From the time of formation of Barpeta Satra, daily prayers (Nitya Prasanga) are divided in Morning, Afternoon and Night. It was Mathura Das Burha Ata, who develop and decided Morning, Evening and Night prayers in fourteen different forms of prayers, which is still void in Barpeta Satra and called as ‘Choudha Prasanga’ After every prayer (morning , evening and night), Doba ( a special big drum) is beating up. Drum beating indicates end of prayers.
MORNING PRAYERS (Puwar Prasanga)
There are five parts of the morning prayers. They are :
1. Morning song (Puwar Geet)
2. Morning hymns (Puwar Vatima),
3. Praise and Prayer (Prasanga or Nam-kirtan)
4. The Bhagabata (reading some sloka of Bhagabata)
5. Paatha (recitation)
Morning song (Puwar Geet): Beginning of morning or Morning Prayer, the Pathak (the main reader) seat in front of the Guru Asana and sing two songs – one of Jagaran (rise) and the other of Salan (movement). These two songs must be any Borgeet (Devotional songs- written by Srimanta Sankardeva or Sri Madhavdeva) based on the ragas Shyam, Aahir, Kou, or Lalit
Morning hymns (Puwar Bhatima): After the Morning songs, the hymn from Madavdeva written ‘Bhojan Behar’ is sing. This is ‘pirate Samayi jashowa Janani’ of Ahir raga.
N.B. After completing of Morning Song and hymns, Pathak left his seat and Deuri come and lighten up earth lamps, keep the Bhagabata 1st, then followed by other holy books in the respective place. After that the women devotees start their prayer on the south veranda of the main prayer hall. Completion of Women’s prayer, Pathak again seated in his place and start remaining part of Morning Prayer.
Prayer (Prasanga -Nam-Kirtan): On this prayer maximum devotees take parts and sit in front of the Guru Asanas, and perform Prayers (Nam-Kirtan), which is also called Nam Prasanga. In this 3rd part of Morning prayer, before starting the prayer, devotees recite names ‘Krishna ram, Krishna ram, jai jai ram, jai jai ram, ram hari, hari ram’. After that the devotees sing two patals (chapter) from Namghoxa (Namchanda and Saranchanda) and two ghoxas (verse) from the Kirtan-Ghoxa.
The Bhagabata: After the Prayer, the Bhagabati (reader of the Bhagavata) read and analyse the Bhagabata. After Makar Sankranti, instead of Bhagabata, the Geeta reads. After completion of the Geeta, again Bhagabata reading starts.
N.B: In absence of Bhagabati, the Pathak read 3 Ghoxas (verse) from Kirtan Ghoxas, instead of Bhagabata.
Path (recitation): After the analysis, reading of the Bhagabata or the Geeta is over, the Pathak recites verses from any of the following 15 holy books. 1. 1st to 12th Scanda Bhagabata, 2. Kirtan Ghoxa, 3. Harishandra Upakhyan, 4. Rajxuya, 5. Rukmini Harana, 6.Kurushetra, 7. Nawasidhya Sangbad etc.
After completing of Morning Prayer ( Puwar Prashanga), Deuri bring back the holy books (The Bagabata, The Geeta and others) to its respective place and start Drum (Dubai) beating (called Damani). Drum beating indicates end of prayers.
AFTERNOON PRAYER (Abelir Prashanga)
There are three parts of the afternoon prayer. They are,
1. Path (Recitation),
2. Prasanga (prayer) and
3. The Bhagavata.
Path (recitation): Same way Deuri brings the holy books and keep in front of the Guru Ashanas and Pathak starts reading from them. In afternoon recitation includes 1. Naamghoxa, 2, Bhakti-Ratnawali, 3. Bhakti-Ratnakar, 4. Nam-Malika, 5. Bhakti-Pradeep, 6. Janma Rahasya, 7. Borgeet, 8. Songs (Jhumura) from twelve Ankiya Bhaowna (A drama- describing the story of gods and written by Srimanta Sankardeva and Madhavdeva).
Prasanga (prayer): Afternoon prayer also starts as same as the morning prayer, only different in reciting name. After reciting name, Pathak performs Prashanga by reading a patal (chapter) of Namghoxa.
The Bhagavata : After the Prasanga is complete, the Pathak leaves his seat. Then the Bhagavati reads two shlokas either from the Bhagavata or the Geeta.
After completing of Afternoon Prayer ( Abelir Prashanga), Deuri bring back the holy books (The Bagabata, The Geeta and others) to its respective place and start Drum (Dubai) beating (called Damani). Drum beating indicates end of prayers.
NIGHT PRAYER (Ratir Prashanga)
There are six parts of the night prayer (Ratir Prasanga) as follows
3. Bhatimala (hymn)
5. Prasanga (prayer) and
6. Path (recitation).
Gunamala: In the night prayer, two ghoxas (verse) from the Srimanta Sankardev’s ‘Gunamala’ are singing.
Leelamala : After two ghoxas from Gunamala, two ghoxas (verse) which describe the wonderful deeds of Lord Sri Krishna are singing.
Bhatima: After two verses of Lard Sri Krishna’s Leelamala are over, bhatima’s (hymn) are sung. In Night prayer bhatima’s are different then morning prayer bhatima’s. Usually, in night prayer,‘guru bhatima’s are sung. Guru bhatima’s means, which narrate and described the glorious qualities of the Gurus (Srimanta Sankardeva and Sri Sri Madhavdeva).
Bargeet: In night prayer, singing of Bargeet is in a different style. The custom is to sing two Bargeets with Gayan-Bayan (singer and orchestras). The Bargeets sing with a musical prelude in the honour of the Gurus by revolving round the three Guru Asanas. It is also known as ‘Sewar Kirtan’. The Bargeets sing in night prayer should be based on ragas such as Ahowari, Kalyan, Kou, Suxai, Kedar or Dhanashri.
Prashanga : After the performance of the Bargeet, the Pathak recite name before prayer as like as morning prayer. After that the Pathak sings one Jugal (a poetic composition from Naamghoxa) of ‘ Naamchanda’ and ‘Saranchanda’. It is followed by a Ghoxa (verse) from the Kirtan Ghoxa. On the time of Kirtan, Ojha (the main singer) revolve 2 times surround the Guru Ashanas.
Path : In the night prayer, recitation as followed as morning prayer and same holy books one after another. Apart from that Pathak recite from the Ramayana (translated by Srimanta Sankardeva, Sri Madhavdeva and Madhab Kandali).
After completing of Night Prayer ( Ratir Prashanga), Deuri bring back the holy books (The Bhagabata, The Geeta and others) to its respective place and start Drum (Doba) beating (called Damani). Drum beating indicates end of prayers.