Sunday, December 7, 2014

What are the hours of Amrit Vela? When does the first pehar of the day start?

Over the years, I have struggled with exactly what time the Amrit Vela (ambroisal hours) starts and what time it ends?  I know I know, many Gursikhs out there would probably laugh to why am I even asking this question and why does it matter.  A Sikh is supposed to meditate 24/7.  Traditionally, Amrit Vela as I understand is roughly between 3am-6am, but I could be wrong.  Now a pehar is 3 hours since there are 24 hours a day and eight pehars make a day.  Now, my problem is I don't know when does the first pehar start?  Does it start at noon since do pehar is afternoon?  So if first pehar is 12-3PM, then do pehar is got to be 3-6PM.  Then third pehar must be 6-9PM and that would make fourth pehar between 9PM-12midnight.  But Guru Angad Dev ji's shabad below is saying Amrit Vela is in the Fourth Pehar, which is different from the approximate time between 3am-6am as I thought the Amrit Vela to be.  3am-6am would be a sixth pehar if first pehar starts at noon?  So my question to Gursikhs is when exactly is Amrit Vela?

When I read the second shabad, the first pehar is when person is at working,and Guru Ji says that the second pehar is spent sleeping. Third is spent in babbling and death comes in fourth.  From this it seems like Guru Ji may actually be talking about four stages of life.  (From birth to childhood, childhood to youth, youth age to Death)


In the third shabad, first pehar is mentioned which seem to be night time when child is conceived.  There also, it seems like stages of life starting with conception thru childhood thru youth to death which is mentioned in the fourth pehar.

Fourth Shabad is again equates four pehars with four stages of life.


So it seems that the pehars are interchangeably used for hours of the day and the stages of life from birth to death.  What I see is that no matter where one is in the stage of life,m there is no salvation with Naam which is to be recited athe pehar (24/7).


ਸਲੋਕ ਮਃ ੨ ॥
सलोक मः २ ॥
salok mehlaa 2.
Shalok, Second Mehl:
ਅਠੀ ਪਹਰੀ ਅਠ ਖੰਡ ਨਾਵਾ ਖੰਡੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ॥
अठी पहरी अठ खंड नावा खंडु सरीरु ॥
athee pahree ath khand naavaa khand sareer.
Twenty-four hours a day, destroy the eight things, and in the ninth place, conquer the
body.
ਿਤਸੁ ਿਵਿਚ ਨਉ ਿਨਿਧ ਨਾਮੁ ਏਕੁ ਭਾਲਿਹ ਗੁਣੀ ਗਹੀਰੁ ॥
ितसु िविच नउ िनिध नामु एकु भालिह गुणी गहीरु ॥
tis vich na-o niDh naam ayk bhaaleh gunee gaheer.
Within the body are the nine treasures of the Name of the Lord-seek the depths of these
virtues.
ਕਰਮਵੰਤੀ ਸਾਲਾਿਹਆ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਿਰ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੀਰੁ ॥
करमवंती सालािहआ नानक किर गुरु पीरु ॥
karamvantee salaahi-aa naanak kar gur peer.
Those blessed with the karma of good actions praise the Lord. O Nanak, they make the
Guru their spiritual teacher.
ਚਉਥੈ ਪਹਿਰ ਸਬਾਹ ਕੈ ਸੁਰਿਤਆ ਉਪਜੈ ਚਾਉ ॥
चउथै पहिर सबाह कै सुरितआ उपजै चाउ ॥
cha-uthai pahar sabaah kai surti-aa upjai chaa-o.
In the fourth watch of the early morning hours, a longing arises in their higher
consciousness.
ਿਤਨਾ ਦਰੀਆਵਾ ਿਸਉ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਮਿਨ ਮੁਿਖ ਸਚਾ ਨਾਉ ॥
ितना दरीआवा िसउ दोसती मिन मुिख सचा नाउ ॥
tinaa daree-aavaa si-o dostee man mukh sachaa naa-o.
They are attuned to the river of life; the True Name is in their minds and on their lips.
ਓਥੈ ਅੰਿਮਰ੍ਤੁ ਵੰਡੀਐ ਕਰਮੀ ਹੋਇ ਪਸਾਉ ॥
ओथै अिमर्तु वंडीऐ करमी होइ पसाउ ॥
othai amrit vandee-ai karmee ho-ay pasaa-o.
The Ambrosial Nectar is distributed, and those with good karma receive this gift. ਕੰਚਨ ਕਾਇਆ ਕਸੀਐ ਵੰਨੀ ਚੜੈ ਚੜਾਉ ॥
कंचन काइआ कसीऐ वंनी चड़ै चड़ाउ ॥
kanchan kaa-i-aa kasee-ai vannee charhai charhaa-o.
Their bodies become golden, and take on the color of spirituality.
ਜੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਨਦਿਰ ਸਰਾਫ ਕੀ ਬਹੁਿੜ ਨ ਪਾਈ ਤਾਉ ॥
जे होवै नदिर सराफ की बहुिड़ न पाई ताउ ॥
jay hovai nadar saraaf kee bahurh na paa-ee taa-o.
If the Jeweler casts His Glance of Grace, they are not placed in the fire again.
ਸਤੀ ਪਹਰੀ ਸਤੁ ਭਲਾ ਬਹੀਐ ਪਿੜਆ ਪਾਿਸ ॥
सती पहरी सतु भला बहीऐ पिड़आ पािस ॥
satee pahree sat bhalaa bahee-ai parhi-aa paas.
Throughout the other seven watches of the day, it is good to speak the Truth, and sit with
the spiritually wise.
ਓਥੈ ਪਾਪੁ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੀਐ ਕੂੜੈ ਘਟੈ ਰਾਿਸ ॥
ओथै पाप पु ुंन बीचारीऐ क ु ूड़ै घटै रािस ॥
othai paap punn beechaaree-ai koorhai ghatai raas.
There, vice and virtue are distinguished, and the capital of falsehood is decreased.
ਓਥੈ ਖੋਟੇ ਸਟੀਅਿਹ ਖਰੇ ਕੀਚਿਹ ਸਾਬਾਿਸ ॥
ओथै खोटे सटीअिह खरे कीचिह साबािस ॥
othai khotay satee-ah kharay keecheh saabaas.
There, the counterfeit are cast aside, and the genuine are cheered.
ਬੋਲਣੁ ਫਾਦਲੁ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਖਸਮੈ ਪਾਿਸ ॥੧॥
बोलणु फादलु नानका दखु ु सुख खसम ु पािस ॥१॥ ै
bolan faadal naankaa dukh sukh khasmai paas. ||1||
Speech is vain and useless. O Nanak, pain and pleasure are in the power of our Lord and
Master. ||1||



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पहिला पहरु धंधै गइआ दूजै भरि सोइआ ॥
Pahilā pahar ḏẖanḏẖai ga▫i▫ā ḏūjai bẖar so▫i▫ā.
The first watch of the night passes away in worthless affairs, and the second passes in deep sleep.

तीजै झाख झखाइआ चउथै भोरु भइआ ॥
Ŧījai jẖākẖ jẖakẖā▫i▫ā cẖa▫uthai bẖor bẖa▫i▫ā.
In the third, they babble nonsense, and when the fourth watch comes, the day of death has arrived.

कद ही चिति न आइओ जिनि जीउ पिंडु दीआ ॥३॥
Kaḏ hī cẖiṯ na ā▫i▫o jin jī▫o pind ḏī▫ā. ||3||
The thought of the One who bestows body and soul never enters the mind. ||3||

साधसंगति कउ वारिआ जीउ कीआ कुरबाणु ॥
Sāḏẖsangaṯ ka▫o vāri▫ā jī▫o kī▫ā kurbāṇ.
I am devoted to the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy; I sacrifice my soul to them.

जिस ते सोझी मनि पई मिलिआ पुरखु सुजाणु ॥
Jis ṯe sojẖī man pa▫ī mili▫ā purakẖ sujāṇ.
Through them, understanding has entered my mind, and I have met the All-knowing Lord God.

नानक डिठा सदा नालि हरि अंतरजामी जाणु ॥४॥४॥७४॥
Nānak diṯẖā saḏā nāl har anṯarjāmī jāṇ. ||4||4||74||
Nanak sees the Lord always with him-the Lord, the Inner-knower, the Searcher of hearts. ||4||4||74||
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Third shabad (page 75, SGGS)

ੴ सतिगुर प्रसादि ॥
Ik▫oaʼnkār saṯgur parsāḏ.
One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:

सिरीरागु महला १ पहरे घरु १ ॥
Sirīrāg mėhlā 1 pahre gẖar 1.
Siree Raag, First Mehl, Pehray, First House:

पहिलै पहरै रैणि कै वणजारिआ मित्रा हुकमि पइआ गरभासि ॥
Pahilai pahrai raiṇ kai vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā hukam pa▫i▫ā garbẖās.
In the first watch of the night, O my merchant friend, you were cast into the womb, by the Lord's Command.

उरध तपु अंतरि करे वणजारिआ मित्रा खसम सेती अरदासि ॥
Uraḏẖ ṯap anṯar kare vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā kẖasam seṯī arḏās.
Upside-down, within the womb, you performed penance, O my merchant friend, and you prayed to your Lord and Master.

खसम सेती अरदासि वखाणै उरध धिआनि लिव लागा ॥
Kẖasam seṯī arḏās vakẖāṇai uraḏẖ ḏẖi▫ān liv lāgā.
You uttered prayers to your Lord and Master, while upside-down, and you meditated on Him with deep love and affection.

ना मरजादु आइआ कलि भीतरि बाहुड़ि जासी नागा ॥
Nā marjāḏ ā▫i▫ā kal bẖīṯar bāhuṛ jāsī nāgā.
You came into this Dark Age of Kali Yuga naked, and you shall depart again naked.

जैसी कलम वुड़ी है मसतकि तैसी जीअड़े पासि ॥
Jaisī kalam vuṛī hai masṯak ṯaisī jī▫aṛe pās.
As God's Pen has written on your forehead, so it shall be with your soul.

कहु नानक प्राणी पहिलै पहरै हुकमि पइआ गरभासि ॥१॥
Kaho Nānak parāṇī pahilai pahrai hukam pa▫i▫ā garbẖās. ||1||
Says Nanak, in the first watch of the night, by the Hukam of the Lord's Command, you enter into the womb. ||1||


दूजै पहरै रैणि कै वणजारिआ मित्रा विसरि गइआ धिआनु ॥
Ḏūjai pahrai raiṇ kai vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā visar ga▫i▫ā ḏẖi▫ān.
In the second watch of the night, O my merchant friend, you have forgotten to meditate.

हथो हथि नचाईऐ वणजारिआ मित्रा जिउ जसुदा घरि कानु ॥
Hatho hath nacẖā▫ī▫ai vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā ji▫o jasuḏā gẖar kān.
From hand to hand, you are passed around, O my merchant friend, like Krishna in the house of Yashoda.

हथो हथि नचाईऐ प्राणी मात कहै सुतु मेरा ॥
Hatho hath nacẖā▫ī▫ai parāṇī māṯ kahai suṯ merā.
From hand to hand, you are passed around, and your mother says, "This is my son.

चेति अचेत मूड़ मन मेरे अंति नही कछु तेरा ॥
Cẖeṯ acẖeṯ mūṛ man mere anṯ nahī kacẖẖ ṯerā.
O my thoughtless and foolish mind, think: In the end, nothing shall be yours.

जिनि रचि रचिआ तिसहि न जाणै मन भीतरि धरि गिआनु ॥
Jin racẖ racẖi▫ā ṯisėh na jāṇai man bẖīṯar ḏẖar gi▫ān.
You do not know the One who created the creation. Gather spiritual wisdom within your mind.

कहु नानक प्राणी दूजै पहरै विसरि गइआ धिआनु ॥२॥
Kaho Nānak parāṇī ḏūjai pahrai visar ga▫i▫ā ḏẖi▫ān. ||2||
Says Nanak, in the second watch of the night, you have forgotten to meditate. ||2||

तीजै पहरै रैणि कै वणजारिआ मित्रा धन जोबन सिउ चितु ॥
Ŧījai pahrai raiṇ kai vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā ḏẖan joban si▫o cẖiṯ.
In the third watch of the night, O my merchant friend, your consciousness is focused on wealth and youth.

हरि का नामु न चेतही वणजारिआ मित्रा बधा छुटहि जितु ॥
Har kā nām na cẖeṯhī vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā baḏẖā cẖẖutėh jiṯ.
You have not remembered the Name of the Lord, O my merchant friend, although it would release you from bondage.

हरि का नामु न चेतै प्राणी बिकलु भइआ संगि माइआ ॥
Har kā nām na cẖeṯai parāṇī bikal bẖa▫i▫ā sang mā▫i▫ā.
You do not remember the Name of the Lord, and you become confused by Maya.

धन सिउ रता जोबनि मता अहिला जनमु गवाइआ ॥
Ḏẖan si▫o raṯā joban maṯā ahilā janam gavā▫i▫ā.
Reveling in your riches and intoxicated with youth, you waste your life uselessly.

धरम सेती वापारु न कीतो करमु न कीतो मितु ॥
Ḏẖaram seṯī vāpār na kīṯo karam na kīṯo miṯ.
You have not traded in righteousness and Dharma; you have not made good deeds your friends.

कहु नानक तीजै पहरै प्राणी धन जोबन सिउ चितु ॥३॥
Kaho Nānak ṯījai pahrai parāṇī ḏẖan joban si▫o cẖiṯ. ||3||
Says Nanak, in the third watch of the night, your mind is attached to wealth and youth. ||3||

चउथै पहरै रैणि कै वणजारिआ मित्रा लावी आइआ खेतु ॥
Cẖa▫uthai pahrai raiṇ kai vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā lāvī ā▫i▫ā kẖeṯ.
In the fourth watch of the night, O my merchant friend, the Grim Reaper comes to the field.

जा जमि पकड़ि चलाइआ वणजारिआ मित्रा किसै न मिलिआ भेतु ॥
Jā jam pakaṛ cẖalā▫i▫ā vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā kisai na mili▫ā bẖeṯ.
When the Messenger of Death seizes and dispatches you, O my merchant friend, no one knows the mystery of where you have gone.

भेतु चेतु हरि किसै न मिलिओ जा जमि पकड़ि चलाइआ ॥
Bẖeṯ cẖeṯ har kisai na mili▫o jā jam pakaṛ cẖalā▫i▫ā.
So think of the Lord! No one knows this secret, of when the Messenger of Death will seize you and take you away.

झूठा रुदनु होआ दोआलै खिन महि भइआ पराइआ ॥
Jẖūṯẖā ruḏan ho▫ā ḏo▫ālai kẖin mėh bẖa▫i▫ā parā▫i▫ā.
All your weeping and wailing then is false. In an instant, you become a stranger.

साई वसतु परापति होई जिसु सिउ लाइआ हेतु ॥
Sā▫ī vasaṯ parāpaṯ ho▫ī jis si▫o lā▫i▫ā heṯ.
You obtain exactly what you have longed for.

कहु नानक प्राणी चउथै पहरै लावी लुणिआ खेतु ॥४॥१॥
Kaho Nānak parāṇī cẖa▫uthai pahrai lāvī luṇi▫ā kẖeṯ. ||4||1||
Says Nanak, in the fourth watch of the night, O mortal, the Grim Reaper has harvested your field. ||4||1||


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Fourth Shabad (page 75, SGGS)

सिरीरागु महला १ ॥
Sirīrāg mėhlā 1.
Siree Raag, First Mehl:

पहिलै पहरै रैणि कै वणजारिआ मित्रा बालक बुधि अचेतु ॥
Pahilai pahrai raiṇ kai vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā bālak buḏẖ acẖeṯ.
In the first watch of the night, O my merchant friend, your innocent mind has a child-like understanding.

खीरु पीऐ खेलाईऐ वणजारिआ मित्रा मात पिता सुत हेतु ॥
Kẖīr pī▫ai kẖelā▫ī▫ai vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā māṯ piṯā suṯ heṯ.
You drink milk, and you are fondled so gently, O my merchant friend, the mother and father love their child.

मात पिता सुत नेहु घनेरा माइआ मोहु सबाई ॥
Māṯ piṯā suṯ nehu gẖanerā mā▫i▫ā moh sabā▫ī.
The mother and father love their child so much, but in Maya, all are caught in emotional attachment.

संजोगी आइआ किरतु कमाइआ करणी कार कराई ॥
Sanjogī ā▫i▫ā kiraṯ kamā▫i▫ā karṇī kār karā▫ī.
By the good fortune of good deeds done in the past, you have come, and now you perform actions to determine your future.

राम नाम बिनु मुकति न होई बूडी दूजै हेति ॥
Rām nām bin mukaṯ na ho▫ī būdī ḏūjai heṯ.
Without the Lord's Name, liberation is not obtained, and you are drowned in the love of duality.

कहु नानक प्राणी पहिलै पहरै छूटहिगा हरि चेति ॥१॥
Kaho Nānak parāṇī pahilai pahrai cẖẖūtahigā har cẖeṯ. ||1||
Says Nanak, in the first watch of the night, O mortal, you shall be saved by remembering the Lord. ||1||

दूजै पहरै रैणि कै वणजारिआ मित्रा भरि जोबनि मै मति ॥
Ḏūjai pahrai raiṇ kai vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā bẖar joban mai maṯ.
In the second watch of the night, O my merchant friend, you are intoxicated with the wine of youth and beauty.

अहिनिसि कामि विआपिआ वणजारिआ मित्रा अंधुले नामु न चिति ॥
Ahinis kām vi▫āpi▫ā vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā anḏẖule nām na cẖiṯ.
Day and night, you are engrossed in sexual desire, O my merchant friend, and your consciousness is blind to the Naam.

राम नामु घट अंतरि नाही होरि जाणै रस कस मीठे ॥
Rām nām gẖat anṯar nāhī hor jāṇai ras kas mīṯẖe.
The Lord's Name is not within your heart, but all sorts of other tastes seem sweet to you.

गिआनु धिआनु गुण संजमु नाही जनमि मरहुगे झूठे ॥
Gi▫ān ḏẖi▫ān guṇ sanjam nāhī janam marhuge jẖūṯẖe.
You have no wisdom at all, no meditation, no virtue or self-discipline; in falsehood, you are caught in the cycle of birth and death.

तीरथ वरत सुचि संजमु नाही करमु धरमु नही पूजा ॥
Ŧirath varaṯ sucẖ sanjam nāhī karam ḏẖaram nahī pūjā.
Pilgrimages, fasts, purification and self-discipline are of no use, nor are rituals, religious ceremonies or empty worship.

नानक भाइ भगति निसतारा दुबिधा विआपै दूजा ॥२॥
Nānak bẖā▫e bẖagaṯ nisṯārā ḏubiḏẖā vi▫āpai ḏūjā. ||2||
O Nanak, emancipation comes only by loving devotional worship; through duality, people are engrossed in duality. ||2||

तीजै पहरै रैणि कै वणजारिआ मित्रा सरि हंस उलथड़े आइ ॥
Ŧījai pahrai raiṇ kai vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā sar hans ulthaṛe ā▫e.
In the third watch of the night, O my merchant friend, the swans, the white hairs, come and land upon the pool of the head.

जोबनु घटै जरूआ जिणै वणजारिआ मित्रा आव घटै दिनु जाइ ॥
Joban gẖatai jarū▫ā jiṇai vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā āv gẖatai ḏin jā▫e.
Youth wears itself out, and old age triumphs, O my merchant friend; as time passes, your days diminish.

इहु धनु स्मपै माइआ झूठी अंति छोडि चलिआ पछुताई ॥
Ih ḏẖan sampai mā▫i▫ā jẖūṯẖī anṯ cẖẖod cẖali▫ā pacẖẖuṯā▫ī.
This wealth, property and Maya are false. In the end, you must leave these, and depart in sorrow.

जिस नो किरपा करे गुरु मेले सो हरि हरि नामु समालि ॥
Jis no kirpā kare gur mele so har har nām samāl.
Those whom the Lord, in His Mercy, unites with the Guru, reflect upon the Name of the Lord, Har, Har.

कहु नानक तीजै पहरै प्राणी से जाइ मिले हरि नालि ॥३॥
Kaho Nānak ṯījai pahrai parāṇī se jā▫e mile har nāl. ||3||
Says Nanak, in the third watch of the night, O mortal, they go, and are united with the Lord. ||3||

चउथै पहरै रैणि कै वणजारिआ मित्रा हरि चलण वेला आदी ॥
Cẖa▫uthai pahrai raiṇ kai vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā har cẖalaṇ velā āḏī.
In the fourth watch of the night, O my merchant friend, the Lord announces the time of departure.

करि सेवहु पूरा सतिगुरू वणजारिआ मित्रा सभ चली रैणि विहादी ॥
Kar sevhu pūrā saṯgurū vaṇjāri▫ā miṯrā sabẖ cẖalī raiṇ vihāḏī.
Serve the Perfect True Guru, O my merchant friend; your entire life-night is passing away.

हरि सेवहु खिनु खिनु ढिल मूलि न करिहु जितु असथिरु जुगु जुगु होवहु ॥
Har sevhu kẖin kẖin dẖil mūl na karihu jiṯ asthir jug jug hovhu.
Serve the Lord each and every instant-do not delay! You shall become eternal throughout the ages.

हरि सेती सद माणहु रलीआ जनम मरण दुख खोवहु ॥
Har seṯī saḏ māṇhu ralī▫ā janam maraṇ ḏukẖ kẖovhu.
Enjoy ecstasy forever with the Lord, and do away with the pains of birth and death.

गुर सतिगुर सुआमी भेदु न जाणहु जितु मिलि हरि भगति सुखांदी ॥
Gur saṯgur su▫āmī bẖeḏ na jāṇhu jiṯ mil har bẖagaṯ sukẖāʼnḏī.
Know that there is no difference between the Guru, the True Guru, and your Lord and Master. Meeting with Him, take pleasure in the Lord's devotional service.



कहु नानक प्राणी चउथै पहरै सफलिओ रैणि भगता दी ॥४॥१॥३॥


Kaho Nānak parāṇī cẖa▫uthai pahrai safli▫o raiṇ bẖagṯā ḏī. ||4||1||3||


Says Nanak, O mortal, in the fourth watch of the night, the life-night of the devotee is fruitful. ||4||1||3||


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