An integral and a very key part of the Hindu worship ritual or Puja, Aarti or Arti originates from the Sanskrit word Aratrika, which when broken means absence of Ratrika or Ratri (night). Aartis are generally performed by lighting wicks soaked in ghee or Oil or by lighting camphor. This ceremony of light is at times also said to be the miniature version of a Vedic fire ritual of Yajna or Yagya or homa.
In today’s world, where the human belief system has become a little shaky, Aarti might just be a platter with several things in it and a song one must sing to appease the Gods. However, aarti is a spiritual connect between a devotee and the Lord. As per Bhagwat Gita, the material world (the creation) is made of five main elements; Akash (ether), Vayu (wind), Agni (fire), Jal (water) and Prithvi (earth). Each constituent on the aarti platter signifies one of these five elements. The flowers represent the earth element, a small pot of water represents the water element, the sound of the conch and the bells represent the ether element, the lamp or candles signify the fire element and the peacock fan signifies the air element. The platter replete with all these elements is moved in a clockwise circular motion around the deity or the divine element (holy rivers, the ocean etc.) making it seem like the light from the lamp forms a celestial circle binding together the performer and the one for whom the aarti is performed.
Some interesting facts highlighting the significance of Aarti:
Thus, aarti must be perceived as an offering of the creation to the creator (the deity). A celebration of the divine light that brings positivity, sanctity, purity of soul, fragrance and love to the human lives!