What is Arati?
Arati is a holy ritual that invokes god if done with faith and reverence. Performing Arati has many benefits. Most importantly, it accelerates your spiritual growth. Now, let me state the significance of performing arati.
The process of Arati represents the Panchabhootas (5 elements) which make up the human system. These include ether, fire, water, earth, and wind.
Know that each element represents a particular Chakra. For instance, the earth element represents the Muladhara chakra, the water element represents the Swadhishtana chakra and so on.
Hence, performing arati everyday balances the entire chakra system. So, today, we will briefly cover the entire process of arati.
Significance of deity worship
Deity represents the Supreme Being. It is the cosmic energy center. Hence, offering our veneration to the deity, balances our system at the macro level.
Remember- the emotion is most important. You need not stress yourself. If you perform the arati with love, the lord shall anyway accept your prayers. Love is all that matters. However, I have listed the right methodology for performing arati at home.
Note- While performing the arati, imagine you are offering you’re all at the Lord’s lotus feet. You are surrendering your frailties, weaknesses and inabilities. Sincerely pray to him to accept your offerings. Arati happens in the subtle plane. It stands at par with Manas Puja or service on the mental plane. The specialty of arati is that it regulates discipline and gives the actual experience of serving Bhagavan.
When to perform arati?
You can perform arati 2 times a day. At morning – 7-00 am; at evening- 6-00 pm. While performing the arati, you can sing a melodious bhajan.
Process of Arati
Things you will need-
1) A Kamandalu of water (Pancha Patra) with a spoon- After the use of each paraphernalia, put a spoonful of water on that particular paraphernalia and then on your palms. This purification step demarcates the end of each paraphernalia. It is hence used for intermediate cleansing.
2) Handbell- Ring the handbell during the arati.
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1) Blow the Conch
Conch represents ether (cosmic sound). The sound waves produced by the blowing of conch eliminate all negative energies lingering around us. For instance- In the battlefield, truth triumphs by blowing the conch, thus instilling fear in the enemies. Hence all negativity in and around us shall flee on just hearing the conch.
Hence, blow the conch three times.
2) Lighting an incense
Lighting an incense creates divine ambience conducive for other-worldly activities. It makes the surroundings pleasant for arati.
Use odd number of incense sticks. Most preferred- Three
3) Panchapradeep- (Lamp with 5 wicks)
Panchapradeep marks the beginning of the arati. We start the invocation with the fire element. You see, during the start of every auspicious eve, we invoke the fire element through a Yagya. Fire purifies. It eliminates all negativity. Also, lamp dispels darkness of character. In fact, lighting a lamp is said to bring wealth and prosperity to the house.
After showing the Panchapradeep to the deity, the fire gets charged with divine potency. Taking the fire instills positivity and confidence in the individual.
4) Conch-water (With normal or scented water)
Conch water represents the cooling water element. Fill the conch with water. Then show it around the deity. The water thus gives a cooling effect on the deity. Remember- Do not discard the sanctified water.
Fold the napkin thrice to make a nice triangle shape. Then, hold the napkin in between your fingers and gently wave it around the deity.
6) Offer flowers
Flowers represent the rooted earth element since they arise from trees growing on soil. After wiping the deity, move a plate of flowers around the deity. Then offer the flowers a His lotus feet.
Chamara is a fan made of white hair of Tibetan yak. It represents the wind element. Fan the lord with the Chamara.
8) Peacock fan
The Peacock fan also represents the wind element. Fan it around the deity and make pleasant patterns like a peacock spreading its feathers in dance.
9) Blow the conch three times
10) Finally, Bow down in prostration
Offer Dandavat or bow down before the deity in reverence.
Sprinkle the water obtained in step 4 on the assembled devotees. Also, distribute the flowers.
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