Arti General reasons for Arti Arti is done for two reasons. 1) to ward off the evil eye. As the Lord is so handsome and so charming, the evil eye may inadvertently fall from even those who love the Lord - viz the devotes. The arti takes away the evil - eye (nazar) and it also keeps any malicious spirits that may be in the vacinity at bay. As light banishes darkness, arti represents conquest of good over evil. 2) to allow us to see the Lord. Less than 50 years ago, temples usually did not have electric lights in the inner sanctum. As the svarups are usually small, and inner sanctum rather dark, it was difficult to see the Lord's svarup. Arti was one way devotees could "see" the svarup of the Lord - hence the importance of "getting there for the arti". It is also for this treason that most Hindus usually "take arti" at the end of the darshan. It is an expression of our gratitude to the "arti" for allowing us to have a darshan of the Lord. As we now have bright / electric lights in most temples, there is no need to rush for the arti - please read the article on how best to do darshans in the haveli - on the website. Arti is still an important ritual, but only as a personal inter-action between Yashoda and Nanada-nandan.
Arti as used in Pushti Marg Unlike other Indian temples, havelis use bells very discreetly. As a haveli is essentially a "private residence" of the Lord, just like a "private residence", there are no bells in the main hall or courtyard for people to ring. In the inner sanctum, during mangal arti, bells are not rung and the jhalar is struck in muted tones - so as to be as gentle on the ears of the Lord as possible. Afterall, no one wants to be woken up with a loud bang ! For the same reason, Utthapan darshan is also accompanied by little or no music. Other artis, especially during raj-bhog, has the full musical compliment of bells, jhalar, drums, the whole lot ! While the priests are doing raj-bhog arti in the inner sanctum, drummers and trumpeters make their own music at the main gate in Nagar-Khana, announcing the main darshan of the day to all Vaishnavs in the town. In Pushti Marg, we do not "take" the arti after its offered to the Lord.
Please read the following to 2 articles to get a better idea on this - Arti - by Shri Bharat Kumarji and Shastri Shri Jay Vallabhji
© Bhagwat Shah
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