When beauty meets devotion
Jaya Jaya Mahadev Shambhu Shree
This chant starts the aarati (diyo lighting) that is being performed on the premises of the Pashupatinath temple.
Devotees get totally immersed in the elaborate function. The devotional songs being sung and joined in by all present, the sound clapping resonating in the temple and all people bound together by a common devotional feeling pervades the place.
What makes it special is
the elaborate aaratis that
are performed. Usually there are three pandits who
perform these aaratis. The beautiful aaratis and synchronisation gives it a smooth flow which captivates you throughout.
This elaborate aaratis started on Shrawan 21, third Monday of Shrawan and was inaugurated by Krishna Prasad Sitaula. The programme starts with devotional songs and slokas. The pandits commence the dhup aarati, which is followed by Sahasra aarati, which is a beautiful aarati with many lights lit together and the Pashupati aarati is sung.
Then Shiva Tandav stotra is sung followed by the Kapur aarati and the Shiva Panchakshar strotra.
After that the pandits perform the Chamara aarati and finally an aarati with peacock’s feathers. All the
devotees are given the
Pushpanjali, which is flown in the Bagmati.
Finally Har Har Mahadev Shambho is chanted and prasad given to the devotees.
All the slokas chanted have been written by Acharya Shree Khem Raj Sharanji and other prominent Nepali poets.
Sagar Khatiwada performed aaratis when he was studying at the Benaras Hindu University (BHU) and has been involved in it since 1994.
“I gained experience in Benares and we have made modifications to
the way the aarati is conducted here keeping in mind the Nepali tradition,” he says.
He is the one who has given special trainings to the pandits who conduct the aarati with such grace. The pandits who perform the aarati are Upendra Adhikari, Mukunda Adhikari, Sargam Neupane, Dev Raj Nepal, Gopal Bhattarai and Bhim Bhattarai.
This aarati tradition has been begun by mostly BHU students who saw the aarati performed at Ganga and have gotten together with people who supported them.
The musicians are Hira Ghimire, Benkatesh Dhakal, Suraj Acharya and some
other members from the committee.
The programme is organised by Shree Pashupatinath Aarati Sewa Samiti (PASS Nepal). According to Durga Prasad Khatiwada, Secretary of the committee, “We started this to provide Aadhyatmik Shanti, looking at the disturbed condition of our country. It is a way to encourage youth and direct them on the right path through devotion. We also hope to create awareness to clean the Bagmati river and keep the temple premises clean.”
He added, “We also hope that it helps to increase
revenue from foreigners
and they take back with
them a delightful image of our culture.”
If one wants to perform an aarati on their loved one’s birthday, marriage anniversary or death anniversary, the charge is Rs 1,111.
PASS Nepal includes Janardhan Adhikari, Durga Prasad Khatiwada, Basudev Shastri, Dilli Ram Acharya, Dharma Das Budhathoki
and Ramesh Pokhrel and