The Fiji Museum - Virtual Museum


The thali (prayer dish), usually made out of brass or steel, is an integral element of Hinduism and is used for the arti ritual during a pooja. It is a ceremony of offerings, most important of which is light in the form of a lit diya or diyas (cotton wicks dipped in oil or ghee). This offering is done for Gods and Goddesses and welcoming sages, married couples and sons who return home from and are principle mourners at funerals. Apart from performing the arti for these special occasions, in India it is still done for any other occasion a family feels is special, like doing the arti for a new car, house or at any other happy event. The arti is done in many different and sometimes complex ways in different sects of Hinuduism, but generally involves the waving of the light in clockwise circles an odd number of times and application of a tika. Arti for the gods also involves the ringing of a metal hand bell, offering flowers and water in a lota and chanting hymns.

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