The story is about seven hundred years old. Two kilometers away from present Katra town, is a village named Hansali. This picturesque-place surrounded on all sides by trees and brooks presents an enthrilling view of nature. In the midst of this atmosphere a sound was reverberating in the mountains of Trikuta..............
I don't know hymns; I don't know how to adore thee; I
"Victory to you, Oh mother Bhavani," said Pandit Shri-Dhar. His throat choked, tears and rolled down the cheeks, sweat drops appeared over his forehead, lips quivered. Shri-Dhar asked mother, "You are the greatest of great. You are knower of known and unknown. Why don't you accept my prayers? What are the shortcomings in my worship? Oh, goddess! Be benign unto me. Pardon my sins or else tell me in person that why children can't adore my home? How can my line of progenators continue without my descendants." Pandit Shri-Dhar was talking as if to himself with emotion and devotion. His whole body was shivering and suddenly a murmuring sound came beneath the fallen dry leaves.
"Chhan, Chhan, Chhan............".
Sound of Pazeb (Anklet) filled the air. Pandit ji looked in the direction of leaves and the rays of blazing sun fell on his fact. The whole atmosphere looked blissful. Shri-Dhar was aghast. He saw here and there, but couldn't find anyone. He took it as his own hallucination and offered the flowers of worship and left for his village. He had to conduct girl worship ceremony.
The girl worship ceremony started. Six small girls were sitting in line with folded legs. Suddenly Panditji's eyes fell on a ravishing face, full of beauty and spelndour. Panditji was amazed and bewitched. It seemed as if hundreds of suns were blazing on her fact. It was so innocent, as if thousands of lotuses had blossomed. This girl had never been spotted in the village earlier. Her clothes were red in colour and she was wearing an anklet.
The girl put her feet in the front of Pandit Shri-Dhar. He started to wash her feet. Then he worshipped all the seven girls and served flowers. Later he served food and gave `Dakshina' (offering in cash) to them. All the girls except the divine shaped girl, left. Panditji was about to ask her some questions, when the divine goddess, in the form of girl, said to him, "I have come to you for an important job." On hearing this from small girl the devotee was overwhelmed.
The girl said, "you convey to people in the village and around, that you are holding a feast in the name of god. " Before Panditji could ask her anything, the girl disappeared. Shri-Dhar was perplexed. Who was that girl? She should have been a divine girl. Then Shri-Dhar became anxious about holding of `Bhandara', the feast in the worship of god. He thought that he could invite everyone but whom would arrange the eatables and other material required for it? He thought that the mysterious girl may have been divine and wanted to examine his devotion. He resolved to invite people from the village and near-by places and left his home to invite all the people including `Bhairav Nath'.
Bhairav Nath enquired of Panditji, if he could fulfil the requirements of so big a congregation. He warned him of bad consequences in case of failure. He reminded him that once their guru and his disciples cursed Lord Indra. He said to Panditji, "Our guru ji can burn the whole village by his curse in anger. So you think before deciding to invite us. You are committing a great blunder by calling us on feast." Panditji folded hands and said, "Sir, you are a great sage, saint and seer. By good luck, I have been able to see you. I have already invited the people from far and nearby places. I have requested you to visit my home deeming it to be my duty. Although I know that I can't perform such a big holy feast (Bhandara) yet I have to perform it.
"Why?", enquired yogi." Holy sage, that girl has ordered me to perform it, said Shri-Dhar. "Which girl"? again the yogi enquired "Fantastic! a small girl will arrange holy feast for such a huge group of holy saints". The saint turned towards his guru and said, "Sir, listen the words of Panditji. He says that s small girl wants to feed all of us and also the whole village." Guru Gorakh Nath replied, "What harm is there to take the test? We should go and see ourselves, who this girl is?" The guru raised his hands and said to Shri-Dhar." We accept your invitation. We will arrive tomorrow in time.
Shri-Dhar got dead-tired by visiting the houses of people in villages and fell asleep at night. In the morning, he got worried about the arrangements for `Bhandara'. People started to pour in.
It was noon. Sun was blazing high in the sky. Shri-Dhar was sitting out side his hut on a raised earthen platform. He was lost in worry as nothing had been arranged. Meanwhile the sound of saints arrival could be heard from a distance. Holy saint, Gorakh Nath, was proceeding towards the hut, accompanied by huge group of devotees.
The whole village hummed with activity and people thronged towards the hut. Some said that Panditji has got himself entrapped. Others thought that whole village will be put to disrepute, because of Panditji's folly. Even ladies began to murmur.
Suddenly, the sky was overcast with clouds and for a moment it was almost dark and later bright sun appeared again and darkness disappeared. Surprisingly a divine girl, wearing red apparel and a trident in hand appeared in front of Shri-Dhar. Nobody could know, from where, the girl appeared.
The divine girl said, "Panditji, leave your worries. Everything will be arranged. You get up and ask the holy men to get into your hut and eat food." Shri-Dhar got up and requested the saints to grace his hut.
Guru Gorakh Nath said, "How can I sit in your hut with my three hundred and sixty disciples? For us, open space, outside the hut, will be suitable. Your hut is too small. Panditji, please arrange to serve the foods, outside the hut." Shri-Dhar replied, "Sir, the girl has invited you inside the hut." Guru ji proceeded to hut and his disciples followed him one by one. All the people got accommodated inside the hut and there was still some room left. People of the village sat outside. Bhandara started. The divine girl started to distribute food from mystic pot (Kamandal). Panditji became happy while others were surprised. Everyone got food of choice. Numberless foods of varied tastes were distributed and people ate to their heartful.
On seeing this, Gorakh Nath and Bhairav-Nath admitted in their conversation that the girl had some supernatural powers. They decided to probe about her antecedents. The girl reached near Bhairav Nath, serving food. He said to the girl, "You have served food to everybody as per their choice. Now serve me also food of my choice." The girl replied. "Your holiness, what do you want?" Mother knew everything. She wanted to play a sport with her child in the same way, as a mother plays with a baby or as a baby plays with his toys. So inspite of knowing everything about Bhairav she wanted him to spell it out.
Bhairav said, "Bring for me meat and drinks (wine)." The girl replied, "Sir, please do not forget that you are sitting in a Brahmins hut and this auspicious feast is vegetarian. So please ask only those foods which are vegetarian." Bhairav stood by his choice. He wanted to test the powers of this amazing girl. Discussions started over this issue and Bhairav lost temper. He tried to catch-hold of the hand of girl. The girl (goddess) disappeared. Bhairav, also, was not an ordinary human being. He went into samadhi (Intense meditation) and saw by his spiritual powers that the girl is moving towards Trikuta Mountains. His quest increased. He wanted to know the whereabouts of the girl, her source of power and the mystery surrounding her. He became restive and as such sought permission from his Guru, to follow the girl and to know her abode. He told him that he wanted to know the secret of her powers and their source. Guru Gorakh Nath allowed Bhairav to pursue the girl and wished him good luck.
Bhairav left for Trikuta hills. He saw, in meditation, the path
taken by the girl and followed her.
While sleeping Panditji felt, as if, someone is pressing his hand on his head. The soft touch of hand gave him relief and he opened his eyes. To his astonishment, he found Durga goddess riding a lion, adorned with ornaments, trident in her hand and many other-weapons gracing her dazzling and sparking personality. Panditji reverently bowed down his head and sang hymns in the worship of mother. Mother enquired of Panditji, "Why did you stop eating and drinking? How can you worship with an empty belly? Come, I will show you my abode." Shri-Dhar followed mother with folded hands. It seemed as if everything was moving mechanically. He started riding up the hill. Then they reached near a cave. They entered the cave. The devotee was jubilant on witnessing it. Tears rolled down his cheeks in reverence. He bowed down his head and worshipped the goddess mother. Then they came out the cave. The moment he ejected out of cave the bright light fell on his eyes and Shri-Dhar awoke from his sleep. It was dawn. The Sun had come out scattering red rays in streaks in the sky. Shri-Dhar got up from the bed.
Panditji was very happy. The scenes witnessed during dream were still fresh in his mind. The picture of mother astride a lion in full glory was causing a commotion to him. He remembered every bit of path, place, the goddess in `Pindi' shape, the beautiful cave, the mountains falling on the way etc.
Nine months passed by. Bhairav Nath was loitering on the mountains in search of mystic girl. He sat in mediation several times and tried to know the whereabouts of the girl through mystic pursuits but he failed. Although he knew that the divine girl is hidden somewhere on the same mountain yet he could not locate her. The path, she followed, was not clear. Earlier, he had seen a `Langur Veer' (Monkey) with a red flag in hand with the girl. Then he saw the girl hitting a stone with an arrow and water gushed out of that stone. Bhairav reached near the place and again sat in meditation. He saw the girl standing at the mountaintop. Bhairav went to that place and found the footprint (Marks) on the stone. Then he could not locate the girl for nine months. His innate desire for the search of girl, increased to the extent of madness.
One day his eyes fell on a hermit. Bhairav enquired of hermit, "Sir, have you seen any girl here?" The hermit replied, "Perhaps you are not aware, that goddess Maha Devi lives here. Who else can stay here?" Bhairav asked, "Where can the girl, whom I am searching, hide for nine months? Is it not possible that she is hidden in the cave?" Saying so, he started to enter a narrow cave beneath the hermit.
The hermit stopped Bhairav. He stood in front of the cave mouth and said, " Oh fool! The girl, whom you think as ordinary human being, is all-powerful goddess `Adi Kumari' (a virgin, since the very begining of the Universe). It is good for you to return back."
It is said that when evil times are to be-fall on a man, his intellect fails. Bhairav Nath also acted in the same manner. The more the saint forbade him, the more he became stubborn about entering the cave. He thought how could a girl remain hidden in cave for nine months. A cave cannot become a womb (Garb-Yoni). He vowed to enter the cave. Mother goddess was witnessing the mental agony and turbulence of Bhairav. In fact, it was her own sport (Lila). She could annihilate Bhairav in a spur of moment, but she wanted to continue the play a bit more.
On seeing Bhairav entering the cave, she tore open a path behind the cave by her trident and came out. The goddess went ahead, while Bhairav followed her. At last the goddess reached near the beautiful cave on Trikut Mountains. Goddess asked Bhairav to return back and stop following her, but Bhairav refused. So the goddess kept `Veer-Langur' (Monkey) as a guard on cave-mouth and entered in he cave. Bhairav also started to enter the cave. However, "Mahamaya has forbidden me from allowing anyone to enter into the cave. So please take leave. "Who are you to stop me? I am Bhairav-Bali. I can go to any place." On saying this Bhairav snatched `Gada' (club) from Langur and started hitting him. The two fought battle royal for a long time, till Langur fell down. Bhairav threw him away and entered the cave. Goddess saw him entering and took the shape of fierce 'Chandi' goddess and killed Bhairav by her sword.
Probably the play of goddess had come to an end. When a child plays with a toy and it doesn't move according to his choice, he may break it. He is the master of toy. In similar way, Maha Devi broke the toy (a creation of her own Maya). The sword of goddess tore through the body of Bhairav so ferociously, that the head of Bhairav fell on the mountain peak. This place, in these days, is called as Bhairav-Ghati.
Bhairav Nath was not an ordinary human being; he was a spiritual saint. His head separated from the body, but the consciousness still remained. He felt sorry for his conduct. He repented and implored to goddess. "Oh! the mother of creator, foundation of universe, I am not sad for having lost my life, as my end has come at the hands of mother of creation. I will get 'Moksha' (Liberation). But mother, please pardon me. I was ignorant of your girl-form. Great mother, if you won't pardon me, then the whole world will consider me as a great sinner and abhor me.
On listening the prayers of Bhairav, the mother took pity on him. She gave him a boon and said, "after my worship, people will be worshipping you also. Your soul will be liberated. The devotees will visit your shrine after pilgrimage to my abode. The devotees, who pay obeisance to you, will also get their desires fulfilled. As per this boon, the pilgrims of Holy Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine later visit the temple of Bhairav Baba. The place, where the Bhairav's head fell, houses a temple in the name of Bhairav.
Meanwhile, Shri-Dhar had become impatient after having holy `darshan' of goddess mother in holy cave in a dream. He started to march towards Trikuta Mountains on the same path as he had witnessed in dream. Sometimes he used to forget the path but immediately a picture of the path would come in his eyes. In this way, he went on searching the cave and ultimately reached the cave mouth. He became joyous and entered the cave. There he saw mother goddess in `Pindi-Rupa'. Shri-Dhar prayed holy mother with hymn and oblations. He worshipped mother with deep reverence. He made a daily routine of worshipping `Pindi's' and serve the mother in several ways. The unswerving faith and devotion of Shri-Dhar pleased the mother goddess and she appeared in front of her devotee and gave him a boon of four sons. The mother blessed Shri-Dhar and said, "Your future progeny will worship me for long time to come and they will be blessed with happiness, wealth, health and valour." Since that day, Shri-Dhar and his descendants have been worshiping the mother. After this event Shri-Dhar spread the message far and wide and the cave became popular amongst masses. People come in millions to visit the holy cave and get their desires fulfilled.
Mata Rani have blessed devotees
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