1. Waking up at the Brahmamuhurt
As prescribed by the scriptures, wake up at the Brahmamuhurt before sunrise has two muhurts (Auspicious time); of these the first is called Brahmamuhurt. At this time, the human intellect and the energy for compiling a Holy text is good. Hence, the noun ‘Brahma’ is prefixed to this muhurt.
A. Importance of Brahmamuhurt
Egoless souls with Divine character become active during this period. This period is predominant with the Sattva The intellect during this period is pure and radiant. Brahmamuhurt is the best period for performing tasks related to the pursuits of Dharma (Righteousness) and Artha (Wealth), for contemplating on Vedic principles and introspection.
During this period, the process of imbibing virtues like purity of the body and mind, ability to remain engrossed in karma, gaining knowledge, donation, control over the senses, performing of austerities, truth, Shanti (Serenity), compassion towards all creatures, absence of greed, being ashamed of performing condemnable deeds, stability, radiance and purity becomes easier.
Mosquitoes, bedbugs and fleas become weak during this period.
Dominance of negative energies is also weakened during this period.
2. Normally, why do we yawn after waking up?
The mouth is an opening for removing of Vayu (gases). Sattva-uttprerak gas, functional in a person, is released along with words that it utters and imparts momentum to the subtle form of these words. Since the gases generated in the body at night are not expelled through the mouth during sleep, they accumulate in the body and are activated in the morning, and are expelled in large proportion through the mouth of a person. That is why we yawn.
3. Activities to be performed upon waking up
A. Shrotrachaman : Upon waking up, before getting out of bed, perform Shrotrachaman. Even if water is not by your side, perform Shrotrachaman without fail. – Shri Gurucharitra, Chapter 36, Stanza 124.
Shrotrachaman means touching the right ear with the right hand and reciting the twenty-four Names of Shrivishṇu, starting from ‘Om Shri Keshavaya Namaha’. Since the Deities Aditya, Vasu, Rudra, Agni, Dharma, Ved, Apa, Som, Anil etc. all dwell in the right ear, even the touch of the right hand to the right ear gives the result of an achaman. Achaman leads to internal purification.
B. Reciting shlokas
Salutations to Shri Gaṇesh
वक्रतुंड महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ ।
र्नििवघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा ।।
Meaning : O Shri Ganesh, the destroyer of evildoers, the powerful one, who has the radiance of a thousand suns; let all my actions be accomplished without any obstacles.
Salutation to the Deity
ब्रह्मा मुरारिस्त्रिपुरांतकारी भानुः शशी भूमिसुतो बुधश्च ।
गुरुश्च शुक्रः शनिराहुकेतवः कुर्वन्तु सर्वे मम सुप्रभातम् ।।
Meaning : May the trinity of Deities – Brahma the Creator, Shrivishṇu the Nurturer and the slayer of the demon Moor, Shiva the Destroyer and slayer of the demon Tripur, and the nine Cosmic bodies, namely, Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Mangal (Mars), Buddh (Mercury), Guru (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Shani (Saturn), Rahu (Neptune) and Ketu (Pluto) make my morning auspicious.
Remembering virtuous souls
पुण्यश्लोको नलो राजा पुण्यश्लोको युधिष्ङ्गिरः ।
पुण्यश्लोको विदेहश्च पुण्यश्लोको जनार्दनः ।।
Meaning : I remember the virtuous Nal, Yudhishṭhir, Videh (King Janak) and Shri Janardan.
Remembering the Saptachiranjivs (Seven eternal souls)
अश्वत्थामा बलिर्व्यासो हनुमांश्च बिभीष्
कृप:परशुरामश्च सप्तैते चिरजीविन: ।। – Punyajanastuti, Shloka 2
Meaning : Ashwatthama, who is the son of Dronacharya, the generous King Bali, Ved Vyas, Hanuman, Bibhishan, Krupacharya, and Parshuram are the Seven chiranjivs (immortals). Hence, revere them.
Remembering the Panchamahasatis (Five great chaste women)
अहिल्या द्रौपदी सीता तारा मंदोदरी तथा ।
पञ्चकं ना स्मरेन्नित्यं महापातकनाशनम् ।। – Puṇyajanastuti, Shloka 4
Meaning : The severest of sins of an individual who recounts the greatness of Panchamahasatis (that are, Ahilya [Wife of Sage Gautam], Droupadi [Wife of the Pandavas], Sita [Wife of Shriram], Tara [Wife of King Vali] and Mandodari [Wife of Ravan]) are wiped off.
Remembering the seven Mokshapuris (Places that bestow Moksha [Final Liberation])
अयोध्या मथुरा माया काशी कांची ह्यवंतिका ।
पुरी द्वारावती चैव सप्तैता मोक्षदायिका: ।। – Shri Bruhannardiya Puraṇ
Meaning : Ayodhya, Mathura, Mayavati (Haridwar), Kaashi, Kanchi, Avantika (Ujjaini) and Dwarka are the seven places that bestow Moksha. I recount their greatness.
C. Kardarshan (Looking at the palm)
Recite the following shloka by cupping the palms and concentrating on them.
कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मी: करमध्ये सरस्वती ।
करमूले तु गोविंद: प्रभाते करदर्शनम् ।।
Meaning : The fingertips of the palm is the dwelling of Shri Lakshmidevi, the central portion of the palm is of Shri Saraswatidevi and the base of the palm of Shri Govind; hence, one should look at the palms immediately after waking up in the morning. (Variation : Deity Brahma resides at the base of the palm).
- Cupping of the palms creates a Brahmamudra, that activates the Sushumnanadi, which helps in removing the Tama component generated in the body during sleep at night. Recitation of the shloka, ‘कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मीः करमध्ये…..’ while concentrating on the cupped palms attracts Divine waves from the Universe towards the palms. These waves, which are divinity predominant, get concentrated on the palms, and by acquiring the expansiveness of the Akashtattva (Absolute Ether Principle), remain in the hollow created by cupping of the palms.
D. Bhumivandan (Salutation to Mother Earth)
After reciting the shloka, ‘कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मीः …..’, pray to Mother Earth, recite the following shloka and then step onto the ground.
समुद्रवसने देवि पर्वतस्तनमंडले ।
विष्णुपत्नि नमस्तुभ्यं पादस्पर्शं क्षमस्व मे ।।
Meaning : O Goddess Earth, You are adorned with the ocean as your attire, and mountains as your breasts; You are the wife of Shrivishṇu. I pay obeisance to you. Please forgive me for treading on you with my feet.
By stepping on the ground after praying to Mother Earth and recitation of the above shloka, the distressing vibrations which are accumulated in the body due to the Tama component generated during sleep, are degenerated into the earth.