Ganga Aarti

June 27, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Each night along the bank of the Ganga (ganges) River in Varanasi there is a Hindu religious ceremony called the Ganga Aarti.  Hindu preists (also called pandits) perform an elaborate prayer ceremony that involves bells, flower petals, fire and smoke, water, shells, and prayers from the Vedic scriptures. They face the river and perform the rituals in unison at dusk each day; rain or shine.  The ceremony involves many circular motions and they believe the lamps are acquiring power from the deity as they chant the prayers.  One man I spoke to said it was to remind us all of our dependence on God and not ourselves.  It is said the priests are putting the river to sleep and hundreds of people crowd around the platforms to watch the ceremony each night. Each night I was in Varanasi I attended the Ganga Arti and here are some images of the ceremony.... 

Fire is a powerful element of the ceremony and many worshipers also light a candle and release the offering into the river.  The offerings are made to the Goddess Ganga or Maa Ganga. 

 

More from Varanasi soon. 


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