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Brahma-Muhurta - The 48 mins from 1 hr 36 min to 48 min before Sunrise

Post Author: Swami Gaurangapada    Date: 2006-05-05 05:30:47
Title: Brahma-Muhurta - The 48 mins from 1 hr 36 min to 48 min before Sunrise
User: Damodara Svarupa dasa    Date: 2005-02-24 17:05:06

Brahma-Muhurta - The 48 mins from 1 hr 36 min to 48 min before Sunrise -- By Swami Gaurangapada

1 Muhurta = 48 minutes. 1 day = 24 hrs = 30 Muhurtas.
Brahma-Muhurta is the 2nd last Muhurta before sunrise. (1 hr 36 min

The Time of Rising from Bed:

"The time early in the morning, one and a half hours before sunrise,
is called brahma-muhurta. During this brahma-muhurta, spiritual
activities are recommended. Spiritual activities performed early in
the morning have a greater effect than in any other part of the day."

Ref. VedaBase => SPL 48: At Home in India: (In Vrindavana)

*****"The exact time for the mangala-arati would vary according to
the clock, he (Prabhupada) said, but it must always be one-and-a-half
hours before sunrise."*****

The last line of Shri Gurvastakam appears in the Stavamrta-lahari of
Shri Visvanath Chakravarti Thakura as follows:

shrimad-guror astakam etad uccair brahme muhurte pathati prayatnat
yastena vrndavana natha saksat sevaiva labhya januso 'nta eva (9)

"That person who very attentively recites this astakam to Shri Gurudeva
during *** brahma muhurta *** is sure to achieve direct service to
the lotus feet of Lord Shri Krishna, the very life and soul of
Vrindavana, at the end of his life."

Shrila Prabhupada writes in Cc. Madhya 24.331, purport:

"In the early morning hours (known as brahma-muhurta) ##### one
should get up ##### and immediately chant the Hare Krishna mantra, or
at least `Krishna, Krishna, Krishna.' In this way, one should remember

Krishna book, "Lord Krishna's Daily Activities":

Lord Krishna would immediately get up from bed exactly on the
appearance of brahma-muhurta.. After rising from bed, Lord Krishna
would wash His mouth, hands, and feet and would immediately sit down
and meditate on Himself.

Hari-bhakti-vilasa 1.6:

diksa nityam brahma-kale subhotthanam pavitrata

. . . (Second Vilasa, 10. initiation, 11. rising every day at brahma-
muhurta, 12. cleanliness, . . .
Text 19

Garga-samhita 4.8.19:

eka-varam- jalam- pitva dhauta-vastro 'ti-nirmalah
brahme muhurta utthaya caikadasyam- harim- natah

During ekadashi one should be pure-hearted and very clean, wear clean
garments, drink water only once, rise during brahma-muhurta, and bow
down to Lord Krishna

Garga-samhita 4.18.14:

brahme muhurta utthaya dhyatva devim-kalindajam
arunodaya-velayam nadyam- snanam- samacaret

During brahma-muhurta one should rise from bed and meditate on
goddess Yamuna' and at sunrise one should bathe in the Yamuna.

Garga-samhita 5.15.2:

brahme muhurte cotthaya gopyah sarva grhe grhe
dehaly-anganam alipya dipams tatra nirupya ca

In each home the gopis rose at brahma-muhurta, anointed the doorways
and courtyards, arranged the lamps, . . .

Garga-samhita 8.10.7:

brahme muhurte cotthaya rama-krsneti ca bruvan
natva gurum bhuvam caiva tato bhumyam padam nyaset

One should rise at brahma-muhurta, chant the holy names of Lord Krishna
and Lord Balarama, and bow down before one's guru. Only then should
one place his feet on the ground.

Commentary by Swami Gaurangapada:

Shrila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura, Gurvastakam Verse 9 Mahatmya
states that Gurvastaka should be sung in the brahma-muhurta to
achieve the lotus feet of Lord Krishna at the end of one's life.

Shrila Prabhupada states that Mangal-arati should always be in the
brahma-muhurta which begins 1 hr 36 min before sunrise and lasts for
48 minutes. He also states that ideally the time for mangal arati
which should be during brahma-muhurta should vary according to the
sunrise time because the brahma-muhurta time always depends on the
time of sunrise. The time of sunrise determines the times of all the
muhurtas in the day.

All the scriptures quoted above state that one should rise from bed
during brahma-muhurta.

Shrila Prabhupada states that brahma-muhurta is the best muhurta for
spiritual practices and also it is the best muhurta of the day
according to the astrological charts.

In temples built for preaching, it may be a practical problem to
daily vary the time of mangal arati therefore Prabhupada fixed it at
4.30 am or 5 am in some places. But then there is also a problem that
the mangal-arati may not always be conducted in the brahma-muhurta
throughout the year especially in the summer seasons when the sun
rises very late. Therefore Prabhupada also said that actually the
timings of the mangal-arati should vary as per the sunrise clock.

And also that one may have to get up much before the brahma-muhurta
to attend a mangal arati which is fixed at 4.30 am but is much before
the brahma-muhurta. For example sunrise is there in Mumbai in the
summer at 7.00 am. So the brahma-muhurta starts at around 5.30 am or
so. Whereas the mangal-arati may be conducted at 4.30 am. So one may
have to take bath around two muhurtas before mangal-arati or even
earlier. We all know the story that because Nanda Maharaj went to
take bath too early before brahma-muhurta, he was captured by
Varuna's men. Ofcourse that was a pastime. This is just a small
detail just to bring to our attn.

Devotees who are doing mangal-arati at home can actually conduct and
sing the mangal-arati daily during brahma-muhurta to get the maximum
advantage of the Gurvastakam prayers and their morning sadhana. They
can easily vary the mangal-arati timings as per the sunrise timings
which is the ideal and best way to do it as suggested by Prabhupada
who said that mangal-arati should always be 1 1/2 hour (1 hour 36
minutes to be exact) before sunrise. They can get up at brahma-
muhurta (alarm can be kept to ring just at the beginning of brahma-
muhurta) from bed as instructed in all the revealed scriptures
(above) and quickly finish their morning duties in maximum of 15 to
20 minutes which leaves them half an hour (total 48 min) to sing and
conduct the mangal-arati and begin japa. This will the ideal
performance of the morning sadhana by the grihasthas. Any devotee can
calculate the brahma-muhurta and mangal-arati timings at his place by
getting the sunrise times of their place from the internet. They can
try out this website for getting the timings for sunrise in their
resp places for the whole year:

If temples also want to try to strictly follow what the scriptures
and Prabhupada instructed in Vrindavan then there are two options:

(1) Either the temples have two to three or four different mangal
arati timings during the year for different seasons in such a way
that the mangal-arati is always or mostly conducted in the brahma-
muhurta. This is done is many Vallabhacharya temples, some Gaudiya
math and other temples.

(2) Or to follow a day by day timetable so that everyday Gurvastakam
will be chanted in the brahma-muhurta. Most temples may consider this
greatly impractical. But there is a way out. Each temple can publish
a small booklet for the whole year about the timings of mangal-arati
daily and any regular visitor can have it so everyone attending
mangal-arati including the temple residents will know what will be
the time of mangal-arati and morning darshan from the booklet. Mangal-
arati timings for the whole month can also be posted outside the
tempel in advance. So everyone can attend accordingly. This is just
an idea to show that it is possible if one wants to strictly
implement the scriptural and Shrila Prabhupada's instructions given
above. I hope this discussion helps someone.

Pratah-Gayatri can be chanted in the Samudram Muhurta(48 min)before
sunrise. Madhyan-Gayatri can be chanted in the appropriate Muhurta
(48 min) at noon. Gauranga-Arti and Sandhya Gayatri can be in the
appropriate Muhurta in the evening around or after sunset.

1 06:00 - 06:48 RUDRA BAD
2 06:48 - 07:36 AHI BAD
3 07:36 - 08:24 MITRA GOOD
4 08:24 - 09:12 PITRU BAD
5 09:12 - 10:00 VASU GOOD
6 10:00 - 10:48 VARA GOOD
7 10:48 - 11:36 VISVADEVA GOOD
9 12:24 - 13:12 SATAMUKHI GOOD
10 13:12 - 14:00 PURUHUTA BAD
11 14:00 - 14:48 VAHINI BAD
12 14:48 - 15:36 NAKTANCARA BAD
13 15:36 - 16:24 VARUNA GOOD
14 16:24 - 17:12 ARYAMA GOOD (EXCEPT SUNDAY)
15 17:12 - 18:00 BHAGA BAD
16 18:00 - 18:48 GIRISHA BAD
17 18:48 - 19:36 AJAPAD BAD
18 19:36 - 20:24 AHIRBUDHNYA GOOD
19 20:24 - 21:12 PUSA GOOD
20 21:12 - 22:00 ASWINI GOOD
21 22:00 - 22:48 YAMA BAD
22 22:48 - 23:36 AGNI BAD
23 23:36 - 24:24 VIDHATR GOOD
24 24:24 - 01:12 CANDA GOOD
25 01:12 - 02:00 ADITI GOOD
26 02:00 - 02:48 JIVA GOOD
27 02:48 - 03:36 VISNU GOOD
28 03:36 - 04:24 YUMIGADYUTI GOOD
29 04:24 - 05:12 BRAHMA VERY GOOD
30 05:12 - 06:00 SAMUDRAM GOOD


Daaso'smi, Swami Gaurangapada.

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