Brahman and Ritam

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Apr 1 11:20:37 CST 1998

On Tue, 31 Mar 1998, Vivek Anand Ganesan wrote:

> Namashkar,
>    I once again thank Shree Anand Hudli for his well-written and
> informative reply to my previous question.  I have another question.
>    I read about this term called "Ritam" in an English translation of
> the Vedas.  The author maintains that "Ritam" was the primordial
> "Brahman" i.e. "Ritam" was the Universal Existence present in the
> Samhitas before the more intellectual concept of "Brahman", discussed
> in the Aranyakas and Upanishads.  Is there any truth to this claim?
> P.S. :
>    I know that the implicit assumption made above is that the
> Upanishads  are later than the Samhitas.  Granting this "unorthodox"
> assumption, would the claim stated above have validity?

No, not even by the low standards of the modernists.  Rta complements the
idea of Dharma and perhaps a case could be made that the idea of Dharma
was previous to the idea of Brahman but even this is pure speculation.
For one thing, Brahman is mentioned in the Samhitas.  And the upanishads
do not in any way try to replace the idea of Dharma.

It is true that Vedantic ideas were _systematically_ organized later.  The
Brahmasutras were written by Maharshi Vedavyas to explain the Vedas so
obviously they had to exist before.  But I don't see how that makes the
Veda themselves any less "intellectual" just unorganized.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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