Arati procedures letters by

November 26, 2021 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa


Nov 18 1968 letter Hayagriva
Arati is performed at 1 1/2 hour before sunrise to awaken the Deities. Each offering is made by moving it in 7 big circles, starting at the Lotus Feet of the Lord, and going clockwise round. First of all, burning camphor or ghee (5 fires if possible) is offered in this way, slowly circling them before the Lord. With left hand bell is being rung, and with right hand the offerings are made by circling. Next burning dhupa is offered. Then water is offered in a conchshell. Then a nice handkerchief is offered. Then a nice flower, as a rose. Then the Deities are offered a fan, nice peacock feather fan. And the last item is the blowing of the conch shell three times. Throughout arati” arati there is bell ringing, cymbals, mrdanga, gong, harmonium, etc.
Hope you are all well, and please keep me informed on the progress of the temple there.
Jan 25 1969 letter Kirtananda
You have asked some questions, and I will answer them herewith. The first question is, “When making arati offerings, is it proper to meditate on the different parts of the Lord’s Body?” The answer is that there is no need to meditate in that way. The Lord is actually there with you, and you are seeing all of His parts of the Body, so there is no need to meditate in that way. In regard to the other questions, food should be offered before arati . In the morning, after arati” you can offer some food and then perform kirtana.
Regarding your question about the disciplic succession coming down from Arjuna, it is just like I have got my disciples, so in the future these many disciples may have many branches of disciplic succession. So in one line of disciples we may not see another name coming from a different line. But this does not mean that person whose name does not appear was not in the disciplic succession. Narada was the Spiritual Master of Vyasadeva, and Arjuna was Vyasadeva’s disciple, not as initiated disciple but there was some blood relation between them. So there is connection in this way, and it is not possible to list all such relationships in the short description given in Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Another point is that disciplic succession does not mean one has to be directly a disciple of a particular person. The conclusions which we have tried to explain in our Bhagavad-gita As It Is is the same as those conclusions of Arjuna. Arjuna accepted Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and we also accept the same truth under the disciplic succession of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another. This is an axiomatic truth. So there is no difference of opinion of understanding Krishna between ourselves and Arjuna. Another example is that a tree has many branches, and you will find one leaf here and another leaf there. But if you take this leaf and the other leaf and you press them both, you will see that the taste is the same. The taste is the conclusion, and from the taste you can understand that both leaves are from the same tree.
Jully 20 1969 letter Gajendra
. So as you will be having several new men there to help you after the Rathayatra Festival, Sankirtana Party will be the better way of distributing BTG. Regarding your question about offering camphor in aratrik, I do not know why you should be having trouble with smoke and soot by this offering. If you use smaller pieces of camphor this may alleviate the problem, or perhaps you are not using the right kind of camphor. Here we are using camphor for aratrik twice daily and there is no such problem. Of course, if it is too inconvenient, there does not have to be a camphor offering, but I do not know why this should be so. I hope this will meet you in good health.

Feb 5 1970 letter Hanuman Prasad Poddar
Regarding the number of asramas, our Temples are already listed above. The Deity worshiped in the Temples are Jagannatha Swami with Balarama and Subhadra, and Radha Krishna. When we first start a Temple, we start with Jagannatha Swami. My Guru Maharaja recommended Temples of Jagannatha in these countries, so I was inspired to establish first of all Jagannatha Swami because He is kind even to the mlecchas. Then, when there is opportunity, I establish Radha Krishna Murti. So generally in all our Temples, Jagannatha Swami and Lord Caitanya Sankirtana pictures are invariably there, and gradually we are installing Radha Krishna Murtis in each and every center. The program of the Temple worship is as follows: Early in the morning, before sunrise, there is Mangala Aratrik. At 8:00 a.m. there is dressing and decorating of the altar daily. Then, between 11:30 and 12:00 N., Bhoga Aratrik. At 5:00 p.m., opening of the door and Dhoop Aratrik as well as Boikalik Bhoga offering. In the morning we offer fruits and milk to the Deities, and at noon we offer rice, dal, capatis, vegetable, milk, sweet rice, and many other varieties. In the Boikalik Bhoga Aratrik we offer fruits again. Then there is Sandhya Aratrik after dusk; and at 9:00 p.m. we offer Bhoga of Puri, vegetable, milk, sweetmeats, etc. Then there is Sandhya Aratrik after which the Deity rests. This is the general program of worship. We decorate the thrones with profuse flowers, changing the dress and ornaments daily, and as far as possible the Deity platform and the Temple room are kept neat and clean always.

April 17 1970 letter Guru das & Yamuna
You were very much anxious to worship Radha Krsna Deity and you took one pair from Mataji. At that time I advised you to wait. Now when the pair of Deities were taken by Mataji again and you were little bit sorry, but Krsna is so kind upon you that He has come to you again in a better position and now you can engage yourself in His service heart and soul.
Both mangal aratrik and sundar aratrik can be changed according with sunrise and sunset. We are not concerned with the time, but with the sun’s movement. Sundar aratrik may be performed one half to one hour after sunset. So the decoration of the temple room and offering Bhoga to the Deities should be done as nicely as possible as it is within our capacity. This is the sign of love. So I am confident of your love for Krsna and do everything nicely for His pleasure. Whenever it is necessary you are quite at liberty to ask me for direction.
These classes of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam as you are now holding must be continued very rigidlyAbout holding Sanskrit classes, the special stress should be given to chanting the mantras in our books. I have given specific instructions in this connection to your husband, and if Sanskrit class is to be held, it should be mainly for this purpose. We should simply expend our time for development of Krishna Consciousness. To become a scholar of Sanskrit is not our business.

Jun 13 1970 letter Hamsadutta & Himavati
No, it is not proper that the morning Aratik is performed with the Deities lying down. The Deities should be awakened with belling, then stand Them, then perform Aratik. After Aratik you bathe and change Their clothes. You should wake Them privately and also bathe Them privately. And if you want to go to Rathayatra in London, why not go. You have already instructed Sivananda, so it is alright.

Nov 6 1971 letter Kirtananda
And Krishna has made himself available in the form of very nice brass Murtis from Washington D.C. It is not necessary also that Lord Jagannatha come along. Sometimes He is misunderstood also. The Deities can be installed in a temple and then taken for travelling. That will be best. So far Silavati’s other questions: The large brass Deities can be bathed the same as the small ones if they can be handled easily; Cooking can go on after the Deities’ plate is made. Without offering to the Deity nobody can be supplied, but after the offering if there are so many men and more is required then how can it be stopped?; In Vrindaban dhupa is offered without a flower sometimes, but either way is all right. If a flower can be offered, then that is nice; generally sandalwood paste is offered on the forehead, but on other parts of the body is all right; Kumkum powder should be offered on the feet.

Dec 26 1971 letter Himavati
Regarding your questions, there is no question of using paper plastic fruits and flowers for worshiping the deities. If no fresh fruits or flowers are available, then you can decorate with some fresh leaves. You have seen our temples; nowhere do we use such things. You are experienced devotee, why you propose like that? We are not after decoration, we are after devotional service for pleasing Krishna’s senses. Decoration must be there of course, to make the temple as opulent as possible for pleasing Krishna. Outside the temple, you can use the plastic ornaments. But not for worship. For daily worship there must be fresh fruit, flowers, and leaves.
Mangala arati must be done in nightgown. After Mangala arati, then bathing is done and dressing. 3:30 is too early for holding Mangala arati. The deities should be given sufficient rest. The standard time is 1 1/2 hours before sunrise, so we may say 5 am is a good time for holding arati.

Feb 22 1972 letter Rupanuga
You are waking up your new deities too early! Best time is between 4:30 and 5 am, with Mangala Aratik at 5 am. Although Krishna is the Master of Sleep, still, we must allow Him sufficient rest for herding cows all day and playing with His cowherd friends.
Regarding your question, this surrender to Supersoul is in the advanced stage of Krishna Consciousness. So long one is not advanced, he has to take information and direction from the representative of Supersoul or the Spiritual Master. The spiritual master is external manifestation of the Supersoul. Thus the Lord helps the living entity, helps both from inside & outside.

May 28 1972 letter Giriraja
So far your question regarding Deity worship, during arati everything should be offered first to the guru. Regarding the three alternatives for our Hare Krishna Housing Society, the alternative, namely, place the flats in the housing society in the names of our various disciples so that they will hold all the votes, and let them sublet or sell their flats, this alternative is very nice.
Dec 19 1974 letter Bahudak
The pictures of your newly installed Deities are very very nice. And you can name them Sri Sri Radha-Madan Mohan. The Deity worship should be done very carefully and nicely. Sri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana, srngara-tan-mandira-marjanadau, yuktasya bhaktams ca niyunjato’pi, vande guroh sri-caranaravindam You should make sure that there is nice arati program; six arati daily at least. You should make sure that there is nice fresh, clean dress every morning, nice bathing ceremony every morning, nice offerings of prasadam. You should see that the Deity is tended for and cooked for only by the duly second initiated brahmanas. The Deity should have nice flowers everyday etc., etc. You should try to bring Them up to the highest standard, such as we have in Los Angeles or New Vrndavana. Sri Sri Radha-Madan Mohan have kindly descended in Their arca vigraha form now you must receive Them with that consciousness. And by serving Them you will all develop pure love of Krsna.