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Arti is the traditional Hindu devotional song that is sung during the rituals of worship. Aarti which is spelled in various ways like - arti, aarti, arati, arathi, aarthi.
Arti is a part of Hindu puja and ritual of worship. In arti a light (diep) created by burning campor pieces or wicks soaked in ghee (oil) is offered to deities.
In arti songs are sung in praise of a deity. Generally arti is sung in groups with accompaniment of rhythm instruments like 'tabla', 'mridangam' and 'taal'.
Arti is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Aratrika', which means something that removes darkness (ratri). Aarti is also believed to be understood from the Vedic concept of fire rituals (Hoam).
The arti icludes - the flower (solidity), the water and cloth correspond (liquidity), the lamp (diep) or candle (heat), the peacock fan (movement) and the yak-tail fan (space).
The incense symbolises a clean state of mind. So Arti offers complete existence and facets of material creation to the Deity.
During arti, the performer faces the Idol of God and concentrates on the grace of God by looking into the eyes of the deity.
The arti flame throws light on all parts of the deity so that the dissiples can concentrate on the grace of the deity. Aarti is moved in clockwise manner around the deity. There are various Artis dedicated different deities.