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Deva Mai << Back

Around 4 kilometers before Katra on Jammu-Katra road, a diversion of 3.5 kilometers leads to Deva Mai, traditionally considered to be the second Darshan on the Yatra of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji. In the olden days there used to be a walkway to Deva Mai from a village called Numai, situated near Katra. With the development of the road, now the way to Deva Mai goes from the main Jammu-Katra Road.

Legend says that while Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji has Her abode in the Trikuta Mountain since Treta Yug (the second of the four eras as propounded by the Indian spiritual tradition), it is in Kaliyug (the present era) that She stayed at Deva Mai in a small girl form and completed Her Tapasya (spiritual discipline and ascetic practices) of the human form.

The priests at Deva Mai narrate a story of one Pandit Shyami Das, whom they say belonged to the fourth generation of Pandit Shridhar. Pandit Shyami Das lived separately from the rest of the family at the place where the temple of Deva Mai is situated. He used to visit the Holy Cave everyday for Darshans and Poojan and only upon returning back used to break his fast and eat something. Once when he returned home in the evening after the day's work, he got the news that his wife who was expecting a baby has delivered a girl child. An ancient tradition of India believes that at the birth or death of a family member, the whole of family has to observe certain days of abstinence, whereby they cannot visit any temple or perform their daily rituals. This period during which all religious and spiritual activities are prohibited is known as 'Sutak' and hence Pandit Shyami Das, upon receiving the news of the bil1h of his daughter, took upon the vow that he will observe complete fast during the Sutak period and will eat or drink anything only after Darshans and Poojan at the Holy Cave. In the same night, the Divine Mother in his dreams said to him that it is actually She who had taken birth as his daughter and how can the occasion of Her birth in his family be considered to be a period of abstinence from any religious rituals?

 Pandit Shyami Das was overjoyed with the arrival of the Divine Mother in his family but was however struck with the dilemma of naming the girl child. On one hand he could not name Her as any other girl as She if was his mother and on the other cannot even call Her Mother due to social considerations. Thus he named the girl child as Mai Deva , which literally means 'The Mother Divine' but in local language also means 'By blessings of  the Mother'.

 The Divine Mother is believed to have stayed at this place for a period of 110 years in a small girl child form and observed various spiritual disciplines, while also granting boons to all those who visited Her to pay their obeisance. When Her Tapasya was complete, She is said to have converted Herself into an idol form in front of Her devotees and since then that same idol is worshipped here. It is also said to host a Trident used by Mata. The Trident is worshipped too along with the statue and is available for Darshans to all the visitors. A mango tree planted by Mata is also present a few furlongs away.

In the olden days, the route to Katra passed through Deva Mai and visitors preferred this place for their night halts before embarking on their onward journey to the Holy Cave. Post development of a direct road to Katra and all the required facilities there, only very few visitors visit this temple now. It still remains a place worth visiting, with its natural scenic beauty, views of Trikuta and the divine serenity.

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