Arathi is usually done at the end of a puja, signifying worship and submission of self to the divine. It is performed in a clockwise direction around the deity, representing God as the centre of Life. Devotees express their gratitude towards God while performing the Arathi, which is also considered to signify the ‘Pancha Bhutas’.
Courtesy: Adobe stock
How is Arathi performed
- The Arathi is performed lighting a wick or burning camphor.
- The cotton wick or cotton bathi is made from pure cotton
- The wick or bathi is normally kept in a metal plate, usually brass.
- These plates come in various forms and they have their own significance.
- The bathi used for Arathi usually comes in the form of thin strands which can be suitably used with the metal plates.
- Camphor is another substance which is used for performing
- Camphor has a spiritual significance and it is supposed to drive away negativities and purify the environment.
- Arathi is performed in the clockwise direction to the deity and later offered to the devotees who place their hands a little above the flame and then touch their eyes and head with them.
- The flame absorbs the God’s power which is then passed to the devotee when he takes the
- While the basic arathi plate is the Halagarathi, other forms like Pancharathi,Shankarathi, Chakrarathi, Nagarathi,Kumbhaarathi,Kurmaarathi and Step arathi are available.
Aaraartikam-Aham Kurve Pashya Me Varado Bhava ||
Significance of Arathi
- Arathi is one of the 16 steps performed in the Shodashaupachara puja.
- It is also accompanied by singing of devotional songs and
- We light up the flame and offer it to God ,who is the Supreme Being, symbolizing knowledge and life.
- Lighting of a wick or camphor are both spiritually significant.
- While the lighting of wicks brings wealth and prosperity into our lives, burning of camphor without a trace, signifies a person’s knowledge lit by fire and the ego vanishing away.
Where is it performed
- Arathi is performed in homes during pujas and
- It is also performed in temples by the priests and offered to the
- Arathi is also performed to elders as a form of respect and even to inanimate objects like vehicles, especially during Navaratri festival.