Mangal Aaratee Priyaa Preetam kee, Mangal Preeti Reeti Doun kee
Blessed prayer of lover and Beloved, Blessed is the ritual of their union
Mangal Kaanti Hansani Dasanan kee, Mangal murlee Beena Dhun kee
Blessed is the light of His swanlike splendour, Blessed is the sweet rhythm of His flute
Mangal Banik Tribhangee Hari kee, Mangal Sevaa Sab Sahachar kee
Blessed Hari, omnipresent knower of three worlds, Blessed friend of all devotees
Mangal Sir Chandrikaa Mukut kee, Mangal Chabi Nainan mein At kee
Blessed is His crown made of Peacock’s feather, Blessed is His glance enslaving my eyes
Mangal Chataa Phabee ang ang kee, Mangal Gaur Syaam Ras Rang kee
Blessed beauty of ornaments on Shyam’s body, Blessed are Krishna’s activities
Mangal Ali kati peyare pat kee, Mangal Chitvan Naagar nat kee
Blessed love of Sweetheart Govinda , Blessed allure of that magical Krishna
Mangal Shobhaa kamal Nain kee, Mangal Maadhuri Mridul Bain kee
Blessed is the beauty of His lotus eyes, Blessed the soft and sweet voice of His Flute
Mangal Vrinidaavan Mag At kee, Mangal Kreedan Jamunaa Tat kee
Blessed husband of Vrindavan’s gopis, Blessed is His play on the river banks of Jamuna
Mangal Charan Arun Taruvan kee, Mangal Karani Bhagati hari Jan kee
Blessed are His Feet under the Arun tree of the forest , Blessed Lord, remover of obstacles
Mangal Jugal Priyaa Bhavaan kee, Mangal Shree Raadha Jeevan kee
Blessed pair of beautiful charming lovers, Blessed Hari, who is the life of Radha
Arati (also called Aarti, ãrti, arathi) is performed in many Hindu temples first thing in the morning, and several times throughout the day, with a final arati in the evening. Arati is also performed after services such as puja. The word is derived from the syllables “Aa” which means towards, and “rati” which means the highest love for God. As the devotee waves the lamp before the deity, the frame of mind should be one of surrender and devotion, a prayer to Divinity to annihilate the ego in the flames of the sacred fire such that complete surrender is achieved.
At the Chinmaya Mission temple where I worship, following the monthly group chanting of the Vishnu Sahasranama, we sing a beautiful Mangal Aaratee to Lord Krishna, which glorifies the love of the Lord for Radha and for the gopis, thus symbolically glorifying the Oneness of the Paramatma and the atma as embodied in the living jiva. Something about this Aaratee drew me the first time I heard it even though I could not really make out the melody as a small group of devotees sang it one night. I later found out the language was Hindi, and one afternoon I drove over to the Temple to request Swamiji to sing it for me so I could record it and learn the melody for the monthly chanting. Like some other bhajans have done, this one took me over and I needed to take it a step further, learning it on my harmonium and memorizing the words. Still, something was missing…I knew the general gist of the words had to do with auspiciousness and Lord Krishna and Shrimata Radarani, but I wanted more. I wanted to know what all the words meant.
So, I posted photos of my lyric sheet in the Roman transliteration as well as the Hindi devanagari script on my Facebook page, asking my FB friends if anyone there knew Hindi and might be able to help. One of them did, Shravanji Manyan, and he was kind enough to make an effort which was a great help. But, there were some lines which he felt he could not quite make out and so there will still some missing lines. I knew that if the Lord wanted it to happen, He would make it happen. In the meantime, believing that God helps those who help themselves, I resolved to bring it to a few people at the Mission who I thought might be able to help.
Before I had to do that, I met a woman who joined into a small yoga group which meets at the Mission. When our practice was finished for the morning, I pulled it out for my friend, Lakshmi, to ask for her help. Then a new member of our yoga group, Pushpa, spoke up to say that she had a Masters in Hindi and would be glad to take a look. We started to go over some words, when she offered to take it home. As a result, she sent me an in depth translation, word for word in a prose like fashion, which gave me a thorough outline of the lyrics. But this was not in the flow of the poetic beauty which graced the Hindi lines. I rewrote the translation to at least try to give it more of a poetic feel and do poetic justice to the author, unknown, who penned these beautiful lines. Both the lyrics and the melody are hauntingly beautiful, taking you to the banks of the Jamuna River where Radha, the human soul and Krishna, Divinity gracing us in human form, eternally re-enact the holy union of His Divinity within the human soul. There is a certain mystery and wonder to the dance of the lover and the Beloved. May we all know the glories of this sacred Oneness.
I look upon all creatures equally,
none are less dear to Me and none more dear.
But those who worship Me with love and affection live in Me,
I come to life in them.”
Offered with gratitude to the Lotus Feet of my Guru, Shri Krishna, and my Lord, Shri Krishna,
for His Grace in allowing me to love Him, to serve Him and to be His devotee,
and for gifting me with Swami Siddhanandaji in my life, in so many ways,
and in particular, for singing this beautiful work of art for me to learn,
for Shravanji Manyan and for Pushpaji Gairola,
both of whom generously offered their time and talent in
reviewing the lyrics and translating them for me,
and for the unknown poet who wrote this Aaratee through His Grace.
It is said that the Vedas have no author since
they derive from Divinity itself…so too with this Aaratee.