ARTI is a form of worship of an idol or deity in which candles or earthen lamps are waved as a token of devotion; sometimes during the Arti, incense.jossticks, pieces of sandalwood are burnt and flowers showered on the object of worship. When Guru Nanak went to Jagannath Temple in Puri, he found the priests performing Arti facing the idol. The Guru offered a new kind of Arti by ,singing a song (in Rag Dhansri) in praise of God emphasising how Nature adores God.
“The sky is the salver, the sun and moon are the lamps. What other worship Can be compared to Nature\’s own festival of lights. While divine master resounds within” (GGS, p. 663) Dhana Bhagat wrote a similar composition in praise of God and called it Arti.The Arti now sung in the Gurdwaras contains other hymns of adoration including those of Ravidas, Pipa and others. It is performed without any lamps, sometimes flowers are offered with veneration. Arti is sung on auspicieus occasions and by those seeking blessings and joy.
1. Encyclopedia of Sikh Religion and Culture, R.C.Dogra and Dr.G.S. Mansukhani 1995