offering arati

Every scheduled bhoga offering is followed by an arati. Except for kirtana, offering arati is the only regular daily function of deity wor- ship performed publicly.



Required Paraphernalia


Make sure the following items are present:


For all aratis:

 1)  a bell on a plate

 2)  an acamana cup containing fresh water and a spoon

 3)  a conch (for blowing) with a water-filled lota for rinsing it

 4)  a receptacle to catch the water from rinsing the conch (placed just outside the deity room, in the temple room)

 5)  a picture of your spiritual master


In addition, for full arati:

 1)  an incense holder with an odd number of incense sticks

 2)  a camphor lamp (for midday arati)

 3)  a ghee lamp with an odd number of wicks (at least five)

 4)  a conch for arghya water, with a stand

 5)  a water-pot, filled with water (this is for the arghya water to be offered in the conch)

 6)  a handkerchief

 7)  flowers on a plate

 8)  a camara (yak-tail whisk)

 9)  a peacock fan (only in warm weather)

For dhupa-arati:

 1)  an incense holder with an odd number of sticks

 2)  flowers on a plate

 3)  a camara

 4)  a peacock fan (only in warm weather)


Preliminary Activities for Arati


 • Outside the deity room, after performing acamana (if not already done for previous services), offer obeisances to your spiritual master, requesting to assist him in the worship.

 • Prepare the samanya-arghya if not already done (see description).

 • After cleaning the place where the arati paraphernalia will be set up (either on a low table, on the floor, or, if space allows, on the altar itself), bring the tray with paraphernalia and place them in the order of offering.

 • If there are standing or hanging oil or ghee lamp for lighting incense and arati lamps light them now.

 • While ringing the bell, open the deity room doors. Then, take the blowing conch shell and lota with water just outside the deity room (without the bell), blow the conch three times, rinse it off over a receptacle placed outside for that purpose, and then bring the conch and lota back inside. (You may place the conch horizontally on top of the lota.) Next wash your hands with water from the acamana cup and open the curtain while ringing the bell.

Purifying the Items (Upacaras)

Before offering each item (upacara), first purify your right hand with a few drops of water from the acamana cup and then the sprinkle the item (upacara) with water from the acamana cup.

Offering Procedure

• While standing on an asana and ringing a bell, present the incense first to your spiritual master by waving it in three or four graceful circles, and then present it to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya in the same manner.
• Then, with the consciousness that you are offering it on behalf of your spiritual master and with the blessings of %Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya, offer it with the full number of circles (listed below) to the main deity.
• After offering the incense to the main deity, offer it as prasada to the Lord’s associates in descending order, and to the guru-param- para—senior to junior. This may be done with seven or three circles for each personality, depending on time allowance.
• Then “distribute it” (with one or three circles) to the assembled Vaishnavas as the prasada of the Lord and His associates.

 • Offer the remaining items in a similar way.

 • Offered items should not be mixed with unoffered items. You may place offered items back on the plate that was used to bring in the paraphernalia, provided no unoffered paraphernalia remains on it.



How to Offer Each Item

Offer all the items, except the camara and fan, by moving them in clock- wise circles while ringing a bell with your left hand (above waist level), fixing your attention on the deities.

 • Incense: offer seven circles around the whole body of the Lord.

 • Lamp(s): offer four circles to the lotus feet, two circles to the navel, and three circles to the Lord’s face; then offer seven circles to the Lord’s whole body.

 • Arghya in a conch: offer three circles to the Lord’s head and seven circles to the whole body of the Lord. Then pour a small amount of the offered arghya back into the water pot before proceeding to offer arghya to the next personality. (Arati arghya: plain or scented water).

 • Cloth: offer seven times around the Lord’s body.

 • Flowers: offer seven times around the Lord’s body.

 • Camara: wave before the Lord a suitable number of times.

 • Fan: wave before the Lord a suitable number of times.


Completing the Arati


 • After completing the arati, blow the conch three times outside the deity room, as at the beginning of the arati. Then distribute the arghya and flower prasada to the assembled devotees.

 • Chant the prema-dhvani mantras if the kirtana leader or another devotee in the temple does not chant them.

 • Then with joined palms offer pranama prayers softly to your spiritual master and Their Lordships.

 • Next remove the arati paraphernalia from the deity room, clean the area and articles, and at last offer dandavat-pranamas (prostrated obeisances) outside the deity room.