What are the benefits of praying and chanting in Brahma Muhurta?

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What are the benefits of praying and chanting in Brahma Muhurta?

Since ages, the divine sages have been saying that Brahma Muhurta has unlimited benefits and so it is the best time to pray to God and chant the mantras.

Now the question is why Brahma Muhurta is so important and what benefits one gets by praying and chanting mantras during this time.  

What is Brahma Muhurta:

Let us first try to understand what is muhurta and how it is calculated.

  • As per Vedic calculation, one danda is equal to 24 minutes.
  • Two dandas, or forty-eight minutes, is equal to one muhurta.
  • In 24 hour cycle, we have 24*60 = 1440 minutes.
  • Total muhurta is (1440 min/48 min) = 30 i.e. from sunrise to sunrise, there are 30 muhurtas.
  • Brahma Muhurta starts 2 muhurtas (48 * 2 min) before the rise of the sun i.e. 1 hour 36 minutes before sunrise is the time of the start of Brahma Muhurta and it ends 48 minutes before sunrise.

Let us understand it with an example:

  • Suppose that on a particular day sun rises at 5:30 am.
  • That day, the Brahma Muhurta starts 48×2=96 minutes before 5:30 am i.e. 1 hour 36 minutes before sun rise, i.e. at 03.54 am.
  • It ends 48 minutes before sunrise, i.e. at 04.42 am.
  • So, on that day, the Brahma Muhurtha falls between 03.54 am to 04.42 am

Now, let us understand what does Brahma means. It has many meanings. Brahma can mean impersonal Brahma or can refer to Brahmaji or it also means something big or great or auspicious. So, Brahma Muhurta means, auspicious time or greatest time or best time. It is also called amrit vela.

Why meditation in Brahma Muhurat?

Early morning, our mind is at peace. Anger, anxiety, frustration, lamentation, hankering does not torture the mind much in the early morning hours. One reason is because at the night-time when we take rest then the impurities of the mind settles down. For example, when water is in agitated state then the dirt can be seen on the surface and all over the water. Now leave the water to calm down and you will see that the dirt settles down.

Similarly, our mind is busy throughout the day, it is full of thoughts – both positive and negative. When we take proper rest in the night then our mind relaxes, and the thoughts too settle down. So, when we get at this time then our mind is peaceful, and we can focus well on any activity we do. This is why parents and teachers would tell us to study tough subjects like mathematics or physics in the morning because mind is fresh and alert so it can grasp concepts quickly. 

Also, if we look around, we will see that nature is also at peace at this time. It is neither too hot nor too cold, no traffic, no people, no noise pollution, we can smell the cool breeze, serenity is everywhere, everything looks so divine. There is no disturbance outside and inside. So, at this time when we pray to God and chant mantras then we can completely focus on the Supreme Lord and the divine mantras sounds.

Praying in Brahma Muhurta brings us in mode of goodness

One of the benefits of Brahma Muhurta is that it brings us to the mode of goodness.

Just like the living entities are in different gunas or modes, similarly the day can also be divided into three gunas. Morning time is in the mode of goodness, day in passion and night in ignorance. We can practically experience every day.

Morning hours are cool and calm. Atmosphere is serene and we are at peace. As the day progresses, passion starts taking over. We become more passionate to work, we see people running here and there and everyone gets busy in some sort of activities. Night is in ignorance. In the night people become lazy, sleep overpowers them.

In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that if we want to be happy then we should rise above ignorance and passion and come to the level of goodness.

It is not that we can say that we are in complete goodness or passion or ignorance. Most of us are in mixed modes i.e., sometimes mode of goodness is prominent in us, sometimes passion takes over and sometimes we are overpowered by ignorance. If we are mostly in passion and ignorance then we will be always in stress and will be unhappy. So, it is imperative that our life is guided by goodness.

Life should be guided by goodness

To work we need passion, no doubt. But passion without proper direction can create havoc. Especially youths have lots of energy and are passionate to achieve results. But if they are not guided by goodness then their energy or enthusiasm may get wasted and sometimes can become destructive too.

For example, river water is controlled by its banks. Dams are built to use the water for constructive purpose. Kite can fly high in the sky only if it is properly controlled by a string. For gas stove, we have regulator else it will burn the whole house. Similarly, passion should be guided by goodness. This is why kings used to have qualified gurus. To rule and to check the inimical forces one needs passion. But if a king is guided by a guru who is in goodness, then king can use his passionate energy for the welfare of the society.

We see that Duryodhana, or Karna never listened to any sagely advice. They were chivalrous but since they did not utilize their energy properly, so they created havoc. Whereas the Pandavas were always guided by saintly personalities and especially by Krishna. So, ultimately Pandavas emerged victorious.

Krishna in Bhagavad Gita 14.6 – 9 gives the characteristics of the three modes

  • Mode of goodness gives sukha (happiness) and jnana (knowledge)
  • But mode of passion fills one with unlimited desires and hankerings
  • Mode of ignorance is characterized by pramāda (madness), ālasya, (indolence), nidrābhiḥ (sleep).

How association affects our life?

Association plays a key role in our life. If we associate with a person who is lazy, is full of negativities then we will develop those bad qualities. And if we are with someone who is greedy and has lots of material desires then slowly such desires will fructify in our hearts tool.

But if we associate with those people who are self-controlled, is free from lust, anger and greed, who likes to pray and do meditation then gradually such noble qualities will also develop in us. This is about associating with people.

Similarly, with which part of the day we associate with impacts our life. If we are an early morning person, then it means that we are associating with that time of the day when it is in goodness. If we are getting up very late and just rushing to our office or getting busy in our household activities, then it means that we associating with that time of the day when it is in passion.

We can say that around 10 am passion starts and continues till evening till sunset. During this time anyway almost all of us have to be active. Ignorance is prominent in night. It is the time to rest our body and mind. But if we are awake till late night watching TV or movies or playing video games then we will develop ignorance.

Based on the modes we cultivate; we experience happiness and misery in life. In Bhagavad Gita 14.14-15 Krishna also tells what kind of destination people of different modes get.  

  • People who are in goodness goes to the heavenly planets or get higher destinations.
  • Those in passion is reborn on this earthly planet and continue with their material pursuits.
  • Those in ignorance gets animal body or even may go to hell.

So, one of the benefits of getting up in Brahma Muhurta is that we get time to associate with that part of the day which is in goodness.

Spiritual practices in Brahma Muhurta brings us to mode of goodness

But if we are getting up in Brahma Muhurta and during this time, we get involved in spiritual activities then gradually we will develop mode of goodness. This is one of the great benefits of Brahma Muhurta. Srila Prabhupada says that all the sincere devotees should try their best to at least come to the stage of goodness. In goodness it is easy to fight with anarthas or impurities and get free from sufferings.

In military parlance it is said that if you sweat in peace then you bleed less in war. Similarly, if we sweat in the peaceful morning hours then we will be troubled less by our anarthas during the day and night hours.

Praying and chanting mantras like the Hare Krishan Mahamantra helps us a lot in fighting with our vices which is the root cause of our suffering. Chanting mantras throws out dirt from our mind making it cleaner and purer. And more our mind becomes clean more our life becomes auspicious and happy.

Imagine a life which is free of anger, anxiety, greed, lust, hankering, frustration and negative thoughts! Only positive spiritual thoughts fill our mind. How much happiness we will experience internally! In fact, the purpose of practicing devotion to God is to come to a state where we are free from all the negativities which brings so much suffering.

In the gurukuls students were trained to get up early in the morning and do sadhana. Unfortunately, in today’s time people do not understand the importance of time.

Flickering happiness or everlasting happiness?

Time plays a very important role in our life. Many people watch late night shows, watch YouTube videos and think that they are enjoying their life. But in fact, this is wastage of time and human form of life. Happiness which a movie or TV show gives is so flickering and temporary. It may last for few minutes.

But by practicing devotion to God we remove impurities from our mind and heart and we connect to God. This gives us lots of joy. And this joy is everlasting. The happiness which a self-controlled person experiences is far greater than the happiness which even the emperor of the world may get.

So, we have to choose if we want flickering happiness or everlasting happiness.

Srila Prabhupada about Brahma Muhurta and morning program

In Iskcon, Srila Prabhupada has talked about the benefits of practicing devotion to Krishna in Brahma Muhurta. He made sure that all the devotees who sincerely wants to practice devotion gets up early in the morning in Brahma Muhurta. Especially those who stay in the temple, it is compulsory that they get up for morning program. Even for grihastas it is important that they get up early in the morning.  

Srila Prabhupada writes, “The brāhma-muhūrta takes place about one and a half hours before sunrise. It is recommended that one should rise from bed at that time and, after finishing daily ablutions, take to spiritual activities by performing maṅgala-ārati and chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. This period is very convenient for the execution of spiritual activities.”

In a letter to one of his disciples, Srila Prabhupada underlins the importance of spiritual program in the morning.

“Everything is done in conformity to a regular standard. For example, all the temple members, without exception must rise by 4:00 A.M. and attend Mangal aratik. Everyone living in the temple must agree to the standard by proper understanding of the philosophy of tapasya. We cannot expect our guests to follow all our principles, but whoever lives in the temple must follow.” Srila Prabhupada letter on January 12, 1974 to Mudunda däsa

What are the benefits of praying and chanting in Brahma Muhurta?

Attaining perfection by practicing devotion in Brahma Muhurta

If you go to any Iskcon temple, in any part of the world you will find that they have morning program. And as far as I have seen and known in all the temples in all over the world, morning program starts at 4:30 am. There could be few exceptions because of certain local issues. Even sincere grihastas get up early in the morning and do complete morning program at home.

All sincere devotees of Iskcon, follow following morning program schedule. Day begins with Mangala Arati at 4:30 am followed by Narasimha Arati, Tulasi Arati and Sistastakam prayers. All these aratis complete by around 5:30 am. After this devotees chant 16 rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra which takes around 2 hours.  At 7:30 am there is darshan arati which is followed by guru puja. After guru puja there is Srimad Bhagavatam class for an hour. The entire morning is packed with spiritual programs.

We discussed what is Brahma Muhurta and its benefits. But the greatest benefit of Brahma Muhurta is that by praying and chanting mantras during this time we can perfect our life and come to a stage where we develop genuine and spontaneous love for the Supreme Lord.

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