In Sikh Religion, Aarti (also spelled arti, arati, arathi, aarthi) is spiritual term which means "To Unite with". Aa means To come and Rati means To Unite. In Gurmat, Soul is genderless. The hymns are composed Soul being feminine as well as Masculine where Aarti as well as Aarta terms are used respectively. Another belief derive meaning from Sanskrit term Aratrik which means removal of Darkness.
In Hinduism, It is a religious ritual of worship in which light from wicks soaked in Ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities. The songs sung in praise of the deity, when lamps are being offered.
Aarti, as performed traditionally, is generally not encouraged in Sikh Religon but it is performed in Hazur Sahib, Patna Sahib and by Nihang Sikhs. According to them, difference in their Aarti is that Sikhs do Aarti of divine wisdom, which is in form of Guru Granth Sahib. The concept is similar to bowing before Guru Granth Sahib on knees, the practice which is common in Hindus while bowing before Idols.
As per Sikh Chronicles, Guru Nanak visited Jagannath Puri during his east travels, which is a famous pilgrimage center of Hindus. Nanak noticed that the priests were more interested in the rituals and elaborate arrangements rather than in their love for God. So he stepped outside the temple and composed almighty of Nirankar.
- Gagan mah thaal, Rav-chand Deepak baney, Taarka mandal Janak Moti
- Dhoop maliaanlo Pavan chavaro karey, Sagal Banrai phoolant jyoti
- The Sky is Your platter, The sun and moon are the 'Deepaks' the lamps (lights), The Stars in the sky are the pearls,
- The 'Dhoop' (Incense) is the fragrance, That the wind propels, The whole forest is Your flowers.
- Kaisee Aarti hoi Bhaykandana Teree Aarti
- Anhata Shabad Vajanta bheree
- O! What a wonderful Aarti, this is!
- You, are a destroyer of Fear,
- The sound of Your Name, which is so subtle, that It goes unheard,
- Resounds endlessly.
- Sahas Tav Nain na na
- Nain hai Tohey kau
- Sahas moorat Nana Ik Tohee
- Sahas Pad Bimal Na na
- Ik Pad Gandh bin
- Sahas Tav Gandh Iv
- Chalat Mohee
- Sabh Mah Jot Jot Hai Sohee
- Tis Dat Chaanan Sabh Mah Chaanan Hoi
- Gur Sakhi Jot Pragat Hoi
- Jo Tis Bhaavey So Aarti Hoi
- You have a thousand eyes, forms, feet, noses…And you have none…
- I am charmed!
- Your Light enlightens all!
- It is by the Grace of the Guru that the real Light (Knowledge) Manifests.
- What pleases the Almighty is this Aarti (Creation)
- Har Charan Kamal Makrand Lobhit Mano
- Ana Din Mohey Aayey Pyaasa
- Kirpaa Jal Dey Nanak Sarang Kau
- Hoi Jaatey Terey nai Vaasa
- I yearn for Your Lotus feet,
- Night and day,
- Nanak is like the thirsty bird that asks,
- For a drop of water,
- From You O Lord!
- That drop (Grace) will make Nanak find comfort,
- In the uttering of Your Name.
- (The next part of the Aarti is a composition by Sri Ravidasji)
- Naam Tero Aarti Majan Muraarey
- Har Kay Naam Bina Joothey Sagal Pasaarey
- Naam Tero Aasno Naam Tero Ursaa
- Naam Tero Kesro Lay Chhitkaarey
- Naam Tera Ambhula Naam Tero Chandno
- Ghas Japey Naam Lay Tujahee Kau Chaarey
- Naam Tera Deeva Naam Tera Baatee
- Naam Tero Tel Lai , Maahee Pasaarey
- Naam Terey Kee Jyot Lagaayee
- Bhaiyaa Ujiyaaro Bhavan Saglaarey
- Naam Teraa Taagaa Naam Phul Maalaa
- Bhaar Athaarah Sagala Joothaarey
- Tero Keeyaa Tujhahee kyaa arpau
- Naam Tera Tuhee Chavar Dhulaarey
- Das Atha Atha Sathey Chaarey Khaanee
- Ehay Vartan Hai Sagal Sansaare
- Kahay Ravdaas Naam Tero Aartee
- Sat Naam Har Bhog Tuhaarey
- Sant Ravidasji says that:
O Lord, Your name is the Aarti, Your name is the Flower, the saffron, and the sandalwood That is offered to You. Your Name is the (Deeya) The Lamp, the oil and the cotton That is lighted in it. With the Light that Your Name gives out, The whole world is brightened. Your Name is the Thread and Your Name is also The Flowers that are strung into that thread. All that I offer to You is Yours. Your Name is the flywhisk, that you use, The (Chant of Your) True Name, We offer to You, All is false except Your Name!
(The following part of the aarti is composed by Sant Sainji)
Dhoop Deep Dhrit Saaj Aartee Vaarney Jaau Kamlapati
Mangalaa Har Mangalaa Nit Mangal Raaja Raam Raaiko
Uttam Deeyaraa Nirmal Baatee Toohee Niranjana Kamlaapati
Raam Bhagat Raamaananda Jaaney Pooran Paramaananda Bakhaaney
Madana Moorata Bhay Taarey Govindey Sain Bhanay Bhaj Paramaananda
The Aarti is adorned by the lighted lamp And the fragrance of the incense. All is Auspicious. Thou art the Supreme and Pure Light. Thou art the Lord of the Goddess of Wealth. My obeisance to Thee. And to the Lord Rama, Beautiful Govinda, Who is described as Replete Pure Bliss! Sain prays to Thee, Who obliterates all Fear.
(The following part is composed by Sant Kabeer)
Sun Sandhyaa Teree Dev Devaakar AdhPati Aadee Samaayee Sidh Samaadhee Anta Naheen Paayaa Laagee Rahey Sarnaayee
Leho Aartee Ho Purakh Niranjan Satguru Poojo Bhaai
Thaada Brahmaa Nigam Bichaarey Alakh Na Lakhiyaa Jaayee
Tat Tel Naam Keeyaa Baatee Deepak Deh Ujiyaaraa
Jyot Laayee Jagadeesha Jagaaiyaa Boojhey Boojhana Haaraa
Panchey Sabada Anaahada Baajey Sangey Saaringa Paanee
Kabeer Daas Teree Aartee Keenee Nirankaar Nirbaanee
Dear Lord! The Greatest of Yogis have not been able to comprehend You, Those who worship the Unmanifest, Fail to realize You. Even though they have persevered in their quest. Your Name resounds unheard (By the worldly) And only He can hear (On who Your Grace descends) Pray to Your satguru! Almighty Lord! Accept the Aarti, with the oil, Lit with the Chant of Your Name, By You, the Lord of the Universe! Kabirdas performs the Aarti of the 'Beyond Description' and the 'Without Form'
(The following part is composed by Sri Dhanaji)
Gopaal Teraa Aartaa Jo Jan Teree Bhagat Karantey Tin Key Kaaj Sanvaartaa
Dal Seedhaa Maangau Ghee Hamraa Khusee Karey Nit Jee
Pania Chaadan Neekaa Anaaj Maangau
Gau Bhais Maangau Laaveree Ik Taajana Turee Changeree
Ghar Kee Geehanee Changee Jan Dhanaa Levey Mangee
Gopaal Tera Aartaa Hey Dayaal Teraa Aartaa
O Gopaala, (Accept) your Aarti! You grant the wishes of those who worship You! I ask for my basic sustenance (food, oil, lentils, good quality grains) Which makes me feel fulfilled. I also pray for a good wife, good clothes, good grain, a horse, a cow…
The following has been composed by 'Daswin Patshaahi, The 10th Guru: Gobind Singh Maharaj.
I believe that in the following words, the same feeling is conveyed as Guru Nanak's:
That the Cosmos is an Aarti, constantly in motion, paying obeisance to the Almighty.
Yaa Tey Prasann Bhayey Hain Mahaa Muni
Devan Key Tap Mein Sukh Paavey Jag Karey Ik Ved Rarey
Bhav Taap Harey Mili Dhyaan Hi Laavey
Jhaalar Taal Mrudanga Upanga Rabaab Leeyey Sur Saaj milaavey Kinnar Gandharva Gaana Karey Gani Jachha Upachhara Nirata Dikhaavey
Sankhana kee Dhunee Ghantan kee Kari Phoolan Kee Barkhaa Barsaavey
Aartee Kot Karey Sur Sunder Pekh Purandar Key Bali Jaavey
Daanatee Dachhan Dey Key Pradachhan Bhaal Mein Kum Kum Achhan Laavey
Hot Kulaahal DevPuree mil Devan KeyKuli Mangal Gaavey
Aisey Chand Partaap Tey Devan Badhyo Prataap Teen Lok Jai Jai Karey Rarei Naam Sat Jaap
The Lord is pleased by the penance, prayers, rituals recitation of the Scriptures, Meditation, music, dance of the Celestial Beings, adorned with vermilion, various musical instruments, Ringing of bells and the showering of flowers, and the tune of the Aarti . The cosmic worlds rejoice and chant the Divine Name.
Sagal Dwaar Ko Chaad Key Gahyo Tumhaaro Dwaar Baanh Gahey Kee Laaj Rakh Govind Daas Tuhaar
Aagya Bhayee Akaal Kee Tabhee Chalaayo Panth Sabh Sikhan Ko Hukum Hai Guru Maaniyo Granth
Guru Granth Jee Maaniyo Pragat Guraa Kee Deh Jaa Kaa Hirdaa Shudh hai Khoj Shabad Mei Leih
Vaanee Guru Guru Hai Baanee Vich Baanee Amrit saarey
Gurbaanee Kahey Sevak Jan Maaney Partakh Guru Nistaarey
I have come to Your door-step O Lord, having left the world behind, Protect me, I am in Your service. Because of the Lord's command, this order (Sikhism) Came into being. The Sikhs are urged to believe that the Granth is the Guru manifest, Whoever is pure in heart, will find the answers within the words of the Guru Granth Sahib. Its words are the Guru, and the Guru is in the Guru Granth's Utterings, And within the words is the nectar (Of knowledge) And the words urge disciples to believe in the Guru!
Bhagat Dhanna also written Aarti. It is called Aarta. It is sang along with above composition in Gurdwaras.
Aarti at Hazur Sahib and Patna Sahib
Amritsari Sikhs resist performing Aarti as Hindus perform, instead singing 'Aarti Kirtan', which are a few shabads from Guru Nanak, Ravidas and other Bhagats/Gurus. However, a few Sikh Gurdwaras perform Aarti in similar manner as the Hindus, with a platter, or 'Thali', while singing the above Aarti Kirtan, including two of the Panj Takhts: Thakat Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib Abchal Nagar and Thakat Sachkhand Sri Patna Sahib Harimandir Sahib.
Few Nihangs also carry out Aarti in same manner, though with more shabads from the Dasam Granth and Sarabloh Granth. According to them, difference in their Aarti is that Sikhs do Aarti of divine wisdom, which is in form of Guru Granth Sahib. The concept is similar to bowing before Guru Granth Sahib on knees, the practice which is common in Hindus while bowing before Idols.However, this being said; when bowing before the Guru Granth Sahib, (In Sikh Philosophy) You bow before the divine knowledge of the gurus, and not for its physical form, which is how the Sikh and Hindu philosophies differ. Aarti is done with a thali in Ravidassia Bhavans/Gurdwaras that still house the Guru Granth Sahib.
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- See Wikipedia article on Aarti for more information