Brahmamuhurta, which translates to “time of Brahma” in Sanskrit, refers to a 48-minute period that occurs one hour and 36 minutes before sunrise and ends 48 minutes before sunrise. This time is considered highly auspicious for spiritual activities such as yoga, meditation, worship, and other practices. It is believed that performing these activities during Brahmamuhurta has a greater impact than at any other time of the day.
Brahmamuhurta is the 14th muhurtha kala of the night, and a night consists of 15 muhurthas. The exact timing of Brahmamuhurta varies depending on the geographic location and time of year. For instance, if sunrise occurs at 6:00 am, Brahmamuhurta starts at 4:24 am and ends at 5:12 am.
Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, recognizes three doshas in the human body: Vata (air and ether), Pitta (fire and water), and Kapha (earth and water). The rise or fall of these three doshas is related to the cycles of time. From sunrise until 10:00 am is the time of Kapha, while the period from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm is the time of Pitta. The time of Vata is From 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm (sunset). Similarly, in the night, the period from 2:00 am until 6:00 am (sunrise) is also Vata time. Brahmamuhurta occurs during this phase, and according to yoga masters, it is the best time to meditate because the mind is still at that time, enabling one to achieve a deeper meditative state.
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, a well-known yoga teacher, believed that the best way to utilize this time was to focus on God, the sun, or one’s parents. He identified himself with Vaishnavism, the worship of bhagwān Vishnu, and modern yogis trace their lineage back to him by practicing the Suryanamaskara or sun salutation in the morning. The Suryanamaskara is also used in ritual cleansing practices that use the mind states associated with “Vata” in Ayurveda medicine. These qualities are closer to the divine, as they pertain to stillness of the mind, allowing for the spirit to shine.
Brahmamuhurta offers an inherently still state of mind, enabling one to achieve meditative states more easily, despite the agitated mind associated with the Kali Yuga. In this era, yoga can still reach divinity, but it must be practiced through Kriya, based on asana.