Introduction: How to Offer an Arti

Introduction: How to Offer an Arti

Introduction: How to Offer an Arti

Various Saints and evolved devotees have composed devotional Artis (hymns in praise of the Lord) from approximately the twelfth century onwards. They are thereby making available a beautiful and easy medium to light the lamp of devotion in the hearts of worshippers and enable them to invoke and imbibe the grace and blessings of a Deity by offering Arti. Singing an Arti conceived with the resolve of Saints accomplishes these objectives, but only when it is sung from the heart and as per the science of Spirituality.

An act is done with the heart only when its importance is genuinely understood. Explaining the science or principles in such things helps in early imprinting of its importance on the mind. With this objective, the science of Spirituality explains the various acts to be performed while offering Arti. In worship it is very important to perform each act as per the science of Spirituality. Many are not aware of various facts; for example, while offering Arti to God, one can move the platter in a clock-wise circle from the anahat chakra (at the heart area) to the adnya chakra (mid-brow region) of the Deity or that one must perform circumambulation after Arti. If these facts are not known they will not be performed or will be performed incorrectly. In this special issue on Arti, one will understand how to perform all the actions pertaining to Arti as per the science of Spirituality. If every one tries to perform the Arti with intense yearning and as per the science of Spirituality, then it will lead to an increase in collective spiritual emotion which will further activate the Deity’s principle and everyone will benefit from it. Similarly, the atmosphere will get purified and become Sattva predominant.

We pray at the holy feet of the Guru that may everyone understand and perform Arti in accordance with the science and experience an increased awakening of their spiritual emotion. – Editor

What is importance of offering Arti? Apt for the Kaliyug

What is importance of offering Arti? Apt for the Kaliyug

What is importance of offering Arti? Apt for the Kaliyug

In the Era of Strife, (Kaliyug), man doubts the very existence of God. In such a spiritual climate, offering Arti has been designed as an easy means for man to be able to realise God. Offering Arti means calling out to God with intense yearning. If a human being calls out to a Deity through the medium of the Arti then he is granted either a vision of God in the form of light or of the Deities’ form.

Deity is appeased

The hymns in an Arti which are in praise of the Deities, also entail an earnest prayer made unto God to win His grace. The Deities and God who bestows grace, are pleased with the praises and worship of the one who offers Arti.

Composers of the Arti

Most of the Artis have been composed by Saints and evolved devotees. An Arti contains both the resolve and blessings of the spiritually evolved. Thus, a seeker benefits at the material and spiritual level due to the benefit accrued through Their ‘Energy of Resolve’.

Activation of spiritual emotion

According to the Path of Devotion it is very essential that the follower develops devotion and spiritual emotion towards God sooner rather than later. In the primary stages it is difficult to develop spiritual emotion unto the formless, that is, the unmanifest principle of God. However, a seeker feels close to God with a form which has attributes and a human appearance. He is able to develop spiritual emotion unto Him faster. Arti is an easy medium of worship to the manifest form of God. The subtle form of the words sung in the Arti softly touch the idol or the picture of the Deity placed in front and return to those listening to or singing to it. This affects the worshippers subtle bodies. The words in the Arti transmit the Sattva component accompanying them to the subtle bodies of the worshippers. Consequently one who sings the Arti feels light. The spiritual emotion of the worshippers is awakened due to the activation of the sushumna nadi (central channel) by the words in the Arti .’

Strengthening of faith

As the seeker’s spiritual emotion for the Deity he worships is awakened during Arti, he gains a spiritual experience. This helps in further strengthening his faith in the Deity he worships.

Deity’s principle is more active during Arti

As the principle of the Deity is more functional during Arti, a seeker derives more benefit from the energy and Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) of the Deity. That is why our presence in the temple during the offering of Arti is more beneficial than our presence there at any other time.

Singing the Arti accompanied by Musical Instruments

A bell should be sounded melodiously in an even rhythm. Rhythmic accompaniment of musical instruments like the cymbals, harmonium and Tabla (an Indian drum) etc should be there. Accompaniment of these musical instruments enhances the bhav and makes the Arti more effective.

1. The bell

Pooja Bell

The bell used in ritualistic worship should be sounded only when singing the Arti. The sound of the bell should be melodiously and evenly maintained throughout the Arti. The frequencies of Deities in the Universe, attracted to the Arti move constantly towards the devotee because of the frequencies in the energy of the sound transmitted by the bell. Due to this energy, the Sattva predominant frequencies transmitted by Deities are converted into subtle waves. Since these vibrations are most subtle, their effect on the environment lasts longer. The energy created by the Arti is bound in these vibrations. Hence, the subtle sound of the Arti transmitted by these waves can be heard even after the Arti is over.

The following aspects of the Arti awaken bhav in the worshipper:

1. The shabdabrahma (the Brahma in the words), arising out of the singing of Arti
2. The aksharbrahma (the Brahma in the alphabets), woven in the shabdabrahma
3. The taalbrahma (the Brahma in the rhythm), hidden in the sound of cymbals
4. The naadbrahma (the Brahma in the sound) arising out of the bell.

Hence, during singing of an Arti, the embodied soul (or the worshipper) can derive highest level of spiritual experience. (Divine knowledge received through the medium of a seeker)

2. Cymbals

The sound created by the cymbals generates identical rhythmic subtle sound frequencies all over in the environment. These frequencies activate the Sushumnanadi in the body of the one singing an Arti or devotional songs. These subtle frequencies attract the principles of the Deities and their sattva component towards them and transmit them into the environment and to the embodied souls, through the sound. In this way, cymbals attract the ultra-subtle frequencies of Deities through its sound and transform them into subtle frequencies. The embodied soul is able to conveniently imbibe these frequencies. As cymbals function to a greater extent in the ‘saviour’ form, sounding them activates the sattvik bhav. (Divine knowledge received through the medium of a seeker)

Why Arti platter should be waved in a full circle?

Q. On waving the Arti platter in front of a Deity Why should an Arti platter be waved in a full circle in front of the Deity?

A. When offering Arti, using a lamp with five wicks (also called pancharti), the platter containing this lit lamp should be waved in a full circle in front of the Deity. This results in a speedy circular movement of sattva frequencies emitted by the flame of the lamp. These sattva frequencies then get converted gradually into raja frequencies. They appear like ripples in the water. A suraksha kavach (protective armour) of these frequencies is formed around the embodied soul of the worshipper offering the Arti and is known as a ‘tarang kavach‘ (lit. ‘ripple armour’). The more the spiritual emotion of the worshipper offering the Arti, longer this armour lasts. As his sattva component is enhanced, he is able to absorb more Divine frequencies from the Universe. This increases his spiritual emotion and he perceives the reflection of his soul in the form of a blue spot of light (also known as Atmabindu) in front of him and a ripple of raja frequencies emanating from this Atmabindu.

Q. Why should the Arti platter be waved in a clockwise direction in front of the Deity?

A. As the earth moves in the clockwise direction, the frequencies in the environment do not offer any resistance to the movement of the lit lamp.

Q. Why should the Arti platter not be waved above the head of the Deity?

A. The Arti platter should not be waved above the head of the Deity, but should be moved from the Anahat to the Adnya Chakra of the Deity. Due to the influence of the raja frequencies emanating from the Arti, friction develops with the sattva particles in the serene frequencies related to the unmanifest Divine principle (emitted from the head of the Deity). As a result, they can disintegrate before being transmitted. That is why the Arti platter should not be waved above the head of the Deity. Thus, the high-speed frequencies emitted from the Adnya chakra and which are related to the attributes of the Deity get complemented by the raja frequencies emanating from the lamp of the Arti. This enables them to be transmitted effectively in the environment forming a protective armour around the worshippers and destroying the raja-tama in the environment.

Should we clap during an Arti?

Singing the Arti should be accompanied by clapping. For seekers in the primary stage clapping should be done softly to maintain a rhythm. For those in the advanced stage, instead of clapping, one should attempt to look inward and become introverted. When singing the Arti, in addition to the clapping, musical instruments should be played.

It is incorrect to clap on occasions other than during the singing of Artis, as it brings about a stance that does not enhance the purity element within. Nowadays people clap during a discourse of Saints, at spiritual meetings or at religious functions; this is prevalent, but incorrect. Bliss should never be expressed by clapping; because due to the mudra (posture) created by this, the Surya-nadi (Sun Channel) in the human body is activated. The Surya-nadi in the body is known as ‘tamogun-vardhini‘ (one which increases the Tamogun in us). The Moon channel in the body is known as ‘rajogun-vardhini‘ as activation of this channel increases the influence of raja component in the body. The Sushumnanadi (central channel) is known as ‘sattvagun-vardhini‘, as activation of this channel increases the influence of sattva component in the body. That is why the Sushumnanadi is beneficial for the practice of Spirituality. The mudra created while clapping causes the activation of the Surya-nadi in the body and there is an increase in the tama component in the body, thus reducing the proportion of sattva component. Hence clapping is against the tenets of Sanatan Dharma, which teaches us how to acquire the sattva component.

Even though clapping increases the tama component, how it is useful in aiding the Arti is explained ahead.

Why should a seeker in the primary stage clap while singing an Arti?

During singing of an Arti one should clap gently to maintain a rhythm. According to the science of Spirituality the reason for this is as follows: We appeal to the Deity via the medium of the Arti. The frequencies of sound generated by singing the Arti have the capacity to appease the Deity. When we restrict the sound of the Arti to a taal (rhythm) by clapping, the frequencies of sound created by the Arti become melodious. Thus we can activate the Deity and Its principle then begins to function. As the bhav of the devotee is awakened during the Arti, the sattva component in his body is already high. As his Sushumnanadi is activated at that time, the clapping does not have much effect on his body. (Divine knowledge received through the medium of a seeker)
When singing an Arti, besides clapping, musical instruments should be played, as it will help in awakening bhav in a seeker in the primary stage of spiritual practice. At this stage the seeker’s attitude is extroverted. But, as the goal of a seeker is to achieve introversion, to attain the next stage in his progress he should concentrate on becoming introverted rather than clapping or playing musical instruments during the Arti. Once introversion occurs, the seeker does not need to even utter the gross words in the Arti, as the Bliss he experiences is beyond words and is superior.

How to sing Arti in spiritually correct way?

 

After blowing the conch, the Arti should be sung. There are certain factors which are necessary to perform an Arti and thereby increase the bhav (spiritual emotion) and sattvikta.

Spiritual emotion of the one singing the Arti

The Arti should be sung with the bhav that ‘God Himself is standing in front and I am calling out to Him earnestly’.

The more the bhav one has while singing the Arti for God, the more enriched with bhav and sattva predominant the Arti will become. Such an Arti will reach the Lord faster. Individuals singing an Arti in this manner benefit as follows: The greater the collective bhav of the group singing the Arti, greater is the extent and period of preservation of the frequencies of Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) of Deities in the environment. This leads to a reduction in the distress from negative energies and gaining the benefit of Chaitanya. Every embodied soul should make an effort to perform the Arti with bhav. Also as a covering is formed on the ground by these sattva predominant vibrations (which stops the transmission of distressing frequencies from the Negative subtle regions), the worshipper’s embodied soul benefits most from the Chaitanya. Thus during the Arti the worshipper’s gross and subtle bodies get purified and results in his faster spiritual evolution.

Pronunciation and the technique of singing

Pronun-ciation while singing Arti should be correct as per the science of Spirituality. The sattvikta and Chaitanya generated from the words in the Arti depends on its pronunciation, speed of singing and also pronouncing the words either together or separately. To illustrate how the sattva component gets affected an example is given here: A line in Lord Krishna’s Arti is as follows – Dhwajavajrankush bridacha todar.

This can be sung in two ways.
 
Method 1: Here ‘da‘ in the word ‘bridacha‘ is stretched.
Method 2: (Dhwajavajrankush bridacha todar)
Here ‘cha‘ in the word ‘bridacha‘ is stretched.

By uttering the word ‘bridacha‘ in an even tone without any change in rhythm, the Sattva component generated is 100 percent. However when singing the Arti, since there is the restriction of the rhythm, one has to sing it by stretching a specific alphabet in a word. When it is uttered as in method 1, 80 percent of sattvikta is generated from it. When uttered by method 2 only 60 percent sattva component is generated .This illustrates the importance of correct pronunciation of every word in any song. Only if the pronunciation is correct can one awaken bhav in a word. If an alphabet in the middle of a word is stretched then the last alphabet in the word has the capacity to bind the sound frequencies created by prolonging the middle alphabet. That is how words generate more Chaitanya, which lasts longer too. In contrast, if the last alphabet in a word is prolonged, then as there is no alphabet after it, the sound frequencies created are not held together. Instead, they disperse into the atmosphere immediately. The Chaitanya in such words lasts only for a moment and one does not derive the desired benefit from the sattva component in it. That is why it is beneficial to prolong the middle alphabet than the last one in a word. In the advanced stage of spiritual progress, singing a song in an even tone bestows more inner bliss and serenity than singing a song with rhythmic changes.

Singing the Arti after understanding their meaning

The Artis should be sung after understanding their meaning. Most of the Artis have been composed by Saints and evolved devotees; at times, it is difficult to understand the meaning of such Artis. Singing the Arti after understanding their meaning helps in an early awakening of bhav towards Deities.
(When the bhav of a worshipper is awakened, he is able to imbibe the Chaitanya emanating from Supreme God. Consequently the enthusiasm increases. – Compilers)

 

Why should a conch be blown prior ritualistic worship and how?

Why should a conch be blown prior ritualistic worship and how?

Subtle diagram of effect of blowing a conch

Subtle diagram of effect of blowing a conch


A conch should be blown, when beginning any ritualistic worship and prior to the Arti. By blowing the conch 3 times before beginning any ritualistic worship, movement of negative energies in the environment is reduced. This helps in reducing the obstacle of distressing vibrations and allows the flow of Sattva predominant frequencies of the Deities. This further creates a protective sheath or an armour of Chaitanya around the various items used in the ritualistic worship.

Any ritualistic worship is concluded by performing the Arti. During Arti, the frequencies of the principles of Deities functional in the universe are attracted to the venue of the worship in large numbers. The raja-tama frequencies can create obstacles to the flow of these frequencies. By blowing the conch, the raja-tama frequencies disintegrate; that is why it is blown prior to an Arti. This purifies the environment and helps in preserving the Divine consciousness generated through the ritualistic worship for a longer period. Thus we derive maximum benefit from the sattva predominant frequencies of Deities attracted to the venue of the Arti.

How to blow a conch?

A. Why should the person blowing the conch raise his neck?


The person blowing the conch should raise his neck upwards (towards God) and fully concentrate on the task at hand. When blowing the conch, the eyes should be closed and a spiritual emotion should be nurtured that one is beckoning the subtler frequencies of the unmanifest, destroyer form of God’. This posture activates the Sushumnanadi (Central Channel) in the body of the conch-blower. It also helps in maintaining a perfect balance between the raja-tama particles in the frequencies related to the absolute air and absolute fire elements that emanate from the mouth. Thus, as per the requirement – the saviour and destroyer principles of the Deity get activated.

B. When blowing the conch, close the eyes and cultivate a bhav that the marak (destroyer) frequencies of the unmanifest form of God are being received from above.

C. Blowing of the conch in a single breath: As far as possible, take a deep breath and fill the lungs with air, and then blow the conch in a single breath. This way the resonance of the vibrations (the resonance of subtle sound in the environment) lasts for a longer period. Due to the strength of the sound vibrations in the resonance, it becomes possible to tear apart the black covering surrounding the aerial body of the negative energies in the vicinity in a short time.

D. The sound of the conch should go from a low to a high pitch: When blowing the conch, the sound should start from a low and go to a high pitch which should be maintained till the conch-blower stops.

E. Manifestation of negative energies due to the sound of the conch: Due to the sound energy generated by blowing the conch, subtler frequencies flowing down from the universe get activated. They cause disintegration of raja-tama particles in the atmosphere within a short time. Due to the momentum of frequencies of sound energy emanating from the conch, there is friction between raja–tama particles, resulting in subtle flames. As a result the sheath around the aerial bodies of negative energies starts to burn. That is why negative energies are unable to tolerate the sound of a conch. They are compelled to manifest because of this sound. However, some of the more powerful sorcerers from the negative subtle region pretend to be unaffected, despite the distress caused by the sound of the conch!