View Full Version : Significance of Aarti

Arvind Sivaraman
22 June 2007, 02:16 AM
Om Shirdi Sai Ram.

Significance of Aarti

Aarti is a form of congregational worship, in which the devotees stand facing the image of a deity or a defied saint or, the personage (‘living idol’) of an exalted saint singing devotional songs in unison. Normally, the singing is accompanied by musical instruments such as bells, gongs and crymbals. The object of worship is devoutly decorated with posy garlands and, aromatic incence and musk are kept smouldering. While the devotees sing psalms, either an official or a devotee revolves clockwise, (usually) a fivefold oil lamp – consisting of five oil – traylets - round the object of adoration. Such a performance of aarti with a fivefold oil-lamp is called panchaarati.
A lamp with wicks burning clarified butter (ghee) is most preferred. After the devotional singing, the flame of the aarti-lamp is offered to the devotees, who pass their hands by turns over the sacred flame and quickly draw them to their faces and heads as a gesture of drawing onto themselves the auspicious energy emanating from ‘the receptable grace’ i.e the flame.

1. The essential constituent, of the ritual of aarti is a kind of simple fire ritual. That is why it is frequently translated as a ritual as of ‘waving lamps’.
2. It was the masters of the school of Bhakti (devotion) who transformed the simple-fire ritual into an exalted spiritual method. Worship in a congregational setting is helpful in more than one way.
3. In a communal prayer devotees can pray in a space charged with the homogeneous devotional fervour of a group can cut across the insulation of the ego and merge easily into a group rhythm.
4. It induces a sense of expanded consciousness in which one tends to lose the individual ‘voice’ subtly, an awareness of being a part of a ‘Whole’ sense of separate identity melts into the mainstream 0f collective consciousness.
5. A hymn or a psalm is an expression of ardent devotion which in turn is capable of evoking kindred emotions in the hearts of those who recite it This is a language to commune with the Divine.
6. By waving the lights in circular motion, we, in fact, symbolically perform ‘Pradakshina’ around our Deity.
7. When the five-wick lamp is lit, the devotee waves it symbolically, offering his five pranas (to the Lord, totally surrendering himself and gaining, seeking the union of the devotee’s soul with the Supreme Self.

03 July 2007, 09:08 PM
Hare Krishna!

Where were yo when I was first starting my journey in the faith? Your words are appreciated and would be a great addition to a "Newcomers" section. Please keep posting, especially on the basics.

04 July 2007, 09:45 AM
Hari Om

Om Shirdi Sai Ram.

1.The essential constituent, of the ritual of aarti is a kind of simple fire ritual.

Namaste Arvind and C.smith,
A wonderful conversation,

And who is this flame? This flame is Agni, The Divine inspiration. First born in us, that leads us on the Way To Him/Her.
Agni is the very first words of the Rig Veda. We want to 'kindle' agni in us. 'Agnim ile' - Agni I adore.

The first words from the risi Madhuchuhandis. Agni is from ang, which indicates strong and luminious movement... We see this in aarti as the 'waving of the fire' - lunimious movement. The is the outer expression of agni's divine movement in us, in consciousness.

For every outer ritual there is an inner counterpart in consciousness. This is the brilliance of the rishi's.

Please continue Arvind, to bring us more of this... talk to us of not only agni, but of apa, and vastram ( Of water and cloth) and each tattva you can bring to us in the puja.

C.Smith, perhaps if care to read this post? it may be of interest?


20 November 2008, 11:09 PM
I don't care for this type of worship though I've been exposed to it greatly. :(

I do like worship I just don't care for loud noises so it agitates my mind instead of allowing me to slip into trance where Ananta can take hold.