Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 12 - Chapter 1 - Verse 70


य एवेमं लोकमतिकरालवदनान्धकारसंज्ञाजगरग्रह गिलितं मृतकमिव विचेतनमवलोक्यानुकम्पया परमकारुणिक ईक्षयैवोत्थाप्याहरहरनुसवनं श्रेयसि स्वधर्माख्यात्मावस्थाने प्रवर्तयति ॥ ७० ॥


ya evemaṁ lokam ati-karāla-vadanāndhakāra-saṁjñājagara-graha-gilitaṁ mṛtakam iva vicetanam avalokyānukampayā parama-kāruṇika īkṣayaivotthāpyāhar ahar anusavanaṁ śreyasi sva-dharmākhyātmāva-sthane pravartayati.


The world has been seized and swallowed by the python of darkness in its horrible mouth and has become unconscious, as if dead. But mercifully glancing upon the sleeping people of the world, you raise them up with the gift of sight. Thus you are most magnanimous. At the three sacred junctures of each day, you engage the pious in the path of ultimate good, inducing them to perform religious duties that situate them in their spiritual position.


According to Vedic culture, the three higher classes of society (the intellectual, political and mercantile sections) are formally connected with the spiritual master by initiation and receive the Gāyatrī mantra. This purifying mantra is chanted three times daily — at sunrise, noon and sunset. Auspicious moments for the performance of spiritual duties are calculated according to the sun’s path in the sky, and this systematic scheduling of spiritual duties is here attributed to the sun as the representative of God.