What is Aarti ? How and why is Aarti Performed ?
The word 'Aarti' is used in two forms -
1. As a part of Hindu worship.
There are sixteen upchars of Hindu Puja.Aarti is also one of them.
2. As a song or a hymn which is sung in the praise of the deity.
To pay devotion and respect to any god a song is sung with proper rhythm. This rhythmical song is also known as Aarti.
The other names for Aarti are Aaraatrikaa or Aarartikaa or Neeraajan.
Why is Aarti Performed ?
Aarti is a part of Shodashopachaar Puja. It is believed that during Puja or worshipping of any god, there might creep some thing wrong or any deficiency or a mistake. Aarti removes that deficiency and rectify the mistake and make it a prefect or complete Puja.
According to Skand Purana -
मन्त्रहीनं क्रियाहीनं यत पूजन हरे:
सर्वे सम्पूर्णं तामेति कृते नीराजने शिवे।
If the worship is performed without proper Mantra and without adopting proper process, Aarti takes the whole Puja to its perfection. In other words Aarti removes the deficiency of the Puja process and takes it to its completion or perfection.
How is Aarti performed/ The process of Aarti -
At the time of Aarti drums etc. are beaten, conch is blown and musical instruments are played. One, five, seven or more wicks soaked in Ghee are lighted.
The person who performs the Aarti stands before the idol of the deity and waves or rotates the lighted wicks four times at the feet of the deity, two times at the navel area, once at the face area and seven times around the whole idol of the deity.