Mata Vaishnodevi Ji and Sri Amarnath Ji, their intangible values

Poonam, Chaudhary (2003) Mata Vaishnodevi Ji and Sri Amarnath Ji, their intangible values. In: 14th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Place, memory, meaning: preserving intangible values in monuments and sites’, 27 – 31 oct 2003, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

India, the holy land, has innumerable temples and shrines spread all over the country. As per Hindu mythology, there are 33 Crore (3.3 Billion) Gods and Goddesses associated to Hindu Pantheon and each has a shrine dedicated to it. The Jammu and Kashmir State, the most Northern state of India, has three distinct regions namely Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir and can be called a ‘Religious Paradise’. It is famous for its cave shrines, which are natural rock formations that represent the living intangible heritage of India. These Gods and Goddesses are sources to be spiritually uplifted for the people of India. They provide spiritual solace to thousands of worshippers visiting these shrines. Apart from spiritual attainment they provide mental satisfaction and great ecstasy that sustain and stimulate the life pattern of thousands of strife torn people, who have intrinsic faith in these deities. The most significant cave shrine, however, are those of Mata Vaishno Devi and Amarnath located in Jammu and Kashmir regions respectively. Mata Vaishno Devi cave shrine is dedicated to Goddess Vaishno, which is a manifestation of Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Sarasvati. The three manifestations of the Goddess stand for the following: (Maha Kali, Tam) ---- Strength (Maha Lakshmi, Raj) ---- Wealth (Maha Sarasvati, Satva) ---- Intellect Each person on earth contains the attributes of Tam Guna, Raj Guna, Satva Guna, in some degree. His/ Her behaviour is conditioned by which attribute is predominant. However to lead a full and meaningful life a balance has to be struck between the three. This balance is extremely difficult to achieve. It needs divine blessings. It is only at Vaishno Devi that such blessings are possible. Similarly the holy cave shrine of Amarnath is dedicated to Lord Siva. The place is revered by the Hindu pilgrims because every year the Shivlinga of snow is formed. The Shivlinga seems to possess incredible and miraculous powers. Therefore, people from all over India visit the shrine to seek blessings of the God. Mata Vaishno Devi and Amarnath are the only cave shrines in the world where pilgrims in huge numbers willingly and happily climb vertical heights of almost 3500 ft and 12000 ft respectively covering a distance of 24 kms and 40 kms respectively. Large number of these pilgrims are repeaters who come every year. The unflinching faith of these devotees is wondrous to watch and what seems to motivate them to the very core of their heart are the three words, JAI MATA DI and JAI BABA BHOLENATH.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Poonam, Chaudhary
Languages: English
Keywords: cave shrines; intangible heritage; intangible values; sacred places
Subjects: H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 17. Intangible cultural heritage
O. INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 01. Generalities
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 19A. Places of religion and ritual
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Mata Vaishnodevi Ji, India; Sri Amarnath Ji, India
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2003, 14th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2010 14:16
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2023 14:35

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