This is what Shri Goswami Bharatji (Pune) has to say on the subject.

In Pushtimargiya Havelis Aarati is performed four times, twice in the morning session of seva and twice in the evening session. In the morning session it is performed during ‘Mangala Darshan’ and during "Rajbhog Darshan’. In the evening session, it is performed in ‘Bhog-Sandhya Darshan’ and ‘Shayan Darshan’.

The concept is generally to ward off any evil eyes that might have fallen upon Him. While the ‘Mangala Aarati’ and ‘Sandhya Aarati’ is performed with the ‘bhavana’ of ‘Yashoda Maiya’, who performs ‘Aarati’ to ward off any evil effect of a bad dream that her ‘Laalan’ may have seen in the night, or to ward off the evil eyes of any evil creatures while the ‘Laalan’ was busy looking after the cows in the jungle.

The ‘Rajbhog Aarati’ and ‘Shayan Aarati’ is performed with the ‘bhavana’ of the ‘Gopis’ or ‘Vraj Bhakt’ who are in the service of ‘Swaminiji’. They perform ‘Rajbhog Arati’ to remove the ‘Viraha-taap’ that they experienced while He was away. This is the reason why we do not ‘take’ the ‘Aarati’ once it is performed.

Once the ‘taap’ is removed, it is not to be taken back as it is the time for ‘Sanyog’.

Only in Nathdwara, at ‘Shrinathji’ the ‘Aarati’ is taken because ‘Shrinathji’ is ‘Jagat-Uddharak’. In Vitthalnathji too, after ‘Rajbhog Aarati’ a conch full of water is waved around ‘Shri’ and the water is then sprinkled over the visitors. This ritual is performed to keep the promise given to the ‘Batuk Shastri’ who brought the ‘Swaroop’ of Shri Vitthalnathji on the day of Gosainji’s ‘Prakatya’. He had requested Shri Mahaprabhuji to let this ritual (of taking Aarati) continue on his behalf, therefore instead of ‘taking’ the actual ‘Aarati’, this ‘Sheetal Aarati’ is taken.

This ‘Sheetal Aarati’ symbolizes the cool relief of ‘Sanyog’ after the removal of ‘Viraha Taap’.


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Please also read the article by Shastri Shri Jay Vallabhji
Arti - a popular ritual at darshan times.


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