Aarati on the Ganga: The Divine Offering
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Aarati on the Ganga: The Divine Offering
Offering of flowers
Lighting diyas (lamps)
Smearing tilak
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As one travels along the banks of the holy river Ganga, one sees scores of devotees praying together in the evenings. This prayer, performed everyday, is called aarati.

During the aarati people pay their respects to the Mother Ganga, to that Divine Force that has blessed us all so bountifully. The chanting rendered by the pundits, priests, during the aarati soothes the mind, taking our attention away from the world to the Transcendental. The beauty of praying on the banks of the Ganga lies in the powerful sense of devotion that pervades the environment. The aura of devotion as the smell of agarbatti (incense sticks), wafts through the air is inexplicable. And there is a sense of oneness amongst devotees as they pray collectively to that Benevolent Force.

One of the most amazing things one experiences during the aarati is the power of prayer. To see so many people come together, from far away places, with complete devotion to pay homage to the Mother Ganga is a truly inspiring feeling.


Once the aarati is complete, devotees offer flowers to the Ganga. They also light diyas, small earthen lamps as a mark of respect to the Ganga. After this, the pundits smear kum- kum, red powder, on the foreheads of devotees.


All three have immense spiritual significance in our lives.