Singing the Aarti



On morning practically nobody was attending the aarti while around 40/50 people were staying in the ashram. The news reached Babaji and He instantly send Motu Mai, a Woman from USA who stayed for long stretches in Herakhan, around to tell everybody who did not attend the morning aarti that they had to leave for their countries. I personally did not attend several times a week because of my work in the shop and felt it did not apply to me, but it did send a shock wave thru the ashram.

On a 15 minute walk behind Herakhan there is an idyllic secluded spot with a waterfall. A perfect place for an afternoon bath with a different view of nature. Only in a certain season and perhaps twice a month I went up there. That day I went with Tukaram a Swiss devotee. He had just the day before received a bright red silken kurta from Babaji and was so very happy with that gift. He is small in stature and the kurta was big so it was a funny appearance that day. He also had not come for the morning aarti and was very worried about Babaji’s message that Motu had send out. Tukaram was always a dedicated soul involved in one or the other activity and not a T-shop kind of lover. I do not remember now what his reason was for not being there but I advised him to see it as not applicable to him. How ever much we spoke about this on our little bathing trip I was not able to calm his sense of guild of not attending, so he decided to “confess” to Babaji and ask to be forgiven. For the next 3 days he was send away, told he could stay e few times a day with intense emotional highlights in that period until all of a sudden it was over and he could stay peacefully again.

Guilt feelings always received a good dose of attention from Babaji. Usually by enlarging and pressing on the sore spot…..Also sending people away was one of Babaji’s preferred instruments of choice. This brought up all sorts of emotions which the Lord played like Shri Krishna  played His flute. Some even had to leave the day after their arrival from mostly very far away. It was always a bombshell but after years of hearing many stories and seen this in retrospect it had different meanings then we could imagine at that moment. Situations at home, issues with work, family members health, personal illness or mentally not ready for Babaji’s presence etc . Here the faith and trust in Babaji became very evident to be able to surrender to such a sudden shift in plan.Just about everybody passed thru this situation with Babaji in Herakhan.

Back then I was enjoying singing the aarti but the real beauty and value of singing this love poem to Babaji matured thru the years. This is bhakti yoga and is ever so enriching the love we carry in our hearts.After all these years still discovering new aspects and meanings. Singing it with experienced singers and instrument players is very beautiful but singing a capella is making it even more deep and personal. A warm recommendation for your devotional practice to sing also while walking or driving as in our usual busy life we may not have an hour to do so. If however you do miss at times….please do not feel guilty about it….that will surely not do you any good.

Happy Navaratri !

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