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Are You Ready for the 5am Challenge?

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

Mangal-arati at the Hare Krishna temple. You can do it!

Come to Mangala-arati—the very first party of the day!

The first temple program of the day, Mangala-arati, takes place at 5am. Mangala means auspicious or that which brings success to everything we do. And what is so auspicious about Mangala-arati is the timing. The period of time from 90 to 45 minutes before sunrise is called the Brahma-muhurta. According to ancient Indian texts, this period is Divine. It is the time of day when Krishna is most accessible, and therefore, it is the optimal period for spiritual practices. We urge you to make the most of your visit to New Vrindaban by attending this wonderful pre-dawn service.

And don’t worry, you won’t fall asleep during Mangala-arati! You’ll be mesmerized by the intimate darshan of Krishna in His night outfit, and you’ll be swept up in the singing and dancing. What better way to start the day than with a festive dance party with your family and friends and Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Chandra?

The music and dancing starts off slowly, and as the musicians pick up the tempo, you’ll be picking up your feet. Even if you don’t feel like dancing, just start moving your feet and clapping your hands. Krishna loves to see His guests singing and dancing, and when Krishna is pleased, you’ll feel happy. By the end, your heart will be beating to the rhythm and simultaneously overflowing with joy. You definitely don’t want to miss this!

Remember who you’re dancing for, though – Lord Krishna, the Supreme Lord! If you were attending a function for a VIP, would you go in your pajamas, looking like you just rolled out of bed? Would you show up late and keep the VIP waiting? After getting there, would you talk loudly with your friends in the middle of the ceremony? I’m sure you would do just the opposite – you would arrive timely, looking your best, and you’d act in a pleasing way to win the VIP’s favor. For days in advance, you’d probably be planning what to wear, what to say, and so on.

So, Mangala-arati is Krishna’s special function, and Krishna is not just a VIP. He’s the most important person in creation, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the one who created and controls everything in the whole universe. So, meeting Krishna at this very special time, Mangala-arati, requires some planning, especially if you’re not used to waking up so early.

So ask yourself, what would I have to do to get to Mangala-arati at 5am looking my best? Well, you’ll probably need to go to bed early the night before, by 10:00pm at the latest. Before you go to bed, lay out your clean clothes for the next day, and remember to set an alarm, or maybe two. Figure out how long it will take you to get out of bed, brush your teeth, do your hair, take a shower, and get nicely dressed, and set your alarm accordingly. Keep the alarm clock out of reach so you have to get up. And if your mind is telling you to go back to bed, just tell it, “Don’t worry, we’ll take a nap later. It’s going to be worth it.”

You won’t be lying. Mangala-arati is so enjoyable. It will put you on a spiritual high that will keep you floating all day. Devotees have the best life. Most people wake up and go to work all day looking forward to partying at night. But at our ISKCON temples, we wake up and go straight to the party!

Imagine how your life would be different if you took full opportunity of the pre-dawn serenity for intense spiritual practices, if you watched the sunrise every morning, if you got an ecstatic cardio workout in before breakfast every day, if you were blessed with the merciful glance of Lord Krishna every day of your life…

Even if you can’t do it every day, we challenge you to attend Mangala-arati regularly for as long as you are here with us at New Vrindaban and experience the inconceivable benefits for body, mind, and soul!


Here's how:

Do’s

Wake up on time.

Come fresh and clean.

Bow to the Lord.

Take in the scene.

Sing from your heart.

Clap with the beat.

Pray with your mind.

Dance with your feet!

Don’t:

Just roll out of bed

Wear your pajamas

Talk very loudly

Stay on your cameras

Remember:

You’re in the Lord’s house

As His welcome guest.

Act for His pleasure,

Or at least try your best!

See you there!

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