Varanasi Aarti

“It’s got everything to do with being yourself, trusting the magic, following your heart, dreaming big, and having fun… Hosanna in the highest” ~ The Universe

A well-known Cape Town photographer inspired me, with his recent photos of Aarti in India, to pull out one of mine from Varanasi, India January 2012 and work on it.

Those days I only knew how to take photos on full auto and in JPG format.

Although I was able to enhance the photo slightly this morning, I do wish I knew my settings better back then and was shooting in RAW format.

“Aarti also spelled arti, arati, arathi, aarthi (In Devanagari: आरती ārtī) is a Hindu religious ritual of worship, a part of puja, in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities.

Aarti can be simple to extravagant, but always involves flame or light. It is sometimes performed one to five times daily, and usually at the end of a puja (in southern India) or bhajan session (in northern India).

It is performed during almost all Hindu ceremonies and occasions. It involves the circulating of an ‘Aarti plate’ or ‘Aarti lamp’ around a person or deity and is generally accompanied by the congregation singing songs in praise of that deva or person (many versions exist). In doing so, the plate or lamp is supposed to acquire the power of the deity. The priest circulates the plate or lamp to all those present. They cup their down-turned hands over the flame and then raise their palms to their forehead – the purificatory blessing, passed from the deva’s image to the flame, has now been passed to the devotee.

The aarti plate is generally made of metal, usually silver, bronze or copper. On it must repose a lamp made of kneaded flour, mud or metal, filled with oil or ghee. One or more cotton wicks (always an odd number) are put into the oil and then lighted, or camphor is burnt instead. The plate may also contain flowers, incense and akshata (rice).[7]

In some temples, a plate is not used and the priest holds the ghee lamp in his hand when offering it to the Deities.

The purpose of performing aarti is the waving of lighted wicks before the deities in a spirit of humility and gratitude, wherein faithful followers become immersed in God’s divine form” ~ Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aarti

Varanasi Aarti copy (Large)

Canon South Africa 550D on full AUTO. JPG reworked 9-01-2018.

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