The foundation for Gursikhi jeevan is a strong amrit vela. If we have a good amrit vela and our minds get the proper start, the rest of the day will go well guaranteed. Many prominant Sikhs, including Baba Naranjan Singh jee, Shiromani Kathakar of Patiala used to say:
“According to the Shastras, the person who gets up before 3am and takes a bath for meditation has given, in charity, a donation equivalent to one ‘maund’ of gold for such a noble act.
A person who gets up between 3am to 4am and takes a bath for meditation has given in charity, a donation equivalent to one ‘maund’ of silver.
A person who gets up between 4am to 5am and takes a bath for meditation has given in charity, a donation equavlent to one ‘maund’ of milk.
The actual benefit given by the Lord for Naam Simran, meditation and reading Gurbani during Amritvela cannot be described in words.” pg. 208
A Ranglay Sajjan of the Jatha, Col Piara Singh jee used to say “Satguru jee himself takes the roll call of every Gursikh in the Amrit Vela Parade (naam abhyaas). He observes those who are absent for some time, but after repeated irresponsibility and absences, those people’s names are then cut from his register”
So let us try to take the full benefit of Amrit Vela and get the blessings of Guru Sahib.
Waking Up For Amrit Vela
By G. Udham Singh in Gurmat Sidhaant Saagar
Translated by Admin www.tapoban.org
1. That Sikh who remembers Vahiguru at Amrit Vela will achieve liberation.
2. Ishnan, nitnem and simran/abhyaas at amrit vela can transform the individual
3. Only that person can wake up for amrit vela who forsakes laziness and remembers death.
4. It is just as essential for every Gursikh to wake up in the last quarter of the night, amrit vela, as it is to do simran.
5. That person that remains asleep at amrit vela goes without the blessings and grace of Vahiguru
6. The best way of waking up for amrit vela is to eat little at night and to go to sleep on time.
7. It is at amrit vela that currents of Vahiguru’s blessings are flowing but those who remain asleep at this time cannot enjoy them
8. Until the stars disappear, it is the fourth quarter of the night, amrit vela,
which is considered the most conducive time to meditate and worship Vahiguru.
9. That person that longs to wake up at amrit vela will be woken up on
time by some secret power.
10. After doing Sohila Sahib, and before going to sleep, doing ardaas for the ability to wake up at amrit vela is very beneficial.
11. That Gursikh who is thirsting for naam and baaNee will find that this thirst will be like the alarm which wakes him/her up.
12. Even cows, birds and roosters wake up at amrit vela. If a Sikh does not, it is his own bad karma.
13. It is a natural phenomenon that at amrit vela, even flowers blossom and spread their scent more than at any other time.
14. That person who wants to meditate on Vahiguru must make it a daily habit to wake up at amrit vela.
15. It is not enough to just wake up at amrit vela, ishnaan and simran are also essential.
16. Those individuals who spend their nights lost in vices and evil and then sleep through amrit vela are destroying their own lives.
17. The way in which our minds can be attached to simran and baaNee at amrit vela is not possible at any other time.
18. All great saints, rishis, munis, bhagats and Gursikhs all have woken up at amrit vela.
19. That person’s life is fruitful and worthwhile who wakes up every day at amrit vela and remembers Vahiguru.
For centuries, Gursikhs have gotten up in the latter part of the night and called on their beloved. This has been a tradition amongst the Sikhs since the time of Guru Nanak. Why would we try to re-interpret amrit vela at this stage and what right do we have to do so? If someone wants to progress in Gurmat, then they should copy what the Guru and beloved Gursikhs do. Baba Gurbachan Singh Bhindranvale, Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee, Baba Nand Singh jee, Baba Attar Singh jee Mastuana, and countless other amazing Singhs all stressed the importance of keeping Amrit Vela ie. getting up in the last part of the night.
Even more importantly, baaNee over and over tells the Sikh to get up in the last part of the night (I’ll include just the parts of the shabads, but please look at the whole shabads)
“Pichho raatee sadaRaa naam khasam kaa layh”
“fareedhaa pichhal raath n jaagiouhi jeevadharro mueiouhi ||
jae thai rab visaariaa th rab n visariouhi ||107||”
ma 4 ||
gur sathigur kaa jo sikh akhaaeae s bhalakae out(h) har naam dhhiaavai ||
oudham karae bhalakae parabhaathee eisanaan karae a(n)mrith sar naavai ||
oupadhaes guroo har har jap jaapai sabh kilavikh paap dhokh lehi jaavai ||
fir charrai dhivas gurabaanee gaavai behadhiaa out(h)adhiaa har naam dhhiaavai ||
jo saas giraas dhhiaaeae maeraa har har so gurasikh guroo man bhaavai ||
jis no dhaeiaal hovai maeraa suaamee this gurasikh guroo oupadhaes sunaavai ||
jan naanak dhhoorr ma(n)gai this gurasikh kee jo aap japai avareh naam japaavai ||2||”
And countless other shabads make clear that a Sikh must get up in the last part of the night.