we reached our destination.
The queue for visit is another thing all together, people wait as much as 12 odd hours in damp dingy little rooms made on top of the hillock to get a 2 second darshan of the beautiful rock formations inside a very small cave. The entire way leading up to the cave is a queue - which is extremely crowded and chaotic to say the least. My parents and I cannot generally stand crowded religious areas and we decided to get one of our contacts to help us get the first evening darshan possible.
So we get freshened up in a small ashram close by (which is not least bit hygenic, but in the name of religion and love for goddess - dirt and purity have no or equal value!)
We wait until the evening deeparadhana - arthi is over and then we are huddled and pushed in a single row file to the temple. The entire way is controlled by army personnel due to the extreme risks present in having so many people on a small hill top at any given point)
So these guys push people in and out of the hill, cause no one would otherwise probably come out. The cave is very small (I had to bend to walk in and stay like that), and just when my annoyance with the army guys was coming to a peak - cause of their incessent pushing; I see the 3 small rock formations and before I could take a closer look - an army guy pushes me out of the cave lol. I really did laugh out loud and people would have mistaken my demenour for some sort of religious ecstacy - well it was just that ! What was I hoping to find, some beautiful power center untouched and untapped by people? No that would be too easy, maybe a reminder that energy is present abound here as it is everywhere else - yes but I already knew that. Maybe that many journeys do not have any purpose or goal and they exist cause they have to exist. That would be bettter.
I did not get an oppertunity to visit the famous bhairava temple present closeby - shiva is present everywhere his consort is, his conscious full power nature helps dispel any sort of malign ego intentions which might hamper a full vision of cosmic power at any of the given power places. This is across india and only for goddess temples.
People say that it is not good or the journey is not complete if you do not visit the Bhairava temple after visiting goddess, but my folks and I were extremely tired after the entire ordeal of walking waiting and getting pushed around, and to top it all the crowded hilltop started getting cold drops of rainfall which was going to intensify any moment - and as we did not have any staying place on top (our hotel was at the base), we decided to take couple of horses and head back down in the least bit of time affordable.
Well the horses are another story, the thing with these horse headed beings lol is that they can see single line of sight - and they follow the path closest to the edge - the edge here is a steep bloody drop and it is absolutely no fun riding along looking all the way down all the time - I got a funky alpha male horse who was on full strength to go down flying or dying, but it suited me just fine (apart from my posterior - which got a beating sitting on the horsey!)
We reached back and spent a quiet evening looking at the hillock (our hotel was atleast having the right view of the blessed hill).
I would think that many many years back, people would come with steep devotion to climb this steeper hill and sit at the head of power, of natural organic biological power mixed with the ancient rocks - which have been capturing and amplifying solar energy for eons before any human walked this earth.
Unfortunately now people with their negative energies go to such pretty little shrines and rampage it with their need and greed! How could that ever work!

I would wish everyone a good ardous and meditative journey to Mata Vaishno - if she does not call you - do not worry - you can call yourself on her behalf and take the journey without a point.

Peace and Bliss

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