- Kushmanda Aarti by Anuradha Paudwal
Aarti is derived from the Sanskrit word Artrika which means a thing that eradicates darkness. Aarti is a Hindu ritual performed during most traditional ceremonies where a tiny lamp in a copper or bronze plate with wicks soaked in ghee or oil is lit and offered to one or more deities. This lamp, believed to have infused the lord's strength and blessings, is then circulated among the congregation of devotees. The devotees cup their palms over the flame and raise them to their forehead, soaking in the blessings of the lord. This popular and auspicious practice has descended from the Vedic concept of fire ritual, also known as Homa. Herein, Aartis are performed in rhythmic singing and considered as a sign of devotion and gratitude toward Gods.