For many years now, I had heard stories about the magical powers of Vaishno Devi temple situated in Katra, Jammu & Kashmir.. It is said that unless there is a BULAWA (a call / a summon) from the Goddess, you cannot get a DARSHAN (a visit) of the deity.. And it so happened with me..
Last year in September 2011, me and my wife were planning to visit the Vaishno Devi temple and had booked our train tickets 3 months in advance.. But for some or the other reason we could not go and had to cancel our trip.. We thought to ourselves that probably its not our time to visit right now and that we still do not have her BULAWA.. It is also said that if you Plan your trip to Vaishno Devi, you might be able to reach there, but still not get a DARSHAN.. Strange but True..
Last month in May 2012, my wife just casually came to me and asked me to check if there were train tickets available from Mumbai to Jammu, so we can think of visiting the temple.. I checked the irctc website to find out some 100+ waiting list for the Mumbai to Jammu route.. Next I tried checking if I can go to Delhi first and then take another train to Jammu, only to find out a 50+ waiting list on both the routes.. I figured out that it was peak season time and I told to myself that there is no way we are going to make it.. I tried checking Flight ticket prices, but saw that they would cost me a bomb because I was looking at a distant booking date.. Now the only choice left to me was the Tatkal Quota, for which I was a little skeptical.. But nevertheless, I tried my luck and with the help of 2 people and 3 laptops, I managed to book 4 tickets.. :))
This was the first instance where I personally witnessed that when you get the BULAWA, you don’t choose the path, the path chooses you..
Ok, so here I was in Katra with my wife and two other elder family members accompanying us.. All four of us were visiting this place for the first time.. Me and my wife had decided that we will walk-up the entire 14 kms uphill stretch and send our elders in a PALKI (a chair with horizontal wooden beams on both sides, lifted by 4 people).. There is also a Helicopter service available there, which drops you at a point which is just 3 kms from the temple, but the online tickets for the same were sold-out when I had checked it back home in Mumbai.. But my wife insisted that we give it a try and check if we can get 2 Helicopter tickets which might have got cancelled, and to our surprise we actually got them and sent our elders in it..
This was the second instance where the unbelievable had happened..
Now, me and my wife headed back to the point from where we had to start walking our way up to the temple.. We found out that one needs to obtain a Registration Slip in order to pass through the entry gates.. After a little introspection I found out that people who do their bookings via an agent or a tour operator get these registration slips as a part of the package.. And obviously that was not the case with us, as we had planned our trip in the nick of time.. I tried getting the slip by doing some JUGAAD, but nothing worked..
Taking a look at the Que for the registration slip, one can easily say that it is not something for the faint-hearted and someone has to be utter stupid to think of entering it.. But there was no option left and I had to brave my way through it if I wanted to visit the temple.. I asked my wife to stand outside and jumped into the Que.. After about half an hour, I realized that it will take me at least 5 hours more to get the slip and I was in a condition which can easily beat the rush in an evening local train to Virar X_X..
I was gasping for breath, and just wanted to get out of there.. I was thinking to myself, probably it is still not my time yet to visit the goddess.. Just then, I got a call from my wife on my mobile phone, which I couldn’t reach out to and one of the person in the Que actually fetched it from my cargo pocket and handed it to me.. My wife informed me that there was this lady who had approached her with 2 spare registration slips that she and her daughter had gotten in order to take somebody along for company.. My Jaw dropped and I didn’t know how to react.. I felt as if the Goddess was telling me that you have passed the Test and I have sent tickets for you.. I cannot explain that feeling..
This was the third instance where I had witnessed the Divinity of Goddess Vaishno Devi..
**JAI MATA DI **
Originally posted on RodinhoodMonastery..