Consider the following statements by Bhishma in Anusasana Parva of Mahabharata:

1) One should wake up from sleep at the hour known as the Brahma Muhurta and then think of both religion and profit.

2) The Rishis, in consequence of their adoring the two twilights with great regularity succeeded in attaining to longevity. Hence, one should, restraining speech, say one's prayers regularly at the two twilights. As regards those Brahmanas that do not say their prayers at the two twilights, a righteous king should set them to accomplish such acts as are ordained for the Sudras.

3) One should not, O king, sleep at the evening twilight. Nor should one study at such an hour for acquiring any branch of knowledge.

4) They who sleep at any of the twilights, or at nightfall or who go to sleep in a state of impurity, have their lives shortened.

From the above statements, it is clear that one should neither sleep nor talk during both twilights. One should not study during evening twilight.

My doubt is

Whether a person can study for acquiring knowledge during morning twilight? If no, which slokha is explaining that restriction.

Are there any scriptural statements that either support or deny it?


1 Answer 1


I think we should understand the meaning of Bhishma's words in the light of their way of living, but not keeping in view of today's way of living.

We have to remember that they did not live with electricity facility back then, but in the light of oil lamps. Majority of the people, except the rich, used to start their life before dawn and used to reach beds a little after the dusk, as moving in the night time requires the help of oil lamps.

Apart from the above aspect, it is a well known fact that due to engaging in various works during day time, one tends to get tired as the night time approaches. In the state of tiredness one cannot concentrate on studies well.

So getting up before dawn is an easy task for them as they could get sufficient sleep by that time. That was why a stress was made on the proper utilisation of brahma muhurtha.

Thereafter, concentrating in studies during the early hours of day time, will be very easy.

Ancestors life used to begin before dawn, with offering prayers to the Almighty during twilight period . In respect of ordinary people, it is a custom, whereas in respect of SPIRITUAL bent of mind, it is a mandatory thing.

In Ramayana, Sage Viswamitra was described to have awaken Sri Rama, before the dawn for starting their daily ritual of offering prayer to the Almighty - recitation of Gayatri mantra, during twilight period.

कौसल्या सुप्रजा राम पूर्वा संध्या प्रवर्तते | उत्तिष्ठ नरशार्दूल कर्तव्यं दैवमाह्निकम् || १-२३-२

"Fortunate is Kausalya to beget you as her son Rama... get up oh, tigerly-man, eastern aurora is emerging, daytime tasks towards gods are to be performed."

तस्यर्षेः परमोदारं वचः श्रुत्वा नरोत्तमौ | स्नात्वा कृतोदकौ वीरौ जेपतुः परमं जपम् || १-२३-३

On hearing the benign words of the sage those valorous and best ones among men got up, bathed, and on offering water oblation they meditated upon the supreme hymn, namely Gayatri.

  • whether with or without the advent of electricity, brahma muhurta is still 4.30am-6am, and it is still the period of highest satvik nature, conducive to learning.
    – ram
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 1:33
  • You are right but the question is about studying in morning Twilight. @ram Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 9:14

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