Arti (Arati)

Premies sing Arti to Prem Rawat Arti is the most popular Hindu ceremony performed in Indian temples as many as six or seven times per day. It is a greeting offered to the murti (diety) and also gurus, holy people, and other representations of the divine. Arti is often called "the ceremony of lights" but usually involves offering more than just a lamp. In Divine Light Mission the ceremony, simplified for Westerners, included the favoured worshippers waving a tray with candles and other auspicious articles on it in clockwise circles before Prem Rawat himself or pictures of him on a special throne. The worshippers sang the bhajan (devotional song, prayer) they called simply 'Arti' while meditating on Guru Maharaj Ji's physical form.

The entire ceremony normally lasted around 30 minutes depending upon the speed of the singing. During or after the ceremony the offered lamp was passed around the congregation; members passed their fingers over the flame and reverently touched them to their foreheads. Any prasad (usually food offered to Guru Maharaj Ji) was also passed around those present and charanamrit (holy water in which Prem Rawat's feet had been washed) sprinkled over their hands. Out of respect worshippers stood for the entire ritual.

Ashram premies observed it every morning and every night to a large photo of Rawat on an altar and it often ended the nightly satsang meeting that all devotees of Prem Rawat were meant to attend. It was nearly always sung when Prem Rawat himself, the Perfect Master, Lord Of The Universe, Satguru and Guru Maharaj Ji was physically present. In his teachings he stressed the importance of Arti, that premies should mean it when they sing it and that it was all about his glory. In the photo on the right his wife, the former air-hostess Marolyn Johnson, waves the arti tray during the performance at the Guru Puja (worship) festival, Amherst, Massachusetts 1974.

Marolyn Rawat singing Arti Arti

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Jai Gurudev Maharaj Ji
Your glory fills the world
Protector of the weary and the weak
You bring the death of attachment
You bring the mind true detachment
Save us from the ocean deep
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

Creator, Preserver, Destroyer
Bow their heads and pray to You
All bow and pray to You
Scriptures sing Your glory
Heavenly hosts sing Your praises
Your virtues are ever true
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

Chanting, fasting, charity, austerity
never bring you knowledge of the soul
will never reveal your soul
without the grace of satguru
without the Knowledge of Satguru
rites and rituals never reach the goal
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

In the river of bondage to maya
All are swept out to sea
All are sinking in the depths of the sea
Guru's boat is the holy name
Guru's ship is the holy word
In seconds he has set us free
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

In the river of bondage to maya
All are swept out to sea
All are sinking in the depths of the sea
Guru's boat is the holy name
Guru's ship is the holy word
In seconds he has set us free
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

Anger, desire, attachments
Rob us of eternal life
Take away our heavenly life
Satguru gives us true Knowledge
Satguru is eternal Knowledge
The sword that kills our problem life
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

Mahatma Sampuranand Religions harp their own glories
Call to follow their own path
Welcome me to follow their own way
The essence of all was revealed
The seed of all was revealed
I walk on the true way today
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

Nectar from Satguru's feet is
Holy and it cleans us of our sins
So sacred in cleaning us of sin
When he speaks, darkness flies away
When he speaks, darkness cannot stay
Doubts removed, new life then begins
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

Mine, Thine, Wealth, Health
Give them to the lotus feet of love
Give them to the lotus feet of the Lord
Give yourself to Satguru
Sacrifice yourself to Satguru
Be united with the blissful Truth
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

Bible, Gita, the Koran
Sing the glory of Your Name
They all sing the glory of Your Name
Angels sing Your great glory
Heavenly hosts sing Your praises
They find no end to Your fame
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

Desires have robbed me and left me
Trapped in the darkness of the night
Yes, they've trapped me in the darkness of the night
Guru gives holy Name and Light
Guru gives Holy Name and Sight
Cross the ocean by His Love and Light
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

Premies Singing Arti"Many past forms you have taken
Now we have come in your control
Again You have come to save the soul
In this time of darkness
To lead Your devotees from darkness
You have come as Hansa the pure soul
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

Come to the shelter of Guru's grace
Come with your heart and your soul
Bring Him your heart and your soul
Cross the worldly ocean
Cross it by your devotion
And attain the supreme goal
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

Jai Gurudev Maharaj Ji
Your glory fills the world
Protector of the weary and the weak
You bring the death of attachment
You bring the mind true detachment
Save us from the ocean deep
Jai Dev, Jai Satgurudev

Premies Singing Arti You are my mother, and You are my father;
You are my brother, and You are my friend.
You are riches, You are wisdom;
You are my all, my Lord, to me.
You are my all, You are my all;
You are my all, my Lord, to me.

Guru Maharaj Ji, my life is within You;
From You I was born, and to You now I go.
Forever I'm Yours, my longing is endless;
This heart of mine aches to be one with You.
Forever I'm Yours, my longing is endless;
This heart of mine aches to be one with You.

Wherever I look your face is before me;
Your golden Love melts all my troubles away.
I give You my heart, for in You it will mellow;
Maharaj Ji, my Lord, my life is Your play.
I give You my heart, for in You it will mellow;
Maharaj Ji, my Lord. my life is Your play.

Oh, wondrous lord, my Guru Maharaj Ji,
Your Grace is a river that flows on and on.
You fill my heart with Your Love overflowing;
Please let me come home, find my rest at Your Feet.
You fill my heart with Your Love overflowing;
Please let me come home, find my rest at Your Feet.

Our Lord is the maker of all things created;
He keeps them and brings them all home to His Word.
Our Lord's the Superior Power in person;
I bow down before such a wonderful Lord.

Prem Rawat's (Maharaji) Devotees at Holi '79 Prem Rawat's (Maharaji) Devotees at Holi '79, Mahatma Jagdeo the Padeophile in Front Row
Premies sing Arti to Prem Rawat their Perfect Master at the Holi Festival 1979, Miami Beach Florida

References:

  • Barcelon, Spain, May 7 1976, And It Is Divine magazine - Volume 3, Number 3, Autumn 1976:
    • After satsang everyone sang Arti to Guru Maharaj Ji while Premlata climbed up onto his knees. Then the darshan line began. It was a new approach, with premies filing by and looking at Maharaj Ji, without pranaming. However, on this occasion, after the line had run, Maharaj Ji invited the premies to come around again and do pranam
  • Guru Puja, Geneva 10th September 1978 Guru Puja, Geneva 1978 booklet
    • Yes, of course, we get up and we say, "You are my mother, you are my father. You are my mother. You are my father." OK, everybody sings it in Arti: "You are my brother, and you are my friend." Really? OK, you sing it, singing is different story. But is there anything -- this is what I'm asking to back that up? The faith, the belief that: "Yes, Guru Maharaj Ji, you are my brother. Yes, Guru Maharaj Ji, you are my friend. You are riches. You are wisdom. You are my all, my Lord, to me."
  • Denver, Colorado, 25 February 1979 Divine Times - Holi Issue, 1979 Volume 8, Number 2:
    • But, premies, we have to have that faith in Guru Maharaj Ji. We cannot just stand there and say, "Because everybody is singing Arti in this hall, chat along, kiddo." But mean it. Even if Arti changed tomorrow. You know. It is not the matter of just mere words, but it is meaning it in your heart. and not going. "You are my mother, and you are my father." But. "Yes, Guru Maharaj Ji! I love you because you have mothered me. And I love you because you guide me. I love you because you are my friend." And we have to stay conscious of what Brahmanand wrote. because it was Brahmanand's feelings that he put down into Arti: "Oh Guru Maharaj Ji, take this heart, for in you it will mellow."
  • Milwaukee Wisconsin, October 10 1979 -- Evening - Affinity magazine February 1980:
    • Even our arti, the way we sing, "You are my brother, you are my father, you are my … you are my everything." And we have to make that a reality. Guru Maharaj Ji really has to become everything to us: our friend, our life. We have to somehow disappear.
  • Hans Jayanti 1979, Friday, November 9 1979 -- Afternoon - Affinity February 1980:
    • And this can be. Wake up every day: meditation, arti, have satsang. And every month have one darshan. I mean, we could just be all 'here and three days out of the month we'd all have darshan. Three days out of a week have darshan, and it just could be going on
  • Ashram Code Schedule the rules and regulations for living in an ashram as set out by Prem Rawat
    • Monday through Saturday
      5:45 AM: Rise and prepare for Arti
      6:00 AM: Arti followed by one hour of group meditation

There are far more references to arti in Divine Light Mission publications that are possible to link to. There are more links to Prem Rawat discussing arti here


ARTI by Larkin

Vegetation begins in the word of our master
Re-education begins at the feet of our lord
Subjugation begins in the form of our master
Humiliation begins in the grace of our lord.

.....

Jai Gurudev Maharaj ji
Your glory fills your head
Exploiter of the weary and the weak
You know the power of entrapment
You showed us all just what 'crap' meant
Realization don't come cheap, Jai Dev
Jai Satguru Dev

Fabricator, self-server, destroyer
Why do they bow and pray to you?
Have they really nothing better to do?
Guru gives true Knowledge
Sign on right here at Mindwarp College
Realization don't come cheap, Jai Dev
Jai Satguru Dev

Chanting, fasting, charity, austerity
Will never bring you knowledge of the soul
Will never reveal your soul
Without the grace of Satguru
WITH OR WITHOUT our rich fat guru
Realization don't come cheap, Jai Dev
Jai Satguru Dev

In the river of bondage to Guru
All are swept out to sea
All are drowning there so blissfully
Guru's boat is a holey one
A 'watch yourself drown very slowly' one
Realization don't come cheap, Jai Dev
Jai Satguru Dev

Anger, desires, attachments
Are what being human's all about
Things we couldn't really do without
Guru don't like self-expression,
But anger suppressed is depression
TIME TO LOSE YOUR CHAINS, STAND UP AND SHOUT!
(Jai Dev, Jai Satguru Dev)

Jai Gurudev Maharaj ji
Tell us please, what sets you so apart?
Why should people even give a fart?
Without the grace of Satguru
We might all find we've a lot to do
Science, music, poetry and art, Jai Dev,
So long Satguru Dev....