- 8 Aug, 2023
- By chand.v
The 'Aarti' of the Goddess is performed twice a day first time in the morning just before the sunrise and second time in the evening immediately after the sunset. The procedure of 'Aarti' is a very sacred and lengthy one. The Pujaris perform 'Aarti' before the holy deity first inside the sanctum- sanctorum and then outside the cave. Before the commencement of 'Aarti', the Pujaris perform 'Aatam pujan' (self-purification). Then the Goddess is bathed in water, milk, ghee (Clarified butter), honey and sugar. Thereafter the goddess is dressed-up in a saree, chola and chuni and ornaments are endowed upon her. The whole process takes place amidst the enchantment of various shlokas and Mantras. Thereafter Tilak is placed on the forehead of the deity and Navied (prashad) is offered to her. The Pujaris perform puja of various Gods and Goddesses, as it is a believed that during the Aarti time, all the Gods and Goddesses are present inside the Sanctum Sanctorum. The Jyoti (divine lamp) is lightened and then the 'Aarti' of the goddess is performed. After the whole procedure, the thaal which contains the lamp and various other items used in the 'Aarti', is brought outside the mouth of the holy cave, where 'Aarti' of the goddess is performed in the presence of yatris. The yatris who remain seated outside the holy cave during the time when the Aarti is performed inside the Sanctum Sanctorum, keep listening to the Pravachans of head Pandit. After the Aarti outside the holy cave is over, the pujari distributes Prasadam and the charanamrit (the holy water) to the devotees. This whole procedure of 'Aarti' takes nearly two hours during which time the darshans remain suspended. All the maintenance works required inside the cave are carried out during this time only.