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Ganga Aarati

The “AARATI”, is normally sung at the conclusion of any religious ceremony or puja, or simply by itself each morning and evening as a joyous celebration to the Supreme within us and without. The lighting of the lamps for the Aarati, has a manifold significance. On the one hand it denotes the light of spiritual knowledge, the illumination of truth. On the other hand, when camphor is used as the fuel to light up the lamps, the camphor eventually burns out and disappears without a trace. This signifies the total destruction of the ego in the light of true knowledge or – the illumination of the self in union with the Universe.

The Ganga Aarati at Rishikesh is an unforgettably spiritual experience. Performed each evening at sundown at the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, on the banks of the holy river Ganga, it is an event to gladden the heart, feed the soul and create harmony with the elements. Fire, Water, Earth, Air combine in perfect synergy during this ritual and leave you with a feeling of having witnessed perfection.

The one and half hour ceremony, starting with sacred chants and a ‘Yagna’ or fire ceremony, during which a mixture of sacred herbs and ghee (clarified butter) are poured into the fire in order to dispel negative energies, is concluded with the Aarati, during which the river is worshipped as the source of life on the physical plane, and as a symbol of the eternal life circle on the metaphysical plane.

The performance of the Aarati by the Guru, the singing of bhajans (hymns) by the saffron robed disciples, the fragrance of incense and camphor as it permeates the air, the mesmeric light of myriad diyas, the sound of the rushing river, the setting sun mirrored in sparkling ripples on the flowing water, the intensity of the people as they sway in unison, all combine to create a surreal atmosphere of peace that pervades every sense and remains with you long after you have left Rishikesh.

Time: Sunset. Please check at the reception for the exact time
Durations: 3 hours including driving time

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