Getting up at Amritvela
Getting up at Amritvela
This is one of the important habits that a Sikh must make concerted and renewed effort to form - It a continuous requirement! In Sikhi, Amritvela is considered a very sacred time, and is a time of day when prayers and meditation obtain the best results and are most effective and powerful. Guru teaches us this as a guideline, and so we understand the subtleties of our own energy, our own abilities and our own power.
The most important thing is to remember God at all times. Guru gave us this technology to heighten our awareness and increase our connection to the One. It is not a matter of heaven or hell if we are not able to follow Guru's direction in this regard but one's spiritual progression will be hindered. The Sikh should make it his or her first priority (when you wake up), to say your prayer and do your meditation and the remembrance of God, regardless of what time you wake up and also regardless of how little little you spend.
As a minimum requirement, just do this and see how you progress on this mission; it is up to the individual to find a acceptable morning routine even if it is very short but make sure it is regular! It is commonly suggested that one gets up 15 minutes before their regular "waking up" time and spend these 15 minutes to engage in meditation and prayer. Gentle exercise while reciting Mool Mantar or just "Waheguru" or a few pauris (stanzas) of Japji sahib. Initial routine is left entirely to the individual. However, as a batised Khalsa, one is required to recite the Five banis.
It is important to note that in fact, the Guru Granth Sahib defines the Sikh in these terms:
|SGGS Page 305 Full Shabad|
One who calls himself a Sikh of the True Guru,
So, it is plain that getting up early, having a shower and remembering God is pretty fundamental to a Sikh. In this period of calm and peace before sunrise, before the 'hassle and bassle' of life, one can easily meditate on God and receive the Lord's divine blessing. In the Japji, Guru Nanak emphasise, the need of rising early for prayer. Due to the change of season and geographical location, Amritvela is likely to differ in various countries.
This peaceful period of "early morning" called "Amrit-wehla", which literally means "ambrosial time", is the time to remember and worship God, the Creator of all that we see. The most common definition of Amritvela is that it starts at about 3am and ends around six in the morning but seasonal changes would modify this somewhat. Great importance has been put on this Godly hour. It is the time when one gets better feedback from reciting Gurbani; the best results are obtained during this early pre-dawn hours. In Japji, Guru Nanak, the Sikh founder guru says:
|ਅੰਮਰਿਤ ਵੇਲਾ ਸਚ ਨਾਉ ਵਡਿਆਈ ਵੀਚਾਰ ॥ ਕਰਮੀ ਆਵੈ ਕਪੜਾ ਨਦਰੀ ਮੋਖ ਦਆਰ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਝਵੈ ਜਾਣੀਝ ਸਭ ਆਪੇ ਸਚਿਆਰ ॥੪॥|
|Amriṯ vėlĝ sacẖ nĝo vadiĝī vīcẖĝr. Karmī ĝvai kapṛĝ naḝrī mokẖ ḝuĝr. Nĝnak ėvai jĝṇīai sabẖ ĝpė sacẖiĝr.(4)|
|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.
|ਸਲੋਕ ਮਃ ੩ ॥|
ਬਾਬੀਹਾ ਅੰਮਰਿਤ ਵੇਲੈ ਬੋਲਿਆ ਤਾਂ ਦਰਿ ਸਣੀ ਪਕਾਰ ॥ ਮੇਘੈ ਨੋ ਫਰਮਾਨ ਹੋਆ ਵਰਸਹ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਧਾਰਿ ॥
|Salok mehlĝ 3.|
Bĝbīhĝ amriṯ vėlai boliĝ ṯĝŉ ḝar suṇī pukĝr. Mėgẖai no furmĝn hoĝ varsahu kirpĝ ḝẖĝr.
|Shalok, Third Mehl:|
The rainbird chirps in the ambrosial hours of the morning before the dawn; its prayers are heard in the Court of the Lord.