Brahma Muhurta, also known as ‘The Creator’s Hour,’ is a 96 minute extended period before sunrise and is considered extremely powerful and auspicious. During Brahma Muhurta, one is better equipped to reach the depths of sub-consciousness, and therefore, it is the best time for meditation and religious practices.
Soulful Sundays, our weekly Sunday morning sessions, are intended to enrich both mind and body and help the attendees derive the full benefits of Brahma Muhurta. The program begins at 5:00 AM and concludes at 9:00 AM, and is followed by breakfast prasadam.
The day begins with the Mangala arati at 5:00 AM. The first arati of the day is offered to their Lordships Sri Gaur Nitai, also known as Gauranga and Nityananda. Conch shells are blown as the altar doors open, and a grand arati is performed complete with offerings like incense, lamp, water, cloth, flowers, Chamara (fan made of yak tail) and vyajana (fan made of peacock feathers). Guru-ashtaka, a song glorifying the spiritual master, is sung by the devotees while the arati is performed. The Mangala arati signifies a constructive beginning to the day.
At 5:20 am, Tulasi puja is performed. Worshipping Tulasi, the eternal consort and the purest devotee of Lord Krishna, is known to relieve people from distress, diseases, and other worldly miseries. The three significant aspects of the puja are:
- Tulasi Pranama: Chanting of Tulasi Pranama Mantra thrice and offering obeisance to Tulasi.
- Tulasi Arati: Offering of incense, lamp, and flowers to Tulasi Devi along with singing Tulasi Kirtana.
- Tulasi Pradakshina: Circumambulation of Tulasi Devi chanting the Pradakshina Mantra. (This is said to destroy all sins.) The Arati concludes with the chanting of the Tulasi Pranama Mantra.
Narasimha is the half-lion-half-man form of the Supreme Lord. During Narasimha Aarti, Narasimha Kirtana is sung, and prayers are offered to Lord Narasimha — the protector of devotees and the remover of obstacles from the path of devotion. After the arati, the Narasimha-kavacha prayer is chanted.
Derived from the Sanskrit words ‘man’ (mind) and ‘trai’ (free or protect), ‘Mantra’ means freeing the mind and unlocking the possibilities of thoughts. The Mantra Meditation starts at 5.30 AM and involves the collective chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. The chanting helps calm and purify the mind, distance it from the distractions around, and experience Divinity, freedom and bliss.
Srila Prabhupada recommended that we chant at least 16 rounds of the Maha Mantra (1 round = 108 times) every day. The Mantra Meditation goes on until 7:10 AM.
At 7:15 AM, the conch shells blow, announcing the opening of Lord’s darshan. The doors open, and incense smoke (dhupa) engulfs the entire main temple hall. It’s a unique experience being there in the main temple hall, witnessing the shringara darshan arati of the Lord.
It is a ritual wherein puja is offered to Srila Prabhupada’s Deity. Hare Krishna kirtan follows the elaborate arati and concludes by 8:00 AM. Srimad Bhagavatam Class:
The Guru puja is followed by a session on Srimad Bhagavatam, classic Vedic literature that describes the Life and times of Lord Krishna. Compiled by Veda Vyasa, Srimad Bhagavatam contains conversations between the kings, sages, and yogis of the time and is regarded as the most complete and authoritative account of Vedic knowledge. It is said that devotees should listen to Srimad Bhagavatam every day. Regular and attentive hearing helps achieve unwavering faith in the Supreme Lord.
The Session on Srimad Bhagavatam concludes at 8.45 AM, after which breakfast prasadam is served to all the assembled devotees.
Soulful Sundays is a free program, open to one and all.
We invite you to participate in Soulful Sundays and experience the auspiciousness of a morning well begun and the supreme bliss it leaves you with.