Shri Sathya Sai Baba Aarthi

Om Sri Sai Ram

The Shri Sathya  Sai Baba Arthi is surely the most sung prayer by Sai devotees throughout the world together with the Sarva Dharma Stuti. We should understand the meaning of this prayer we direct to Swami praising His Grandeur and spelling our faith in Him. The words in the Aarthi should be correctly pronounced such that their real meaning is not diverted. Furthermore, aarthi, though sung at the end of prayer sessions does not announce the end of prayer but the merging with God. Aarthi means the desire to surrender to God. Hence, when we sing His glory we should be imbibed with devotion. 

Om Jay Jagadeesha hare

Swami Sathya Sai hare

Bhakta jana samrakshaka

Parthi Maheshwara

Om Jay Jagadeesha hare


Shashi  vadana shri karaa

Sarva praan Pate

Ashrita kalpa lateeka

Apada bandhava

Om Jay Jagadeesha hare


Maat pita guru deivam

Mari antayu nive

Naada Brahma Jagan naathaa

Nagendra shayana

Om Jay Jagadeesha hare


Omkaara rupa Ojasvi

Sai Maahaadeva, Sathya Sai Mahadeva

Mangala aarathi anduko

Mandara Giridhari

Om Jay Jagadeesha hare


Narayana Narayana Om, Sathya Narayana Naraayana Naraayana Om

Narayana Narayana Om, Sathya Narayana Narayana Om

Sathya Narayana Narayana Om, Om Jai Sat Gurudeva



Shri Sathya Sai Baba Aarthi explained by Shri Guru Balen Parapen

Shri Guru Balen Parapen, Guru Barlen, as he was commonly called, was the National Spiritual Convenor of the SSS Organisation – Mauritius and later was the Chairman of the SSS National Council. He held courses for Bal Vikaas gurus and national bhajan training sessions for bhajan convenors on Sundays at the SSS Centre of Vacoas. The explanations below were recorded during one of his regular classes. Sai Ram 

1. What is Aarthi?

Aarthi is the lustral ceremony during prayers. The ceremony of light.

In the olden days, temples were not provided with lights. It was all dark inside. It was so dark that even the shrine or the altar of figures of God could not be seen. Hence, it was only during the Aarthi ceremony when lit lamps or lit camphor were raised that the form of God was visible to those present. It was THE auspicious moment for the devotees when they could experience being with God. Mangala aarthi allowed devotees to see God!

God is light; it can only be seen with light – intelligence. Light dispels darkness- ignorance. Only the lamp can dispel darkness. The flame goes upwards, and what goes upwards is auspicious. It reminds us that God cannot be seen easily; there must be light within ourselves to see God. The aarthi reminds us of the God within us waiting for our light to manifest Himself.

Aarthi comes from 2 words: atma – the soul, the spirit  and rati- the urge, the yearning to unite.

Thus aarthi means the urge, the yearning to unite our atma jyothi (soul) with the Param Jyothi (Supreme Light), the Akhanda Jyothi ( Eternal Light), the Ananta Jyothi ( the Endless Light), the Ananda Jyothi ( the Blissful Light) who is God. In short, we urge to unite with God. We yearn to have that spiritual Light without which we are only dull body or dead body. We welcome this light in our Hrydaya – the cave (guha) of the heart; which we want to fill with that Light.

Aarthi is usually practiced with the light of lamp/s. The number of wicks vary from one to five.

 1 represents the mind, 3 the gunas and 5 the indriyas. Oil represents perseverence, determination, devotion.

Aarthi is also practiced by the waving of lit camphor, katpura -that leaves no trace. Burning the camphor symbolizes the burning of our ego- ahamkaar, thus allowing us to be one with God. The merging with God – the flame burns all our impurities which escape in black smoke. Only a white pure divine powder- vibhuti – is left as trace. The Jivatma meets the Paramaatma and we tell God that the light within us has been lit.

Aathi is the illumination of the spirit(atma).

Aarthi is all about praising God when we have understood His grandeur, His power, His manifestations, His attributes. We also let him know that we have received His light.


2.  Explanation of the prayer

1. Aum Jay Jagadeesha hare

Aum – Aum is the call for God. It is ek akshara Brahma – everything, all inclusiveness, God in one letter. It is Akara- the beginning, and Makara – the end.

It is the sound used to connect with God. -Hello God! Ready to hear me?

Jay- Victory to You oh God! Thy glory be sung!

Jagadeesha – Jagat- the world,  isha- the Lord

You are the Lord of the World!

Victory to the Lord of the world!

Hare- the guide, the protector

Victory to the Lord, the Protector of the world!


2. Swami Sathya Sai Hare

Swami – Master

Sathya – The Divine, the only truth

Sai – Mother and Father

Hare- The Guide, the protector, the destroyer, the sustainer


Victory to the Master, the divine Mother and Father, the Guide, the protector, the destroyer, the sustainer!


3. Bhakta jana samrakshaka

Bhakta – those who have bhakti – attachment to God, have faith in God

Jana – the whole

Samrakshaka- the one who protects


You are the protector of all the devotees!


4. Parthi Maheshwara

Parthi- the village on ant hills

Maheshwara- maha – supreme, ishwara – God


You are the Supreme God, the protector of all the devotees, whose abode is in Parthi!


5. Om Jay Jagadeesha hare!


Victory to the Lord, the Protector of the world!


6. Shashi vadana shri karaa

Shashi – the moon

Vadana- face

You have a beautiful, attractive, charming face which is ever cooling

Shri – auspiciousness

Karaa- one who gives


Your beautiful, attractive face is a source of auspiciousness( of good omen- good presage)


 7. Sarva praana Pate

Sarva- all

Praana- living things

Pate- the Lord


You are the Lord present in all living things!


8. Ashrita kalpa lateeka

Ashrita-  asha – hope, ita –my

Kalpa- wishes

Lateeka- the creeper


You are the creeper to which I cling  in my hope to fulfill my wishes


9. Apat bandhava

Apat- sorrow, affliction

Bandhava- friend, support


You are the friend who always supports me in moments of affliction


10. Om Jay Jagadeesha hare!

Victory to the Lord, the Protector of the world!


11. Mata Pita Guru Deivam

Mata – mother

Pita- father

Guru- preceptor, teacher

Deivam- God , from di- embodiment of Light

You are Mother, Father, Teacher and God to me

12. Mari antayu nive

Mari- also

Antayu- all others, everything else

Nive- You and nobody else

You and only You are Mother, Father, Teacher , God and everything else to me!


13. Naada Brahma* Jagannatha

Naada-the embodiment of sound

Brahma- the primeval sound, the first ever sound, the supreme sound

Jagannatha- the lord of the universe


*Naada Brahma -The first sound with which God created Brahmaan -the universe. The sound pervaded through the universe and out of it God appeared as Brahma. Brahma created two sounds- sa and pa with which God created everything. Out of tapas, God created this world.


14. Nagendra shayana

Nagendra- naga – serpent, indra- the chief

Shayana- resting place


You are Naada Bramha the primeval sound( Omkaar) and Lord Vishnu who reclines on the King of snakes*


*At the time of dissolution, when everything is destroyed, the only thing left is energy. The King of snakes sleeps on this energy and the Lord reposes on the snake.

It gives the impression that the Lord is sleeping. But in fact it is the energy within the Lord which is sleeping. This energy will wake up at the time when the Lord will create another world as per His will.

The energy, in fact, is the Kundalini shakti present within us. Divine power sleeps on it. When we praise the Lord, He wakes up and liberates the energy which moves in our chakras. The energy also represents Lord Saraswati with Her veena.


15. Om Jay Jagadeesha hare!

Victory to the Lord, the Protector of the world!


16. Omkaara rupa, Ojasvi

Omkaara- God

Rupa - the form of

Ojasvi- full of strength, vigour, splendor


You are the all powerful form of God!


17. O Sai, mahadeva

Mahadeva- the great Supreme God

O Sai! You are the the Lord of Lords


Oh Sai! You are the all powerful form of God! You are the Supreme God


18. Mangala aarthi anduko

Mangala – auspicious

Aarthi- wish to become one with You

Anduko- accept


Please accept my auspicious wish to merge with You


19. Mandara Giridhari

Mandara  giri*– the name of a mountain

Dhari- the one who held, bore the weight of


You are the one who bore the weight of the Mandara mountain

Being the one who  can support Mandara giri You are the only one who can bear the whole world's miseries

*Madara giri was the mountain which was used to churn the ocean during saagar mathan in Hindu Mythology. The mountain rested on Lord Vishnu in the form of a turtle – Kurma Avataar.


20. Om Jay Jagadeesha hare!

Victory to the Lord, the Protector of the world!

21. Narayana Narayana Om
Sathya Narayana Narayana Narayana Om
Narayana Narayana Om
Sathya Narayana Narayana Om
Sathya Narayana Narayana Om
Om Jai Sad Guru Devaa


Chant the name of Lord Sathya Sai Narayana, whose Form is Pranava.


22. Om Jai Sad Guru Devaa

Jay – victory, hail!

Sad Guru- Noble Teacher

Deva- Lord


Chant the name of Lord Sathya Sai Narayana, whose Form is Pranava.

Victory to Noble Teacher and Supreme Lord Sai, Sathya Sai.