Sadhana: A Foundational Sikh Practice

Practicing a daily Sadhana is foundational to the Sikh identity.

Morning Sadhana is the daily practice of waking up in the Amrit Vela time (2 1/2 hours before the sun rises) to meditate and chant God’s Name. Typically, Sadhana begins with a cold shower (Ishnaan), followed by reading the Sikh bani Japji Sahib (prayer); followed by Kundalini Yoga; followed by the Aquarian Sadhana Meditations and concluding with a Gurdwara (Sikh Service).

However, Sadhana practice is not limited to the Aquarian Sadhana, and for many Sikh communities, Sadhana is focused on the Panj Banis (Sikh daily prayers), or listening to Asa di Var (a collection of 24 paurees or stanzas written by Guru Nanak Dev ji, found in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib), which is what is practiced at the Golden Temple. Many Sikhs around the world practice Sadhana, and while some aspects are constant, the specific practices can vary in different Gurdwaras and Sikh communities around the world.

Many Sikhs anchor their spiritual identity to their daily practice of Sadhana in the Amrit Vela. 

Sikhs believe that when the sun hits the sixty-degree angle at 4 o’clock in the morning, before the coming of the light, we are at our best. Sikhs believe that if you meditate at this time, you empty your subconscious mind, freeing the unconscious mind to bring the conscious mind increased virtues and opportunities. Practicing Simran (remembrance of God’s name) during Sadhana in the early morning is an excellent technique for self-purification. For Sikhs, this self-purification of emptying and cleansing the mind is a daily necessity. In the Sikh view, meditating in the Amrit Vela is the most effective way to accelerate our vitality and evolution.

Various scientific studies have demonstrated the beneficial impacts of a yogic and meditative practice — including the elimination of stress and tension (S.R. Wilson); an expanded self-concept; and increased experience of higher states of consciousness (Lawrence Edwards). Other researchers have found a link between consistent long-term meditative practice in one’s morning routine and improvements in mood and resilience (Cearns & Clark).

~Resource: this information was originally shared in the book Living Reality (1994) by Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Khalsa.