The very popular Ganga Aarti is performed every evening at the Triveni Ghat, on the banks of the Ganga River in Rishikesh. The lightning of the lamps along with the recitation of sacred chants provide an unforgettable spiritual experience for the visitors. As the river Ganga is believed to have powers to remove the pains and sufferings of people, thousands of devotees from varied ethnic backgrounds assemble at the ashram for the holy ritual. The ritual is more relaxed and intimate when compared to the aartis at Varanasi and Haridwar.
Unlike other ashrams and temples, the aarti is not performed by the pundits. It is instead performed by the residents of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, especially children who study Vedas there. The ritual begins with singing of the devotional songs (bhajans) and prayers. Then, all the lamps in the ashram are lit with the aarti, as the final part of the entire ceremony.
The main reason for performing the aarti is to request God to shower his blessings on everyone. It is conducted to thank god for his kindness and love. The Ganga Aarti ceremony does not specify the name of any God. It is simply conducted to thank the divine entity which removes all the pain in our lives. The Aarti is performed daily so that visitors and devotees are relieved from their strains and normal stress of everyday life. The main aim of the event is to meet together in peace, reverence and joy.
Since the Ganga Aarti is open for everyone, make sure you arrive early to get a good view of the ceremony. Remember to remove your shoes and go barefoot for the ritual!
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