What is Aarti?
Aarti is offered to God that symbolizes the end of prayer or conclusion of any auspicious rituals. If we go into literally meaning of the word Aarti by breaking into the syllables i.e. ‘Aa’ means toward and ‘rti’ means ‘right virtues’. Aarti provide enlightenment to believers that help them to chase away their state of darkness (ignorance) to the state of light (knowledge). In other words, it helps devotees to be observant that they keep them away from the influence of the material world and move towards the attainment of God and relieving from all sorrows.
Try to make sure that you arrange the following items before performing Aarti to perform Aarti in a right way:
- Couch: To make divine sound to request Deities to be present in their Aarti
- A container: fill it with the liquid that was prepared by five items: honey, sugar, milk, yogurt, and ghee and often basil leaves are added to it known as Panchamrita or charanamrit to bathe the Deity.
- Water pot: To pour water in couch shell to offer water to clear Panchamrit
- Cloth: To clean deities
- Red thread (moli): That symbolizes offering cloth. There is the option that you can offer dress for the deity.
- Small bowl of red kumkum paste/sandal paste: It symbolizes adornment of the Deity. Rich people sometimes offer ornaments.
- Match stick: To light the Lamp, Camphor and incense sticks
- Earthen or metal oil lamp: Symbolizes offering fire to the deity
- Incense sticks and Camphor: It symbolizes offering scent to the deity.
- A bowl filled with water covered with mango /banana leaves and coconut over it. Coconut here symbolizes the head of human being.
- Food items: Fruits, sweets or dry fruits: Offering food to the deity.
- Flowers: Represents Earth.
- Bell: To grab the attention of Deities constantly During Aarti. It will then spread the divine vibrations to members attending Aarti. Its positive energy remains even after Aarti is completed.
How to perform Aarti:
- Blow Couch
- Bathe the deity with Panchamrit and water and then dry with the cloth
- Offer thread or clothes
- Put the Kumkum mark on the thread
- Recite Aarti while rotating lighted lamp four times at the feet area of the deity, twice at the pelvic area, once at the face and upper portion of the body and seven times around the whole idol of the deity. It must be accompanied by clapping hands and ringing bells with full devotion. In temples and some homes Aarti is accompanied with musical instruments such as Hand cymbal or manjira, Tabla, Harmonium, Hand Percussion Drum and many other instruments as per the custom
- In the end, Circulate Aarti plate to all the members present there. All of them respectfully hover their hands over the flame of the lighted lamp and then touch them to their eyes and head in the respect of deity. It is believed that blessings conveyed from the deities to the flame, has now been passed on to the devotees. Many devotees prostate in front of Deity to seek divine blessings.
Timings of Aarti
In temples, Arti is usually performed five times during the day with each Arti relating to a specific part of the Deities’ routine. The five most common Artis are:
|Name ||Importance ||Time |
|Mangala Arti ||When the Deities give their first divine glimpse of the day, signifying the auspicious beginning of the day for devotees. |
|Shringar Arti ||When the Deities are dressed and adorned with ornaments and flower garlands. ||Early Morning |
|Rajbhog Arti ||Devotees offer midday meal to deities along with Aarti in afternoon. After that that food is offered to Devotees as Prasadam. ||Midday |
|Sandhya Arti ||Devotees offer their special evening prayers in front of the deity. ||Dusk |
|Shayan Arti ||When devotees let deities sleeps with the sound of devotional laurels. They prayed deities to bless them with good sleep in a night and have the next day as a blissful day. ||Late Evening |
At smaller temples and devotees’ homes, Arti is performed twice daily, in the morning and the evening. The special Aarti is performed as a concluding prayer in religious festivities.
What is significance of Aarti?
It signifies that all the devotees will get love, care, and strength from the God. While performing the Aarti, it is better that devotees must concentrate on the wick of lamp or feet of the deity and pray to the God that they should always raise high towards spiritualism and attain salvation. Devotees feel divine peace and joy after performing Aarti with full devotion
It helps in strengthening bond between God and devotees. It reminds them to keep God at the center of all their daily routines. It gives them power to withstand the unforeseen sorrow and keeps them modest during their happy moments of achieving their goals.
Many Hindus perform Aarti not only for deities but it is also performed for vehicles and other objects. It is been auspicious that one should perform Aarti before he/she start using that particular object. It is just as an honor to that object and pray that it would help in excel in the work one would use that object.
Similarly if one is going to start the new vehicle such as car for the first time. There is custom that Hindu priest will put the Swastic sign (Symbol of Lord Ganesha, the God who got the boon from his father Lord Shiva to be prayed first before any God.)
Later, Priest put red mark on the forehead of the performer. He then breaks the coconut. It is believed that when Person buy new vehicle might fill with ego. The ritual of breaking coconut is performed to obliterate the ego and humbling oneself before God. It also helps the owner of the vehicle to remember that God is the actual doer to bless the owner to owe the vehicle.
It is believed that Motar vehicle is the blood thirsty devil that descended on the road to kill people. Vehicle owner placed lemon to pacify this blood thirsty devil.