mrit Vela has different meanings throughout the Gurbani depending on the context of the Shabad. In this article, we will discuss the most common meaning of Amrit Vela that is waking up at the early hours of the morning.
Different Meanings of Amrit Vela
Vela means time. Amrit has many translations. So, Amrit Vela does refer to the early hours of the morning. Amrit Vela is a state of mind as well. Amrit Vela does not refer to the early hours of the morning everywhere in Gurbani. Guru Sahib Ji could be referring to that moment when we start to blossom inside. The moment when Amrit inside starts to become sweet and awakens.
That's Amrit Vela as well. However, there is the concept of rising in the early hours of the morning as well, so it's not that it doesn't exist. Some people might say that Amrit Vela only means a moment of awakening in your life. But there are many quotes in Gurbani that emphasize the importance of waking up in the early hours of the morning.
The Time of Amrit Vela
Amrit Vela is also called the Chautha Pehar (fourth section of the night) in Punjabi. The fourth section of the night is between 3:00 AM and 6:00 AM in the morning. It doesn't mean that you can't get up before that. If somebody wants to rise between 12:00 AM and 3:00 AM that's fine as well. But 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM is a common time that people choose.
Importance of Amrit Vela
Bhagat Kabir Ji says in their Salok that
ਕਬੀਰ ਸੂਤਾ ਕਿਆ ਕਰਹਿ ਉਠਿ ਕਿ ਨ ਜਪਹਿ ਮੁਰਾਰਿ ॥
ਇਕ ਦਿਨ ਸੋਵਨੁ ਹੋਇਗੋ ਲਾਂਬੇ ਗੋਡ ਪਸਾਰਿ ॥੧੨੮॥
In this Salok, Laambae means when you stretch your legs out and your knees are fully stretched. Bhagat Kabeer Ji is talking about that time when a person is buried and the legs are straight out. They say you're going to go to sleep forever one day anyway. So, why not meditate until you've got breath in this life. You got the opportunity, don't miss it.
Bhagat Fareed Ji also writes about Amrit Vela in their Bani and says
ਫਰੀਦਾ ਰਾਤਿ ਕਥੂਰੀ ਵੰਡੀਐ ਸੁਤਿਆ ਮਿਲੈ ਨ ਭਾਉ ॥
ਜਿੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਨੈਣ ਨੀਦ੍ਰਾਵਲੇ ਤਿੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਮਿਲਣੁ ਕੁਆਉ ॥੮੦॥
Kathoore means musk that comes from the deer. The word Raati literally translated means night. Guru Sahib refers to Raati to be the last part of the night, which is referring to Amrit Vela. Bhagat Fareed Ji says that the musk or the fragrance is given out at Amrit Vela. It's not actually somebody who comes out and starts spraying musk in your face. If you're asleep, you won't get your share. Bhaao here means to share and musk meaning the fragrance of Naam, Naam being that opportunity to connect with Vaheguru. The possibility of connecting at Amrit Vela is a lot greater and higher than it is when the whole rat race of life starts. You get that experience and feel at that time in the morning. When you become enlightened, you'll feel it constantly. You won't have to only wait for that moment of the morning to have that feeling.
Somebody said it so beautifully that imagine Guru Nanak Dev Ji standing at your bedside in the morning and waiting to dish out that fragrance of Naam to you, that opportunity for you to connect. But those that don't awake, Guru Nanak has to walk away from giving them that fragrance.
This article is a transcribed version of the video below