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Nisanta-lila: Pastimes at the End of Night
The brahma-muhurta, beginning an hour and a half before sunrise is
the most spiritually auspicious time of day. The first and foremost arati of
the day, mangala-arati, is performed during this time period, sometimes as
early as 4 a.m. Any devotional activities performed during this time are
greatly enhanced in terms of their spiritual potency and acquired benefits.
Thus attendees are recipients of a heightened spiritual upliftment especially
manifest during the brahma-muhurta. It is the pujaris good fortune to awaken
the Deities by the melodious recitation of auspicious verses while gently
massaging the Deities lotus feet.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has written in his Gurvastaka, a popular song revealing the exalted position of the spiritual master, that one who meticulously sings this song daily during the brahma-muhurta achieves spiritual perfection. Mangala-arati corresponds with the awakening of Shri Shri Radha and Krsna in their forest nikunja (grove) slightly before the rising of the sun. As their loving pastimes close for the night they hurry to their respective homes. Sadhakas meditate deeply at this auspicious time of day on this important pastime and the strong feelings of separation of Radha and Krsna as they part company. Sincere devotees who are eager to increase their devotional dedication, faithfully attend mangala-arati without fail.