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Ritual of Waving Lit Lamps (Aarti) - A Spiritual Perspective
Introduction : In the Era of Strife (Kaliyug), man doubts the very existence of God. In such a spiritual climate, Hindu Dharma has provided the easy means of offering aarti, for man to be able to experience God. Offering aarti means calling out to God with intense yearning. On the Path of Ritualistic Worship (Karmakand) given by Hindu Dharma, aarti forms an important aspect. It involves worship of the divine by waving a lit lamp in front of a Deity accompanied by the singing of devotional hymns. If a human being calls out to a Deity through the medium of aarti, he is granted a vision of God in the form of either light or the Deity itself.
The Deity is invoked and pleased by the aarati : The hymns in an aarati, which are in praise of the Deities, involve an earnest prayer made unto God to win His grace. The Deities and God, who bestow grace, are pleased by the praises and worship of the one who offers aarati.
The composers of the aarati's : Most of the aaratis have been composed by Saints and spiritually evolved devotees. An aarati contains both the resolve (sankalpa) and blessings of the spiritually evolved. Thus, Their 'Energy of Resolve' (sankalpa shakti) benefits the devotee both at the material and spiritual level.
Activation of spiritual emotion (bhaav) : According to the Path of Devotion (Bhaktiyog), it is essential that the follower develops spiritual emotion and devotion unto God, sooner rather than later. In the primary stage it is difficult to develop spiritual emotion unto the formless, that is, the unmanifest principle (nirgun tattva) of God. Whereas a devotee can easily feel close to God with a form, that has attributes and a humanly appearance. The devotee is able to develop spiritual emotion quicker unto God with a form or the manifest (sagun) form of God.
Aarati is an easy medium of worship unto the manifest form of God. During aarati, the subtle form of the words being sung softly touches the Deity’s idol or image unto which the aarati platter is being waved. The subtle form of those words/devotional hymns then returns to those listening to or singing the aarati. This benefits the worshippers’ subtle bodies (sukshma deha). The words in the devotional hymns of the aarati also transmit their spiritual purity (sattva) component to the subtle bodies of the worshippers. Hence, those who sing the aarati feel light. Further, the words in the aarati activate the central channel (sushumna nadi) of the spiritual energy system (kundalini). That in turn, awakens the spiritual emotion of the worshippers.
Strengthening of faith : Theoretical information or intellectual knowledge about Spirituality helps the devotee in developing some belief in Spirituality and the divine. However, when he gets an actual spiritual experience, he develops faith in Spirituality. As seen earlier in this article, aarati helps awaken the devotee’s spiritual emotion, which is a spiritual experience. This helps to strengthen his faith in the Deity he worships.
A Deity's principle is more active during aarati : A deity’s principle is more functional during aarati. Thus, during aarati, a devotee derives more benefit from the energy and Divine Consciousness (chaitanya) of the Deity. That is why it is more important to visit a temple during the offering of aarati than at any other time.
When Aarti should be performed
At sunrise and at sunset : Aarati is meant to be performed at sunrise and sunset. At sunrise the raja-tama predominant atmosphere present throughout the night is destroyed and the absolute fire element (tej tattva) frequencies of Deities arrive in the universe. Hence, aarati is to be offered at sunrise to welcome them.
Aarati performed at sunrise welcomes the saviour form of Divine Consciousness (taarak Chaitanya) transmitted during the arrival of the frequencies of Deities. Aarati performed at sunset destroys the spiritually impure (raja-tama) frequencies and invokes the Deities' destroyer form of Divine Consciousness (maarak Chaitanya).
Science behind performing aarati at sunset : At sunset the proportion of the absolute fire element in the sun's rays starts reducing and the presence of the spiritually impure raja-tama particles in the atmosphere starts increasing. The generation of raja-tama frequencies also starts increasing. This increases the movement of the subtle harmful forces in the environment. To gain protection from distress in such a spiritually impure environment, it is essential to invoke the Deities' spiritually pure presence and frequencies. Performing aarati invokes the Deities as follows:
• Through the vibrations of sound emitted by the devotional hymns sung and accompanying musical instruments played during the ritual and
• By bringing the Deities waves into the orbit of the universe.
As a result of aarati, the proportion of the vibrations of
Deities increases, and the proportion of the subtle harmful
vibrations and forces, decreases in the environment. This creates a
subtle protective armor around the devotee's body.
About Forum for Hindu Awakening : The Forum for Hindu Awakening (FHA) is a charitable organization devoted to awaken society to the unique spiritual science behind Hindu Dharma concepts and practices, to motivate people to live and preserve them and to facilitate the spiritual progress of humanity.
Related links :
# Correct method and science of doing Namaskar to God
# Why namaskar, not hand shake: Spiritual benefits of namaskaar
# Arrangement of Deities In Temple Room and Queries about Aarti
# How to make Pujaa platter arrangement: Cosmic elements
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