In Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®, Yogi Bhajan emphasized doing sadhana, a regular spiritual practice, every day to cleanse the subconscious mind and align your being with your highest intention.
Amrit velaa sach naao vadiaa-ee veechaar Karmee aavai kapraa nadree mokh du-aar In the Amrit Vela, chant the True Name and contemplate the Divine Greatness. By the karma of past actions, the robe of this physical body is obtained. Guru Nanak Dev ji, 4th Pauree of Japji Sahib
Amrit Vela literally means “the time of nectar” and, of course, when could be a better time to meditate! But when, exactly, is the Amrit Vela? Yogi Bhajan often spoke about the Amrit Vela as the early time of morning. When the world is still and dark and the vibrations of life are silent is the sweetest time to meditate. At the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the morning prayers start in the Amrit Vela. Because the sun rises at different times, depending on the season, the doors to the Golden Temple open at 2:00 AM in the summer and 3:00 AM in the winter. Yogi Bhajan specifically addressed the Amrit Vela as two and a half hours before sunrise, or between 3:00 AM and 7:00 AM, depending on the season and your location. At first, rising in the Amrit Vela to do your sadhana is not easy. It requires adjusting your life and daily routine to be awake while the rest of the world sleeps. That means changing the way you eat, the way you sleep, and the way you live to make your sadhana a priority.
In the early morning, … from 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM when it is Amrit Vela, ambrosial hour – time of the nectar. That is the time of heart chakra. We are not fooling when we tell you to get up in the early morning, take a cold shower, and meditate. We are not in a business that we want you to go through all this – that is the time of the heart chakra. So we believe, at that time, if you bow your head to God and meditate and praise Him with your heart, because that is the time of the heart chakra, you will be in a bliss. We believe that. We believe it scientifically. That is why the scripture says, if you always want to live healthy, don’t eat after 4:00 PM. And if you always want to live beautifully and intuitively healthy, then don’t sleep after 4:00 AM.
So we say, get up three o’clock, take a bath, do some exercises, do anything, and by four o’clock you will be ready to meditate. And what are we asking? Of everything you have, give one-tenth to God. One thing you have straight from God is time – and one-tenth of 24-hours is about two hours and thirty minutes. -Yogi Bhajan, November 19, 1984 The early evening, at twilight, is also a special time for meditation. This is a time when the sun’s rays do not touch the earth; rather, they slice through the atmosphere at a 60-degree angle. It is neither day nor night, and there is just a glow of light. You will notice, in both the morning and the evening, birds are the most active. In the morning is the Amrit Vela, and in the evening, it is called Sandhya Vela – twilight time.
On every longitude and latitude, we live by the sunlight. When the Sun hits the earth at 60 degrees, …there are only two times. They call it the twilight zone – [in the morning] Amrit Vela, and in the evening Sandhya Vela. When it is a twilight zone, the sun has gone down already, but it’s not all dark. There are these two times, in every religion, that are prescribed for prayer. And what is the prayer? Just cleansing your mind, [so that you can] be yourself.
Yogi Bhajan – March 21, 1991
Meditating at any time of the day is a blessing! With this expanded understanding, the Amrit Vela, or “time of nectar” is whenever you sit on your mat and meditate! Never forego meditating. It is always the exact right time to connect to your soul. At the same time, hold the intention of rising early and be grateful for the days when you are blessed to do so. It is a real gift to be awake in the Amrit Vela.
[Amrit Vela is] the time for doing Sadhana. At the ambrosial hour after a cold shower, you sit down by yourself and conquer yourself. Once you conquer yourself, you can conquer the whole world. Yogi Bhajan - September 9, 1995
KRI is a non-profit organization that holds the teachings of Yogi Bhajan and provides accessible and relevant resources to teachers and students of Kundalini Yoga.