What is the purpose of showing camphor to deities after Archana and Naivedya? Nowadays many big or small temples stopped camphor showing instead they are showing the small lamps fixed in the plate itself. Any scriptural reason for this practice?
Having worshipped the Lord with love, lit by the lamp we see the beauty of the Lord in all his glory. The singing, clapping is associated with the joy that accompanies the vision of the Lord.Aarti being performed with Camphor has a spiritual significance. Camphor burns itself out completely without leaving a trace. Camphor represents our Vasanas, unmanifest desires. So also if we were to take refuge in the Lord, obtain knowledge, these desires will get burnt out. Al though the camphor burns itself out, it emits a nice perfume. On a human plane it means that we should sacrifice ourselves to serve society, in the process spread the perfume of love and happiness to all. We close our eyes while performing the Aarti as if to look within. The Self or Atman is within us. . Self realization can be achieved by knowing thyself, with the flame of knowledge. At the end of the aarti we place the hands over the flame and touch our eyes and top of the head. It means that may the light that illumined the Lord light up my vision, may my thoughts be pure and beautiful. With the Aarti comes the flame which signifies light. There can be light in our lives only if we have knowledge. In an era of darkness there would be ignorance, we would be perpetually running to fulfill our vasanas resulting in unhappiness and stress all around.
A philosophical moral of the burning incense stick is that, just as it burns away to ashes while simultaneously pervading the air with fragrance, an aspirant should sacrifice his life to serve others and mould it such that its fragrance inspires others.