The Meaning of Ganga Aarti

June 2009

Each evening as the sun's last rays reflect off the boundless waters of Mother Ganga, we gather for Ganga Aarti. This divine light ceremony is filled with song, prayer, ritual and a palpable sense of the divine. The "aarti" - an ornate oil lamp, lined with dozens of flames burning in pure ghee - is offered to God. The essence of the aarti ceremony is that all day long God offers us light – the light of the sun, the light of life, the light of His (Her) blessings. Aarti is a time when we say “thank you,” and we offer back the light of our thanks, the light of our love and the light of our devotion.

One of the meanings of Aarti is “remover of pain.” There is nothing inherent in the name of the ceremony that says which form or name of God it should be performed to. It should be performed to the Divine Remover of Pain in our life.

Ganga aarti is a time in which we break free from the normal stresses and strains of everyday life, and gather together in joy, reverence and peace. As the bright yellow sun dips into the water and the reflection of its rays bring tears to our eyes, we are filled a new with a deep sense of bliss, reverence and spiritual connection.







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