From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Swami Harshananda
Prātaranuvāka literally means ‘morning litany’.
In the Somayāgas sacrifices requiring the oblation of the soma juice, the day on which the juice is extracted is called the ‘sutyā’. On the previous night, during its last part, the hotṛ priest recites several mantras, technically called as ‘prāta-ranuvāka’. It is generally chanted by him sitting between the two havirdhāna carts.
The litany comprises three sections. The total number of ṛks to be chanted varies from 100 to 360 and sometimes up to 1000. The pitch of the voice while chanting them has to be gradually raised through seven tones.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore