» Meaning of AartiAarti, also spelled arti, arathi, aarthi, arati or arthi is a Hindu ritual, in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities. Aarti also refers to the songs sung in praise of the deity, when offering of lamps is being offered.
Aarti are Hindi prayer songs, which is sung in a chorus, to address god and goddess with the waving of lamps before gods. The Hindu ritual of aarti is derived from the ancient Vedic concept of fire ceremony which is referred to as the “homa”. The word “aarti” can be broken up into two words in Sanskrit “aa” means “towards or to” and “rati” means “right or virtue or the highest love for god”.
Aarti is performed in all auspicious occasions. Aarti is generally performed one to five times daily and usually at the end of a puja or bhajan session. It is performed during almost all Hindu ceremonies and occasions. It involves the circulating of an 'Aarti plate' around a person or deity and is generally accompanied by the singing of songs in praise of that deva or person (many versions exist). In doing so, the plate itself is supposed to acquire the power of the deity. The priest circulates the plate to all those present. They cup their down-turned hands over the flame and then raise their palms to their forehead - the purificatory blessing, passed from the deva's image to the flame, have now been passed to the devotee.
The purpose of performing aarti is the waving of lighted wicks before the deities in a spirit of humility and gratitude, wherein faithful followers become immersed in God's divine form. It symbolises the five elements:
- Space (akash)
- Wind (vayu)
- Light (tej)
- Water (jal), and
- Earth (pruthvi).
- Communal Aarti is performed in the mandir; however, devotees also perform it in their homes.