Aarti of the Goddess is performed twice a day, once during
the morning at sun rise and again during the evening at
holy cave is closed for piligrims during the period the Aarti
is being performed.
It usually takes around two hours for
the Aarti to be completed. Only
the Pujaris, Sahayaks
an officer are permitted in the cave when
the Aaarti is being performed. The sequence of the various activities
that are performed at Aaarti is as under:-
At the commencement of the Aarti the Pujaris utter aloud the
108 names of Durga. Then they perform Atam Puja for their own
purification and apply tilak on each others forehead. This is
followed by the chanting of mantras exhorting the Devas to give
the Pujaris sound health. Thereafter, Prithvi, Surya, Deep and
Dhoop are worshipped by the chanting of mantras.
Once these activities are over, the Pujaris chant the Pratigyaa
Sankalp where they vow to
worship Mata Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi Vaishno Mata and Mata Maha
Saraswati. Then the clothes and the ornaments adorning the Holy
Pindies are removed and the Goddess is bathed with water. Thereafter,
the symbols of Ganesh, Surya and Chandrama are also bothed with
water. The water that is used for bathing the holy Pindies is
collected from the Charan Ganga which emanates from the base
of the Pindies. The Pujaris bathe the Holy Pindies to the accompaniment
of the chanting of the mantras of Swati Vaachnan.
the holy Pindies have been bathed with water, they are bathed with the
five Amrits. The first is milk, the second is curd or yogurt, the third
is ghee or clarified butter, the fourth is honey and fifth is suger.
As the bath with each Amrit is completed, the Pindies are again bathed
with water. When the bathing with the individual Amrits is over, the
holy Pindies are given one more bath, this time with "Panchamrit"
or the five Amrits mixed together. Thereafter, they are again bathed
Each bath, whetherwith the individual
Amrit or with the five Amrits mixed together, is given to the accompaniment
of the chanting of the appropriate mantras.
After the holy Pindies have been
bathed, the symbol of "Pashupatinath" is given a bath with
Panchamrit. This is followed by a general cleaning of the area of the
sanctum sanctorum. When this is over, One Kalash of water of the Charan
Ganga is pored over each of the three holy Pindis for final Shuddhi.
Then the holy Pindis and the area adjacent to them are dried with towels
to the accompaniment of the mantras of Ganpati Pujanam. As soon as this
is over the Pujaris chant the Devyapradh Kshamapan Stotram or the mantras
seeking forgiveness for their sins and shortcomings from the Goddess.
While this is going on the Pujaris make preparations for dressing up
and adorning the holy Pindis.