Festivals IloveIndia


The word "aarti" has been derived from the Rig Veda, one of the earliest Hindu scriptures, which signifies "the highest form of love for God". It comprises of the closing ritual of a prayer. The concept of singing an aarti has evolved from the worship of one of the five elements that the earth is made up of that is fire. The offering of aarti is symbolic to the prevalent Hindu religious belief that God is the centre of all forms of existence. It is seen as an act of submission of an individual to the material form of God in order to experience the highest state of joy.

Every material used while performing aarti is in its most natural form since the prime objective of performing it is to descend into a purer state of mind and soul. The lamp used is made up of clay or a natural metal derived from earth such as silver. The thali or the plate is usually made out of silver as well. Camphor is mainly used for igniting fire, since it leaves behind no residue. Cotton wicks, soaked in pure ghee or clarified butter, are used to light the lamp. The fragrance is brought by the usage of incense sticks that bring tranquility to the worshippers.

At the time of performing the aarti, the plate is rotated in a clockwise direction in front of the idol, symbolizing a continuous link between the individual, the universe and the divine. This is accompanied by the ringing of a prayer bell and the chanting of devotional hymns. Once the prayer is finished, the plate is taken around to all worshippers present who put their hands over the flame, touch their eyes and in turn dissolve into themselves the divine blessings of the almighty. In this section, we have listed few devotional songs, commonly sung for the various Indian Gods and Goddesses.