Rta

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In the Vedic religion, Ṛta (/ˈrɪtə/; Sanskrit ऋत ṛta "order, rule; truth") is the principle of natural order which regulates and coordinates the operation of the universe and everything within it. In the hymns of the Vedas, Ṛta is described as that, which is ultimately responsible for the proper functioning of the natural, moral and sacrificial orders. Conceptually, it is closely allied to the injunctions and ordinances thought to uphold it, collectively referred to as Dharma, and the action of the individual in relation to those ordinances, referred to as Karma – two terms which eventually eclipsed Ṛta in importance as signifying natural, religious and moral order in later Hinduism. Sanskrit scholar Maurice Bloomfield referred to Ṛta as "one of the most important religious conceptions of the "Rigveda", going on to note that, "from the point of view of the history of religious ideas we may, in fact we must, begin the history of Hindu religion at least with the history of this conception".

Etymology[change | change source]

its Avestan equivalent aṣ̌a (Asha "Truth") properly joined, right, true", from a presumed root *Template:PIE. The derivative noun ṛta is defined as "fixed or settled order, rule, divine law or truth".[1]


In proper names[change | change source]

Ṛta- or arta- sometimes appears as an element in Vedic and Indic personal names, as with Iranian.[2]Template:Broken footnote

In India the vocalic 'ṛ' of Sanskrit is transformed into the modern 'ri', or in South India, 'ru'. Indian names include:

  • Rita
  • Ruta
  • Ritambhar
  • Ritik
  • Ritwik
  • Ritesh

Related pages[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Monier-Williams (1899:223b)
  2. Boyce 1987, p. 390.

Sources[change | change source]

  • Sharma, K.N. (1 March 1990). "Varna and Jati in Indian Traditional Perspective". Sociological Bulletin. Sage Publication, Inc. 39 (1–2): 15–31. doi:10.1177/0038022919900102. JSTOR 23634524. S2CID 151534129.
  • Ara, Mitra (2008). Eschatology in the Indo-Iranian Traditions: The Genesis and Transformation of a Doctrine. New York: Peter Lang. ISBN 978-1-4331-0250-9.
  • Bilimoria, P., Prabhu, J. & Sharma, R. (Eds.) (2007). Indian Ethics: Classical Traditions and Contemporary Challenges, Vol. 1. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7546-3301-2.
  • Bloomfield, Maurice (1908). The Religion of the Veda: The Ancient Religion of India, from Rig-Veda to Upanishads. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
  • Brown, W. N. (1992). "Some Ethical Concepts for the Modern World from Hindu and Indian Buddhist Tradition" in: Radhakrishnan, S. (Ed.) Rabindranath Tagore: A Centenary Volume 1861–1961. Calcutta: Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 81-7201-332-9.
  • Davis, Winston (1990). "Natural Law and Natural Right: The Role of Myth in the Discourses of Exchange and Community" in: Reynolds, F. E. & Tracy, D. (Eds.) Myth and Philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-0417-X.
  • Day, Terence P. (1982). The Conception of Punishment in Early Indian Literature. Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. ISBN 0-919812-15-5.