प्रातर्भजामि भजतामभयङ्करं तं प्राक्सर्वजन्मकृतपापभयापहत्यै। यो ग्राहवक्त्रपतिताङ्घ्रिगजेन्द्रघोर- शोकप्रणाशनकरो धृतशङ्खचक्रः ॥३॥
According to the Indian system of calculating time, the day is divided into eight prahars of three hours each. The second half of the second prahar i.e. from 4.30 A.M. to 6.00 A.M is called the 'brahma mahurat.' This is the best time for a person to engage in meditation and prayer. Those who wake up at this time are able to soak up nature's energy in order to invigorate their minds and rejuvenate their bodies.
The great sage, Manu, the law giver said, "Brahma mahurate chaanu chintayate." This means that, "Man should awaken during the brahma mahurat and reflect on his dharma and its meanings as are relevant to him." He will then understand and grasp the real meaning of the scriptures, like the Vedas and the Upanishads. Early dawn is thus the most suitable time for spiritual and intellectual growth. At this time, man through prayer and contemplation, is able to experience the vastness of the supreme consciousness. Man is able to go beyond the narrow confines of his brain, but, dwell in the limitlessness of his thoughts. Those who follow this principle of getting up early and praying are able to unlock the infinity of their minds.
With this objective, the great sage Aadi Shankaracharya had composed special morning prayers to the eight foremost gods. These are Lord Ganesh, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiv, Goddess Bhagawati, Lord Rama, Goddess Lalita and Lord Surya.