Brahman and Ritam

Wed Apr 1 11:32:40 CST 1998

sarvebhyo namaH,
  This is in answer to Shrii Ganesan's inquiry
about R^itaM.
  According to H.H. Wilson's version of the
R^igVeda, in the Editor's Note written by
Dayanand Bhargava, regarding R^ita:

  ". . . the English word 'right' has been
derived; its negation is anR^ita. R^ita means
being in perfect harmony with the cosmic order.
Only that worship is true which is offered with
the observance of R^ita, satya, shraddhaa and
tapas. It is through the path of R^ita that one
can pass beyond calamities.
  Next to R^ita, and closely connected with it,
is the conception of satyam. . . . satya in the
Vedas is connected with 'sat' i.e. Ultimate

  Apte's "Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary"

  "R^it= Proper, right; Honest, true; worshipped,
respected; bright, luminous; . . . Rightly properly.
  R^itaH= A sacrifice; the sun.
  R^itaM= A fixed or settled rule, law (religious);
Sacred custom, pious action; Divine law, divine
truth; Absolution; . . . the fruit of an action;
Agreeable speech; . . .  (In the vedas R^ita is
usually interpreted by saayaNa to mean 'water',
'sun', or 'sacrifice', where European scholars
take it in the sense of 'divine truth', 'faith',etc."

  M. Monier Williams' "A Sanskrit-English Dictionary"

  "R^ita= Proper, right, fit, apt, suitable,
able, brave, honest . . . true . . . worshipped,
respected . . . enlightened, luminous . . . sacred
or pious action or custom, Divine law, faith,
Divine truth . . . truth in general, righteousness,
right . . . truth personified . . . etc."

  Apte's also states "the Supreme Spirit", but
there are no scriptural references given. It could
mean, as in M. Monier Williams' Dictionary, as
"truth personified (as an object of worship)".

  The R^igVeda and YajurVeda use other terms to
signify Brahman, as we know it. Since this is a
rather long posting, I would like to elaborate
when there is more time to give scriptural examples,
on Sunday and Monday. Others might give their views
before I get to it.

OM shaantiH shaantiH shaantiH


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