The Mother Divine
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By Kinkar Vitthal Ramanuja

Regarding the timing of sadhana, the Vaishnavagranth (treatises relating to Vishnu Bhagavan) clearly state: Remembrance of Sri Narayana (another name of Sri Vishnu Bhagavan) in the morning, noon, evening and night destroys all the sins and finally grants one the very stature of Narayana.
Question: What is meant by sadhana performed by ‘catching’ the very moment?

Answer: As said earlier, early morning, noon, evening and midnight are the most significant slots of time for doing sadhana. During these hours, the pranas on their own enter the Sushumna and become stable. The presence of God can be felt in the heart during these hours. The truly earnest seeker must ensure that sadhana is performed at these allotted hours. (Sri Omkarnath Rachnavali, Section3, page 207)

Now, naturally one feels that if a practitioner meditates in the middle of the night and goes back to sleep, it is very difficult, even impossible, to then rise early in the morning. Sitaram advises the sadhaka to practice in the morning, noon and evening. The sattva guna then tends to accumulate and reduce the need for sleep. Then onwards it becomes possible for a sadhaka to meditate in the middle of the night and also rise early in the morning. (Sri Omkarnath Rachnavali, Section3, page 207)
Sitaram however has qualified the above instruction. The midnight sadhana is taken up by those who have evolved much on the path. Householder sadhaka who are busy at work in   the afternoon may practice only in the morning and evening. If it is difficult to practice in the Brahma muhurta, one may do so a little prior to sunrise, or even up to eight a.m. as per one’s convenience.

Sri Vijaykrishna Goswami has given a special insight, which is of relevance here. In his work, ‘Srisadgurusang’ he says, “From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the great siddha mahapurusha beings tend to roam about in their astral/subtle bodies. Hence, wakefulness and sadhana during these hours is conducive to winning their special compassion and favours.” It is worthy of mention that such rigours could be expected of, and useful to, a highly evolved person. However, such can be said to be inapplicable to the ordinary sadhaka. In this context, Sitaram advises meditation in the third prahar of the night, not earlier. If a sadhaka becomes wakeful due to the sattvik force of his practice, nothing can be done about it. ‘Insufficient’ sleep may then pose no problem.

While there are prescribed timings for doing meditation, there is no special observance required for the sadhana of Naam; it may be chanted, sung, or meditated upon in any state, at any time, as one wishes, as per convenience. Secondly, when the practitioner reaches a higher state of evolution, the rules for timings need not be observed, for limitations become blurred.