Amritwehla - Guru's Time

 

Early morning is called Amritwehla, which means that it is the time to worship God. Great importance has been put on this Godly hour. Amritwehla starts after midnight and ends around six in the morning, although during the summer months it is accepted that it ends at sunrise which can be as early as 3.00am.
The Gurus, starting with Guru Nanak Dev Ji and culminating in Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s rehat (code of conduct for a Sikh) stress the need to rise at Amritwehla and perform your nitname. A Sikh is instructed to rise early in the morning and bathe. During this time it is advisable to recite Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Benti Chaupai continually and one can notch up at least three by the time one settles down cross legged on the floor ready for the daily panj baniies (five proscribed prayers) followed by recitation of various other baniies as one feels.
In the Japji Sahib, the first prayer of the morning Guru Nanak Dev Ji expressly tells us to rise at amritwehla.
  True is the Master, True is His Name-speak it with infinite love.
People beg and pray, ""Give to us, give to us"", and the Great Giver gives His Gifts.
So what offering can we place before Him, by which we might see the Darbar of His Court?
What words can we speak to evoke His Love?
In the Amrit Vaylaa, the ambrosial hours before dawn, chant the True Name, and contemplate His Glorious Greatness.
By the karma of past actions, the robe of this physical body is obtained. By His Grace, the Gate of Liberation is found.
O Nanak, know this well: the True One Himself is All. ||4|| Japji Sahib
 
It is the fourth in the series of hukams – express orders – of Guru Gobind Singh Ji that we awake at amritwehla.
 
 

1) Dharam di Kirat karni - Earn by honest means.
2) Daswand dena - Give one tenth of your salary.
3) Gurbani kantth karni - Memorize Gurbani.
4) Amrit Vaelae utthna - Wake up Amrit Vela (before dawn).
5) Sikh sewak di sewa ruchi naal karni - Serve a Sikh Servant with devotion. . . .

(Reference: Sikh Virsa, December 2000, Vol. 6, No. 61, Pg. 29).


One falls asleep after a long day and it is a blessed person who through some inner strength can arise at such an hour out of ones cosy bed for the sake of remembrance of the Almighty, for which he or she is duly rewarded. At this time most people are in deep sleep and disturbances are at a minimum. The atmosphere is sacred because the vibrations of the mind involved in world matters are not emitted from the masses since they are in deep sleep. At this hour worldly thoughts, worries, anxieties, although not completely eliminated, are at a minimum.
The mind is also a form of energy, the mind disappears in deep sleep. The atmosphere is not polluted by the radiations of worldly feelings and desires. At this time the disciple of the one true Lord will make an effort and arise. Their pure mental rays pervade all over the world and make this time sacred. Thus it becomes a congenial and encouraging atmosphere for the remembrance of God.
 
Guru Ram Das Ji the fourth Guru tells us :
  Suhi, Fourth Mehl:
Wherever the Lord is worshipped in adoration, there the Lord becomes one's friend and helper.
By Guru's Grace, the Lord comes to dwell in the mind; He cannot be obtained in any other way. ||1||
So gather in the wealth of the Lord, O Siblings of Destiny,
so that in this world and the next, the Lord shall be your friend and companion. ||1||Pause||
In the company of the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation, you shall earn the wealth of the Lord; this wealth of the Lord is not obtained anywhere else, by any other means, at all.
The dealer in the Lord's Jewels purchases the wealth of the Lord's jewels; the dealer in cheap glass jewels cannot acquire the Lord's wealth by empty words. ||2||
The Lord's wealth is like jewels, gems and rubies. At the appointed time in the Amrit Vaylaa, the ambrosial hours of the morning, the Lord's devotees lovingly center their attention on the Lord, and the wealth of the Lord.
The devotees of the Lord plant the seed of the Lord's wealth in the ambrosial hours of the Amrit Vaylaa; they eat it, and spend it, but it is never exhausted.
In this world and the next, the devotees are blessed with glorious greatness, the wealth of the Lord. ||3||


 
After sunrise the masses awake and the materialistic mental radiations are emitted through their physical senses. The atmosphere once again becomes polluted. People will disturb you dragging you to materialistic discussions. Even by seeing faces you will be affected. The mind and body are inter-related. Since mind is energy and energy is matter, even if you see the body, the mind in that body emits thoughts and feelings that will affect you. Therefore, in this most sacred hours of Amritwehla avoid even the vision of materialistic people, not to say about their touch and conversation as all this will have an effect on your connection with AkalPurkh. It is however true that one must remain as a lotus flowers in the sea of maya or illusion. That is, to remain pure within impurity for God pervades in all. As the journey goes on, it is important to remain pure in any company, good or bad, but to begin with the control of the mind is difficult and the five thieves are at their most strongest. They will use any means necessary to distract the mind. Hence, one must be aware of this and one must avoid all things that will cause a distraction of the mind, one must not give it any excuse to wonder off.
 
The Vaars of Bhai Gurdas Ji repeatedly tell us the importance of awaking at Amritwehla.
  Even if Shastras, Smritis, Lakhs of Vedas, Mahabharat, Ramayan etc. are joined together;
Thousands of gist’s of the Gita, Bhagvats, books of astronomy and acrobats of physicians are joined;
Fourteen branches of education, musicology and Brahma, Visnu, Mahesa are put together;
if Lakhs of ses, serpent, Sukr, Vyas, Narad, Sanal et al. are all collected there;
Myriad's of knowledge's, meditations, recitations, philosophies, varnas and guru-disciples are there; they all are nothing.

The perfect Guru (Lord) is the Guru of the gurus and the holy discourse of the Guru is the basis of all the mantras.
The tale of the Word of the Guru is ineffable; it is neti neti (not this not this). One should always bow before him.
This pleasure fruit of the gurmukhs is attained in the early ambrosial hours.

And again:
  Getting up at the ambrosial hour of morning the Sikhs bathe in the river.
By putting their mind in the unfathomable God through deep concentration, they remember Guru, the God by reciting Japu (Ji).
Getting fully activated then they go to join the holy congregation of the saints.
Becoming absorbed in remembering and loving the sabad they sing and hear the Guru's hymns.
They love to spend their time in meditation, service and fear of God and they serve the Gum by observing his anniversaries.
They sing the Sodar in the evening and heartily associate with one another.
Having recited the Sohila and made supplication at night they distribute sacred food (prasad).
Thus gurmukhs gladly taste the fruit of happiness.


 
If in your laziness you wake after sunrise and wish to worship God, you will close your eyes to avoid such people. But, their mental radiations spread all around you and are inevitable. You wish to shut out the noises and the general humdrum of life but they will invade your sacred space and distract you. So, it is better to wake in the early morning and sing devotional kirtan as part of your Naam Simran routine.
In addition, there is importance placed on repeating Naam at all times, throughout the day, with every breath

  I am sacrifice unto those Gursikhs who get up in the last quarter of night.
I am sacrifice unto those Gursikhs who getting up in the ambrosial hours, and bathe in the holy tank.
I am sacrifice unto those Gursikhs who remember the Lord with single devotion.
I am sacrifice unto those Gursikhs also who go to the holy congregation and sit there.
I am sacrifice unto those Gursikhs who sing and listen to Gurbani daily.
I am sacrifice unto those Gursikhs who meet others whole-heartedly.
I am sacrifice unto those Gursikhs who celebrate Guru’s anniversaries with full devotion.
Such Sikhs become blest by the service of the Guru and progress further successfully.
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