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".
Vedic ṛtá and its Avestan equivalent aša are both thought by some to derive from Proto-Indo-Iranian *Hr̥tás "truth", which in turn may continue from a possible Proto-Indo-European *h2r-tós "properly joined, right, true", from a presumed root *h2er-. The derivative noun ṛta is defined as "fixed or settled order, rule, divine law or truth". As Mahony (1998) notes, however, the term can be translated as "that which has moved in a fitting manner" - although this meaning is not actually cited by authoritative Sanskrit dictionaries it is a regular derivation from the verbal root -, and abstractly as "universal law" or "cosmic order", or simply as "truth". The latter meaning dominates in the Avestan cognate to Ṛta, aša.
The term appears in Vedic texts and in post-Vedic texts, both as Ṛta and derivatives of the term. For example, in the 2nd-century BCE text Mahabhasya of Patanjali, he explains Ṛtaka to be the grammatically correct form of name for a son, where then the name would mean "truthling".
Oldenberg (1894) surmised that the concept of Ṛta originally arose in the Indo-Aryan period from a consideration of the natural order of the world and of the occurrences taking place within it as doing so with a kind of causal necessity. Both Vedic Ṛta and Avestan aša were conceived of as having a tripartite function which manifested itself in the physical, ethical and ritual domains. In the context of Vedic religion, those features of nature which either remain constant or which occur on a regular basis were seen to be a manifestation of the power of Ṛta in the physical cosmos. In the human sphere, Ṛta was understood to manifest itself as the imperative force behind both the moral order of society as well as the correct performance of Vedic rituals. The notion of a universal principle of natural order is by no means unique to the Vedas, and Ṛta has been compared to similar ideas in other cultures, such as Ma'at in Ancient Egyptian religion, Moira and the Logos in Greek paganism, and the Tao.
Due to the nature of Vedic Sanskrit, a term such as Ṛta can be used to indicate numerous things, either directly or indirectly, and both Indian and European scholars have experienced difficulty in arriving at fitting interpretations for Ṛta in all of its various usages in the Vedas, though the underlying sense of "ordered action" remains universally evident. In the Rigveda, the term Ṛta appears as many as 390 times, and has been characterized as "the one concept which pervades the whole of Ṛgvedic thought".
Ṛta appears most frequently as representing abstract concepts such as "law", "commandment", "order", "sacrifice", "truth", and "regularity", but also occasionally as concrete objects such as the waters, the heavens or the sun as manifestations of the operation of Ṛta in the physical universe. Ṛta is also frequently used in reference to various Vedic deities. Thus, Bṛhaspati is referred to as possessing a powerful bow with "Ṛta as its string" and as one prepared to "mount the chariot of Ṛta"; Agni is described as one who is "desirous of Ṛta", one who is "Ṛta-minded" and as he who "spread Heaven and Earth by Ṛta"; the Maruts are referred to as "rejoicing in the house of Ṛta" and as "knowers of Ṛta"; Ushas is described as having been "placed at the root of Ṛta"; Varuna is praised as "having the form of Ṛta" and, along with Mitra as Mitra-Varuna, as "destroying the foes by Ṛta" and as "professing Ṛta by Ṛta". Epithets such as "born of Ṛta" and "protector of Ṛta" are frequently applied to numerous divinities, as well as to the sacrificial fire and the sacrifice itself.
Despite the abundance of such references, the gods are never portrayed as having command over Ṛta. Instead, the gods, like all created beings, remain subject to Ṛta, and their divinity largely resides in their serving it in the role of executors, agents or instruments of its manifestation. As Day (1982) notes, the gods "do not govern Ṛta so much as immanentalize it through the particularities of divine ordinances and retributions concerning both rewards and punishments. In this sense they do not "govern" Ṛta; they serve it as agents and ministers".
While the concept of Ṛta as an abstract, universal principle generally remained resistant to the anthropomorphic tendencies of the Vedic period, it became increasingly associated with the actions of individual deities, in particular with those of the god Varuna as the omniscient, all-encompassing sky. Although the Adityas as a group are associated with Ṛta, being referred to as "the charioteers of Ṛta, dwelling in the home of Ṛta", it is Varuna in particular who is identified as the "friend of Ṛta". The connection of Varuna and Ṛta extended beyond the physical realm and into the sphere of ritual worship, with the sacrificial fire itself being lauded as that which "harnesses the steeds and holds the reins of Ṛta, becoming Varuna when he strives for Ṛta". As James (1969) notes, Varuna attained the position of "universal Power par excellence maintaining Ṛta" and is celebrated as having "separated and established heaven and earth, spreading them out as the upper and lower firmaments, himself enthroned above them as the universal king, ordering the immutable moral law, exercising his rule by the sovereignty of Ṛta.
Already in the earliest Vedic texts, Ṛta as an ethical principle is linked with the notion of cosmic retribution. A central concept of the Ṛgveda is that created beings fulfil their true natures when they follow the path set for them by the ordinances of Ṛta, and failing to follow those ordinances was thought to be responsible for the appearance of various forms of calamity and suffering. Committing one's actions to the governance of Ṛta, referred to as its "Dharma", was therefore understood as imperative in ensuring one's own well-being. In this vein, the individual who follows the ordinances of nature can be described as one who acts according to the "Dharma of Ṛta". Dharma, then, was originally conceived of as a "finite or particularized manifestation of Ṛta inasmuch as it represents that aspect of the universal Order which specifically concerns the mundane natural, religious, social and moral spheres as expressed in ritualistic regulations, public laws, moral principles and laws of nature".
Though originally understood as a subordinate component of the essentially metaphysical concept of Ṛta, Dharma eventually grew to overshadow Ṛta in prominence in later Vedic and early Hindu literature. According to Day (1982), the concept of Dharma,
...became so useful for framing religious, moral and social regulations, that interest in it and discussion of its applications to social and moral order eclipsed all discussions of metaphysical and theological ideas. Since, moreover, Dharma was made the central subject of a literary tradition which was to become vast and extensive throughout India, while the conception of Ṛta remained largely confined to the Vedas and their commentaries, it naturally took possession of brāhmaṇical thinking even at the expense of older, exalted concepts and conceptions.
As the notion of Dharma shifted emphasis away from the gods as executors of Ṛta and towards the individual as upholding Ṛta through his actions, the ethical responsibility and culpability of the individual received an increasing amount of emphasis towards the end of the Vedic period. Central to the discussion of such culpability is the notion of Karma. Karma (lit. "action") refers to the works one performs, which can occur either in congruence with or in opposition to Dharma – and thus, to Ṛta – and which are posited to stand in a causal relationship to the pains and pleasures one experiences in life.
The emergence of Karma as a central doctrine of the late Vedic and early Hindu tradition is due in part to the problem of theodicy. Given the inherent goodness of Ṛta and its absolute power over the operation of the universe, the presence of gross inequality and injustice in the world represented a serious religious, philosophical and ethical dilemma. The notion of Karma helped to overcome this problem as it was conceived as a "law of moral causation" which effectively excused the gods and Ṛta from the appearance of evil in the world, placing the responsibility for the same squarely upon the individual.
Being an extension of Ṛta, Karma was conceived of as operating with the same absolute efficiency. As Day (1982) notes, "acts are causally determinative in accordance with their good or evil nature, and their out-workings are inexorable; there is no intrusive or arbitrary factor which might overcome their potentiality for causing retributional effects, or otherwise interfering with the strictly mechanical efficiency of Karma. Since, moreover, an individual's fortunes and misfortunes are solely the outcome of his past actions, he has no ground for believing that life is kindlier or harsher than is deserved. He has no cause either for praising God's benevolence nor for lamenting God's wrath."
Ṛta- or arta- sometimes appears as an element in Vedic and Indic personal names, as with Iranian.
In India the vocalic ‘ṛ’ of Sanskrit is transformed into the modern ‘ri’, or in South India, ‘ru’. Indian names include:
Mitanni (non-Indian, Vedic) names include:
Abhava means non-existence, negation, nothing or absence. It is the negative of Bhava which means being, becoming, existing or appearance.Anupalabdhi
Anupalabdhi (Sanskrit: अनुपलब्धि) means 'non-recognition', 'non-perception'. This word refers to the Pramana of Non-perception which consists in the presentative knowledge of negative facts.Artashumara
Artashumara (Sanskrit Ṛta-smara, "he remembers Ṛta") was a pretender to the throne of Mitanni in the fourteenth century BC. His reign was very short, or non-existent, before he was murdered. He was the brother of Tushratta, who succeeded him.Artatama I
Artatama I (Sanskrit: Ṛta-dhaman, "his abode is Ṛta") was a king of the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni in the late fifteenth century BC. His reign coincided with the reigns of Egyptian pharaohs Amenhotep II and Thutmose IV.
Little is known of this king who has not left any inscriptions. Artatama is referred to in the Amarna letters as an ancestor who established an alliance with Thutmose IV of Egypt. According to modern interpretation of scarce available sources, Artatama came to power when the Mitanni kingdom was severely weakened by the Hittite invasion. Facing the perils of fighting a war on two fronts, the Hittites in the north and Egypt in the south, Artatama approached Amenhotep II with an offer of peaceful division of contested lands in Syria. A peaceful resolution of an old conflict could grow into a political and military alliance, but the Egyptians suspected foul play and denied definite answer for years. At one point during the reign of Thutmose IV they proposed a marriage between Thutmose and Artatama's daughter, but for unknown reasons Artatama rejected the offer. The Egyptians had to make seven consecutive marriage proposals before Artatama finally agreed. Thus, Artatama may have been the father of Queen Mutemwiya and the maternal grandfather of Amenhotep III. Artatama was succeeded by his son Shuttarna II.Artatama II
Artatama II (Sanskrit: Ṛta-dhaman, "his abode is Ṛta") was a usurper to the throne of king Tushratta of Mitanni in the fourteenth century BC. He may have been a brother of Tushratta or belonged to a rival line of the royal house. The Hittite king Suppiluliuma I made a treaty with Artatama following his invasion of Mitanni. His son, Shuttarna III, ruled Mitanni after him.Bhumika
Bhūmikā (Sanskrit: भूमिका) is derived from the word, Bhūmi, meaning earth, soil, ground orcharacter.Dharma
Dharma (; Sanskrit: धर्म, romanized: dharma, pronounced [dʱɐɽmɐ] (listen); Pali: धम्म, romanized: dhamma, translit. dhamma) is a key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others. There is no single-word translation for dharma in Western languages.In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with Ṛta, the order that makes life and universe possible, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and "right way of living". In Buddhism, dharma means "cosmic law and order", and is also applied to the teachings of Buddha. In Buddhist philosophy, dhamma/dharma is also the term for "phenomena". Dharma in Jainism refers to the teachings of tirthankara (Jina) and the body of doctrine pertaining to the purification and moral transformation of human beings. For Sikhs, the word dharm means the path of righteousness and proper religious practice.The word dharma was already in use in the historical Vedic religion, and its meaning and conceptual scope has evolved over several millennia. The ancient Tamil moral text of Tirukkural is solely based on aṟam, the Tamil term for dharma. The antonym of dharma is adharma.Historical Vedic religion
The historical Vedic religion (also known as Vedism or ancient Hinduism) refers to the religious ideas and practices among most Indo-Aryan-speaking peoples of ancient India after about 1500 BCE. These ideas and practices are found in the Vedic texts, and they were one of the major influences that shaped contemporary Hinduism.According to Heinrich von Stietencron, in the 19th century western publications, the Vedic religion was believed to be different from and unrelated to Hinduism. The Hindu religion was thought to be linked to the Hindu epics and the Puranas through sects based on Purohita, Tantras and Bhakti. In the 20th century, a better understanding of the Vedic religion, its shared heritage and theology with contemporary Hinduism, has led scholars to view the historical Vedic religion as ancestral to "Hinduism". The Hindu reform movements and the Neo-Vedanta have emphasized the Vedic heritage and "ancient Hinduism", and this term has been co-opted by some Hindus. Vedic religion is now generally accepted to be a predecessor of Hinduism, but they are not the same because the textual evidence suggests significant differences between the two.The Vedic religion is described in the Vedas and associated voluminous Vedic literature preserved into the modern times by the different priestly schools. The Vedic religion texts are cerebral, orderly and intellectual, but it is unclear if the theory in diverse Vedic texts actually reflect the folk practices, iconography and other practical aspects of the Vedic religion. The evidence suggests that the Vedic religion evolved in "two superficially contradictory directions", state Jamison and Witzel. One part evolved into ever more "elaborate, expensive, and specialized system of rituals", while another part questioned all of it and emphasized "abstraction and internalization of the principles underlying ritual and cosmic speculation" within oneself. Both of these traditions impacted Indic religions such as Buddhism and Jainism, and in particular Hinduism. The complex Vedic rituals of Śrauta continue to be practiced in Kerala and coastal Andhra.Some scholars consider the Vedic religion to have been a composite of the religions of the Indo-Aryans, "a syncretic mixture of old Central Asian, new Indo-European elements", which borrowed "distinctive religious beliefs and practices" from the Bactria–Margiana culture, and the remnants of the Harappan culture of the Indus Valley.Kasaya (attachment)
Kasaya is attachment to worldly objects and is an obstacle in the path leading to Nirvikalpa Samadhi: it is overcome through viveka, discrimination.Khandua
Khandua (Also Maniabandi or Kataki) is a traditional "bandha" or ikat sari produced from Odisha
worn by women during wedding
and a special type of which is worn by Jagannath.
The clothes contain texts of Gita Govinda on them.
Kenduli Khandua, a special form of Khandua of 12 ft and 2 kani (each kani measures the length of a hand) is offered to Jagannath to wear as khandua with stanzas and illustration from Gita Govinda.Mitanni-Aryan
Some theonyms, proper names and other terminology of the Mitanni are considered to form (part of) an Indo-Aryan superstrate, suggesting that an Indo-Aryan elite imposed itself over the Hurrian population in the course of the Indo-Aryan expansion.
In a treaty between the Hittites and the Mitanni (between Suppiluliuma and Shattiwaza, c. 1380 BC), the deities Mitra, Varuna, Indra, and Nasatya (Ashvins) are invoked. Kikkuli's horse training text (circa 1400 BC) includes technical terms such as aika (Vedic Sanskrit eka, one), tera (tri, three), panza (pañca, five), satta (sapta, seven), na (nava, nine), vartana (vartana, round). The numeral aika "one" is of particular importance because it places the superstrate in the vicinity of Indo-Aryan proper (Vedic Sanskrit eka, with regular contraction of /ai/ to [eː]) as opposed to Indo-Iranian or early Iranian (which has *aiva; compare Vedic eva "only") in general.Another text has babru(-nnu) (babhru, brown), parita(-nnu) (palita, grey), and pinkara(-nnu) (pingala, red). Their chief festival was the celebration of the solstice (vishuva) which was common in most cultures in the ancient world. The Mitanni warriors were called marya (Hurrian: maria-nnu), the term for (young) warrior in Sanskrit as well; note mišta-nnu (= miẓḍha,~ Sanskrit mīḍha) "payment (for catching a fugitive)" (Mayrhofer II 358).
Sanskritic interpretations of Mitanni names render Artashumara (artaššumara) as Arta-smara "who thinks of Arta/Ṛta" (Mayrhofer II 780), Biridashva (biridašṷa, biriiašṷa) as Prītāśva "whose horse is dear" (Mayrhofer II 182), Priyamazda (priiamazda) as Priyamedha "whose wisdom is dear" (Mayrhofer II 189, II378), Citrarata as Citraratha "whose chariot is shining" (Mayrhofer I 553), Indaruda/Endaruta as Indrota "helped by Indra" (Mayrhofer I 134), Shativaza (šattiṷaza) as Sātivāja "winning the race price" (Mayrhofer II 540, 696), Šubandu as Subandhu "having good relatives" (a name in Palestine, Mayrhofer II 209, 735),
Tushratta (tṷišeratta, tušratta, etc.) as *tṷaišaratha, Vedic Tveṣaratha "whose chariot is vehement" (Mayrhofer I 686, I 736).Moirai
In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the Moirai (; Ancient Greek: Μοῖραι, "lots, destinies, apportioners"), often known in English as the Fates (Latin: Fata), Moirae or Mœræ (obsolete), were the white-robed incarnations of destiny; their Roman equivalent was the Parcae (euphemistically the "sparing ones"), there are other equivalents in cultures that descend from the Proto-Indo-European culture. Their number became fixed at three: Clotho ("spinner"), Lachesis ("allotter") and Atropos ("the unturnable", a metaphor for death).
They controlled the mother thread of life of every mortal from birth to death. They were independent, at the helm of necessity, directed fate, and watched that the fate assigned to every being by eternal laws might take its course without obstruction. Both gods and men had to submit to them, although Zeus's relationship with them is a matter of debate: some sources say he can command them (as Zeus Moiragetes "leader of the Fates"), while others suggest he was also bound to the Moirai's dictates.In the Homeric poems Moira or Aisa are related to the limit and end of life, and Zeus appears as the guider of destiny. In the Theogony of Hesiod, the three Moirai are personified, daughters of Nyx and are acting over the gods. Later they are daughters of Zeus and Themis, who was the embodiment of divine order and law. In Plato's Republic the Three Fates are daughters of Ananke (necessity).It seems that Moira is related with Tekmor ("proof, ordinance") and with Ananke ("destiny, necessity"), who were primeval goddesses in mythical cosmogonies. The ancient Greek writers might call this power Moira or Ananke, and even the gods could not alter what was ordained:
"To the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) the might of Zeus must bow; and by the Immortals' purpose all these things had come to pass, or by the Moirai's ordinance."The concept of a universal principle of natural order has been compared to similar concepts in other cultures like the Vedic Ṛta, the Avestan Asha (Arta) and the Egyptian Maat.
In earliest Greek philosophy, the cosmogony of Anaximander is based on these mythical beliefs. The goddess Dike ("justice, divine retribution"), keeps the order and sets a limit to any actions.Parinama-vada (Hindu thought)
Pariṇāma-vāda (Sanskrit: परिणामवाद), or theTransformation theory is that which pre-supposes the cause to be continually transforming itself into its effects, and it has three variations – the Satkarya-vada of the Samkhyas, the Prakrti Parinama-vada of the Saiva Siddhanta and the Brahma-Parinama-vada of the Vishishtadvaita Vedanta School of Thought.Ritu (Indian season)
Ritu (Sanskrit: ऋतु, Bengali: ঋতু) defines "season" in different ancient Indian calendars used in countries of India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, and there are six ritus (also transliterated rutu) or seasons. The word is derived from the Vedic Sanskrit word Ṛtú, a fixed or appointed time, especially the proper time for sacrifice (yajna) or ritual in Vedic religion; this in turn comes from the word Ṛta (ऋत), as used in Vedic Sanskrit literally means the "order or course of things". This word is used in nearly all Indian languages.Sadananda (of Vedantasara)
Sadananda Yogendra Saraswati, the exponent of the Advaita Vedanta as taught by Adi Shankara and the renowned author of Vedantasara which is one of the best known Prakarana Granthas (text-books) of the philosophy of the Upanishads, was the son of Anantadeva, and probably lived in mid-15th century A.D. He is also reputed to have written - Vedantasiddhanta-sarasangraha, Bhavaprakasa on Bhagavad Gita and Brahmasutra-tatpryaprakasa – which are works of equal repute and importance. Not much is known about the life of this acharya. Hiriyanna states that Sadananda of Vedantasara is different from the Sadananda of Advaitbrahmansiddhi the text that was published by the Asiatic Society of Bengal.In his works Sadananda stresses the liberated being’s freedom from bondage, detachment from the body, and constant goodness, although being beyond virtue. The liberated being after having lived out his prarabdha karma merges with Brahman.Advayananda was the Guru of Sadananda.Satya
Satya is the Sanskrit word for truth. It also refers to a virtue in Indian religions, referring to being truthful in one's thought, speech and action. In Yoga, satya is one of five yamas, the virtuous restraint from falsehood and distortion of reality in one's expressions and actions.Ushas
Ushas (Vedic Sanskrit: उषस् / uṣás) is a Vedic goddess of dawn in Hinduism. She repeatedly appears in the Rigvedic hymns, states David Kinsley, where she is "consistently identified with dawn, revealing herself with the daily coming of light to the world, driving away oppressive darkness, chasing away evil demons, rousing all life, setting all things in motion, sending everyone off to do their duties". She is the life of all living creatures, the impeller of action and breath, the foe of chaos and confusion, the auspicious arouser of cosmic and moral order called the Ṛta in Hinduism.Ushas is the most exalted goddess in the Rig Veda, but not as important or central as the three male Vedic deities Agni, Soma and Indra. She is on par with other major male Vedic deities. She is portrayed as a beautifully adorned young woman riding in a golden chariot or a hundred chariots, drawn by golden red horses or cows, on her path across the sky, making way for the Vedic sun god Surya. Some of the most beautiful hymns in the Vedas are dedicated to her. Her sister is Ratri, or the night.Varuna
Varuna (; Sanskrit: वरुण, IAST: Varuṇa, Malay: Baruna) is a Vedic deity associated initially with the sky, later also with the seas as well as Ṛta (justice) and Satya (truth). He is found in the oldest layer of Vedic literature of Hinduism, such as hymn 7.86 of the Rigveda. He is also mentioned in the Tamil grammar work Tolkāppiyam, as the god of sea and rain.In the Hindu Puranas, Varuna is the god of oceans, his vehicle is a Makara (part fish, part land creature) and his weapon is a Pasha (noose, rope loop). He is the guardian deity of the western direction. In some texts, he is the father of the Vedic sage Vasishtha.Varuna is found in Japanese Buddhist mythology as Suiten. He is also found in Jainism..Ṛta Kapur Chishti
Ṛta Kapur Chishti is a Sari historian and a textile scholar. She is the co-author and editor of two books namely ‘Saris: Tradition and Beyond’ and 'Handcrafted Indian Textiles: Tradition and Beyond'. Saris of India: Tradition and Beyond, published in 2010 and co-authored by Martand Singh, enumerates a hundred and eight variations of draping the Sari. The book is a comprehensive compendium of different Sari weaving and wearing traditions in India, covering 15 states of India and countless variations of colour, weave and pattern from each state, besides documenting 108 methods of draping a Sari.In 2009, Ṛta Kapur initiated the ‘The Sari School’ in New Delhi. The school conducts workshops for young locals, expatriate women, fashion designers and anyone who would like to learn different ways to wearing the sari. The Sari School also teaches individuals the history and various methods of tying the Sari.In 2011, Ṛta Kapur founded TaanBaan to preserve and enhance the handspun handwoven techniques. TaanBaan works with artisans across different states and creates saris that strike a balance between traditional skill and contemporary appeal.