Behind the Hindu Aarti ceremony

October 17, 2018

Our new Wellness tours offer the perfect balance of awe-inspiring destinations, rejuvenating activities, and healthy food experiences, helping you return home feeling even better than when you left. Each of our Wellness tours covers three important pillars: Mindfulness, Movement, and Nourishment. In this new blog series, we want to shed a little more light on exactly what this will look like once you embark on your tour. Here, a look at the Mindfulness of a Hindu Aarti ceremony in India.

In Hinduism, the Aarti is only one of 16 parts of the puja, which is an elaborate ritual in which prayer is offered to one or more deities. The puja itself is done for a number of reasons, ranging from daily prayer to the commemoration of a major event — like a birth or death — to the marking of major Hindu festivals, such as Holi. Pujas are also performed in Jainism and Buddhism.

The Aarti involves the offering of light to one or more deities. This light is derived from wicks that are dipped in ghee or camphor, and a song may also be sung as an offering. During the ritual, an aarti plate — usually made of metal, and set with wicks dipped in oil, and often also containing flowers, incense, and rice — is circulated around a person, or a figure representing a deity, as a prayer or song is recited by congregants.

The purpose of performing the aarti varies. It can be performed as a gesture of humility before deities, or as a gesture of kindness, hope, benevolence, or well-wishes.

If you are invited to participate in an aarti ceremony, make sure you are aware of what your participation will entail. Don’t touch, move, or alter anything unless you’ve been invited to do so, and make sure you’re aware of anything you are explicitly not allowed to do, or anywhere that it would be rude or disrespectful for you to stand or sit. If you’re comfortable, well-informed, and non-disruptive, the aarti can be a meditative experience.

In fact, you might just want to stand back and take it all in. Witnessing this ancient, powerful ritual is sure to leave a lasting impact.

Getting there

Check out our Wellness India tour to learn more.

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