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What is Brahma Muhurta?

Every day at 4:30 am my grandfather is busy waking up his favorite gods in the altar with his sacred murmurs. When he is done, he meditates and then goes for a long walk. “Aah, what a beautiful morning,” he exclaims every day after he returns home.

Brahma Muhurta literally means, The Creator’s Time! The Creator or Brahma is the ultimate knowledge and Muhurta means time period. Brahma Muhurta is the time period, perfect to perceive the ultimate knowledge. Brahma muhurta time is the early morning period between 3.30 a.m. and 5.30 a.m.

1 Muhurta = 48 minutes. Brahma Muhurta starts exactly 2 Muhurta before sunrise. Hence, it begins 1 hr and 36 mins before sunrise and ends 48 mins before it. As we know that the time of sunrise differs with seasons and geographical locations, Brahma Muhurta also varies accordingly. 

My grandfather has always had an intimate affair with early mornings, specifically the period of Brahmamuhurta, the one-and-a-half hours before sunrise. So much so that you’d find him following his early morning routine despite the winter chill. He believes his ritual has kept him in the pink of his health. (Despite being in his 80s, he walks and sits with an erect posture and has no diseases whatsoever.)

Looks like medical experts of yore agree with him. “Brahmi Muhurtam uttishthet swastho rakshartham ayusha: tatra sarvartha shantyartham smareccha madhusudanam”–  Ashtanga Hridaya, a treatise on Ayurveda, says that waking up during Brahma Muhurta increases one’s lifespan and helps avoid diseases.

Brahma Muhurta: Me-Time re-defined

brahma muhurta me time

The benefits of a disease-free body and an increased lifespan are appealing. However, my grandpa’s love for early mornings stems from something much deeper. In his own words, it is his ‘me’ time. He explained it to me. He said that from morning to night, we are giving in to the demands of the world. The day is spent in fulfilling professional, social, and family responsibilities. A little time is left for oneself in the night. But in that period, you are left with no energy. The only time when you are fresh, aware, and can easily tune within is Brahma Muhurta timing, making it a special time for yourself.

Scientific benefits of waking up in Brahma Muhurta 

According to the International Journal of Yoga and Allied Sciences, during the pre-dawn period, there is the availability of nascent oxygen in the atmosphere. This nascent oxygen easily mixes with hemoglobin forming oxyhemoglobin, which has the following benefits:

  • Boosts immunity
  • Increases energy level
  • Helps maintain the balance of blood pH
  • Relieves pain, soreness, and cramps
  • Enhances the absorption of minerals and vitamins

5 things to do during Brahma Muhurta 

Our ancestors figured that certain activities done in Brahma Muhurta can help one to tune within. These activities help make this time with yourself special and fruitful, both on personal and worldly fronts. Ancient texts like Dharmashastras, the Hindu treatise on Dharma, and Ashtanga Hridaya recommend the following:

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar advises the first thing you must do every morning

When you wake up in the morning, remember great people who have had a great consciousness. That will help you start your day with positivity. Your mind reverberates differently.

1. Meditate

brahma muhurta meditation

Meditation is the best way to meet yourself. And, what better time to meditate when the rest of the world is asleep? It is at this time when your awareness level is at its best. One of the best Brahma Muhurta meditations is Sahaj Samadhi Dhyana.

2. Read or hear knowledge

According to Ashtanga Hridaya, Brahma Muhurta is the most suitable time to perceive spiritual knowledge and wisdom. Explore ancient scriptures or go through simple tenets of wisdom. According to Dharmashastra, studying scriptures during Brahma Muhurta also helps ease mental problems. 

3. Plan Your Day

The awareness level and freshness that Brahma Muhurta bestows on you make it the perfect time to plan your day ahead.

plan your day brahma muhurta

4. Introspect

Recall your actions on the previous day. Recollect how many times you gave into negative emotions like jealousy, anger, and greed. Don’t let any of these memories drown you in guilt. Just become aware of those moments. Doing this every day will eventually reduce your tendency to give in to these negative emotional patterns.

5. Remember your parents, Guru, and God

We often do not get the time to remember the most important people in our lives. Rishi Shaunak suggests remembering and mentally bowing down to your parents, Guru, and the energy that you believe runs this creation, call it God or universal energy, during this period.

Things not to do in Brahma Muhurta

Dharmashastra also recommends a few don’ts:

  1. Do not eat: Eating during Brahma Muhurta causes illnesses.
  2. Do not do a stressful activity: Do not do anything which requires too much mental work. Doing that reduces one’s lifespan.

Who should not wake up in Brahma Muhurta

According to Ashtanga Hridaya, only a healthy person should wake up in Brahma Muhurta. The text advises some people against waking up in Brahmamuhurta including:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children
  • Aged people who have not been waking up in this period from the very beginning
  • People suffering from any physical and mental illness
  • People whose previous meal has not been digested (No bowel movement indicates an undigested meal)

If you don’t fall in the above sets of people, it is a good idea to wake up during Brahma Muhurta. You will feel great and your productivity is bound to improve 5x.

Based on inputs from Dr. Anjali Ashok, Sri Sri Ayurveda and Pundit Vishwajeet from Ved Agama Samskrutha Maha Pathshala.

Written by Vanditaa Kothari