In Hinduism, various types of aartis are performed to worship a deity. It’s an important religious ritual of worship that you can see being performed daily in any temple in India. Aartis often take place at the end of a puja and are usually performed by the brahmins (holy priests) and pandits of the temple.
Despite the fact, that most people associate aarti with temples, it is not limited to temple only. Being an integral part of Indian culture, aartis are also used to welcome honored guests at special functions or ceremonies. Such as when welcoming someone at school or college at annual functions or to welcome a newborn baby into the family.
What Is Aarti & Its Significance in Hinduism?
It’s one of the predominant methods of worship, which is often accompanied by the signing of a mantra, chalisa, or hymn in praise of the deity. Aarti is a Sanskrit word and is derived from the root word “aartika”, which literally means “to remove darkness“.
That’s why a source of light is offered during the performance of any aarti, usually by lighting lamps or pieces of chaurpur. It is believed that in ancient times, only Sandhya Vandana used to be performed in the evening.
This style of worship was later subdivided into a number of different styles, one of which is Aarti. In this article, I’ve listed the seven most common types of aarti that you have seen being performed in temples and other sacred rituals.
Mangal Aarti (मंगल आरती)
The Mangal Aarti is the first aarti that is performed before the presiding deity of a temple. The aarti begins every day in the early morning hours, between 4:00 and 4:30 am. This period of roughly 1 to 2 hours prior to sunrise is considered to be very auspicious and great for the spiritual uplifting of a person. That’s why it’s called brahma-muhurta.
It’s believed that any spiritual rituals performed during this time bring more positive results than those done at other times in the day. Mangal aarti means an auspicious beginning to your day, which you start by seeing and praying to the deity.
Mangal aarti begins so early in the morning because it is clearly stated in many spiritual texts that whoever wants to advance in life must wake up before sunrise. Mangal aarti thus acts as a daily ritual to build that habit among the devotees.
Dhoop Aarti (धूप आरती)
Dhoop aarti is the second aarti of the morning, which is performed after the bath of the presiding deity of a temple. This aarti uses scented incense, therefore the name “dhoop aarti“. The aarti usually takes place after the mangal aarti.
During the aarti, the idol of the deity is bathed and adorned with clothes and flower garlands. Many people who are unable to wake up at the brahma-muhurta to perform the mangal aarti at home could perform this dhoop aarti.
Although the aarti is performed by burning coconut peel, dhuna, among other things, it is incense sticks that are the dominant part of the aarti.
Shringar Aarti (श्रृंगार आरती)
Shringar Aarti is a type of aarti that takes place between 7:00 and 7:30 in the morning. Before performing Shringar Aarti, the deity is fully decorated with precious ornaments and beautiful garlands of flowers. So, that devotees could admire the adorned beauty of their deity.
This type of aarti mostly happens in temples only, where the presiding deity of the temple is prepared daily in the morning before 7am. Shringar Aarti is a beautiful reflection of how people dress up to meet others in the street.
Similarly, gods also prepare themselves before meeting with their devotees. This aarti usually takes place after the mangal aarti in the early morning.
Bhog Aarti (भोग आरती)
Bhog aarti is only performed at large temples, where the main meal of the day is served to the presiding deity and then to the devotees visiting the temple. The Bhog aarti is usually held between 11:00 and 12:00 p.m. After the aarti, the door to the presiding deity is shut for the afternoon.
This is the third aarti of the day, which a temple performs every day. The served meals are made with sattvic recipes without using any non-veg products. Many temples don’t even use salt, oil, and other restricted veggies according to the temple rituals.
Puja Aarti (पूजा आरती)
There are hundreds of ways to worship a deity in Hinduism. Puja aarti, on the other hand, is a type of worship that can be found in almost any sacred ritual or rite. It takes place at the ending of a religious ceremony or ritual. It’s believed that if Puja Aarti is not performed correctly at the end of a worship, the worship remains incomplete.
Usually, a song, hymn, or mantra associated with the deity is sung during the Aarti. According to Hindu traditions, it’s said that whatever error or deficiency remains in the worship, performing Puja Aarti at the end fulfills all of those.
Sandhya Aarti (संध्या आरती)
The Sandhya Aarti is the most popular of all the aartis. It is performed daily in every temple in the evening between 6:30 and 7:00. Most people visit their nearest temples during this time to attain the sandhya aarti.
At home, this is also the most prominent aarti for many. During the sandhya aarti, the presiding deity is worshiped by offering incense-scented smoke. This aarti is also known as sandhya-dhoop aarti, Sandhya Puja, and so on.
It’s believed that the time when sandhya aarti is being performed is the time of reconciliation of the gods with their devotees. Sandhya aarti can be done by anyone at home. It is not necessary to have a brahman or pandit do it on your behalf.
Shayan Aarti (शयन आरती)
Shayan aarti is the final aarti of the day for any temple. The presiding deity gets changed into sleeping clothes. This aarti lasts only a few minutes, and no conch shell is ever blown during it. During the Shayan aarti, no other instruments are played, including the conch.
Actually, Sandhya aarti is thought to be the last aarti of the day, but devotees want to perform another aarti as a request to the deity to sleep. The temple doors are opened again the next day, with the daily ritual of performing the mangal aarti.