Mata Vaishno Devi:-
'Vaishnavi' means the one who is related to lord "Vishnu''. Goddess Vaishnavi is the manifestation of the collective spiritual strengths of Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati. It is described in Durga Sapatshati that the Goddess was born as a young girl of extraordinary beauty and strength, out of the collectively pooled 'Tejas' of various 'Devtas' and three lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shankar. The immediate purpose of the creation of the Goddess was the annihilation of Asura (Devil) Mahishasura. However, another purpose of her creation was that she might usher on earth an era of pious and ascetic life so that the peace could prevail upon the world and she through her penance could rise to higher levels of spirituality and ultimately merge with Vishnu.
Popular belief holds that anybody who walks the Himalayan trail to the Goddesses's abode to ask for a boon rarely goes back disappointed. Whatever be it, a new enterprise or a forthcoming examination, marriage or birth, the devout look up to the Mata for blessings and guidance. There are many who journey year after year to pay obeisance regardless of their faith or belief, creed or class, caste or religion.
About Mata Vaishno Devi :-
The holy cave shrine of Vaishno Devi is said to have been built by the five Pandavas. The Goddess Mata Vaishno Devi's abode is 100 meter long cave with a narrow opening. Inside the 100-meter long cave, the shrine is narrow and pilgrims have to walk through a running stream of cold water called the Charan Ganga to get to the sanctum sanctorum. Three rock-cut idols of the goddesses, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati are venerated under canopies of silver and gold. Previously the Shrine had only one natural entry cave, but now two more exit caves have been constructed.
The 'Goddess' having been created by the Devtas and the three lords ordained the human form in the house of one Ratnakar as his daughter whom the family named as Vaishnavi. The girl right from her childhood displayed a hunger for knowledge which was like a vortex and which no amount of teaching and learning could sufficiently satiate. Subsequently, Vaishnavi started looking into her inner self for knowledge and soon learned the art of meditation and realized that meditation and penance only could bring her close to her greater objective. Vaishnavi thus relinquished all household comforts and went deep into the forest for Tapasaya (meditation). Meanwhile, Lord Rama, during his fourteen years of exile happened to visit Vaishnavi who recognized him immediately as no ordinary being but the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and immediately asked him to merge her into himself so that she could become one with the supreme creator. However Lord Rama, knowing that it was not the appropriate time, dissuaded her by saying that he will visit her again after the end of his exile and at that time if she succeeded in recognizing him, he will fulfill her wish. True to his words, Rama visited her again after being victorious in the battle, but this time he did so in the guise of an old man. Unfortunately, Vaishnavi was unable to recognize him this time and was distraught. Upon this, Lord Rama consoled her that the appropriate time for her being one with the creator had not come and he will eventually do so in 'Kaliyug' in his incarnation of 'Kalki'. Rama also directed her to meditate and set up an Ashram at the base of Trikuta hills to elevate her level of spirituality so as to bless the mankind and rid the poor and destitute of their sufferings and only then will 'Vishnu' merge her into himself.
Vaishnavi, after immense hardships reached the foot of the Trikuta Hills and after setting up her ashram there she began to meditate. As predicted by Lord Rama, her glory spread far and wide and people began to flock to her Ashram to seek her blessings. As the time passed, a Tantrik named Gorakh Nath who had a vision of the episode between Lord Rama and Vaishnavi in the retrospective time frame, became curious to find out whether Vaishnavi has been able to attain a high level of spirituality or not. He, therefore, sent his most able disciple 'Bhairon Nath' to find out the truth. Bhairon Nath on locating the ashram started observing Vaishnavi secretly and realised that though a 'Sadhvi' she always carried bow and arrows with her and was always surrounded by langoors (apes) and a ferocious looking lion. Bhairon Nath was enamored by Vaishnavi's extraordinary beauty and losing all good sense he began to pester Vaishnavi to marry him. Meanwhile a staunch devotee of Mata Sridhar organised a Bhandara (Community meal) in which the whole village and Guru Gorakh Nath along with all his followers including Bhairon were invited. During the course of Bhandara Bhairon Nath attempted to grab Vaishnavi but she tried her best to daunt him. On failing to do so, Vaishnavi decided to flee away into
the mountains to continue her 'Tapasaya' undisturbed. Bhairon Nath however chased her to her destination. The goddess after halting at Banganga, Charan Paduka, and Adhkwari, finally reached the holy cave Shrine. When Bhairon Nath continued to follow her despite the goddess trying to avoid a confrontation, the goddess was compelled to kill him. Bhairon Nath met his ultimate fate when the goddess, just outside the mouth of the cave, beheaded him. The severed head of Bhairon fell with a force at a distant hilltop. Bhairon Nath upon death realised the futility of his mission and prayed to the deity to forgive him. The almighty 'Mata' had mercy on Bhairon and gave him a boon that every devotee of the goddess shall have to have the Darshans of Bhairon after having the Darshans of the goddess and only then shall the yatra of a devotee be complete. Meanwhile, Vaishnavi decided to shed off her human form and assuming the face of a rock she immersed her self into meditation forever.