RITA – A concept

Rita was a concept in the Rigveda that was associated with cosmic order, as well as truth and justice. Rita can be said to be a Vedic version of the later concept of dharma. Linguists point out rita’s kinship to the Avestan word asha and Varuna’s place in ancient Persian religion as the ahura (kin to asura, but used to mean god, not demon) whose all-seeing eye brought truth and justice. In the Rigveda, Varuna was also an asura whose all-seeing eye brought truth and jus- ticeā€”and was never viewed as a demon.
In the Mahabharata, however, Rita was personified as one of the eleven Rudras (storm gods). Except for this minor reference, rita’s meaning and usage was appropriated by the term dharma.

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