rīta (रीत).—f a wise man; habit, habit; Fashion. Rita [रीठा] is in Sanskrit the name of a plant identified with Sapindus trifoliatus of the family Sapindaceae (soap), with the following synonyms: Sapindus laurifolius. The Ethics of the Gita (A Critical Study) (by Arpita Chakraborty) 1) Ṛta (ऋत).—One of the 11 Rudras. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, chapter 150, verse 12). 3) Ṛta (ऋत).—This word has a general meaning “truth.” Moreover, in Agni Purāṇa, chapter 152, we see that it also means “something obtained by begging.” Sanskrit for “truth” or “order,” Rita is a central concept in Vedic philosophy used to explain the principle that governs the order of the universe. Rita is responsible for the proper functioning of the natural, moral, religious and sacrificial order and is the founding principle of Dharma (duty) and karma (action). Ṛta (ऋत):—[(taḥ-tā-taṃ) a.] Far; It`s true. n. Examination; Water; Where Rta is the principles of the cosmic order or ethical order, it is the Dharma which is the application and understanding of Rta in the universe. Dharma comes from the root “dhr,” which means “to support, to support,” and Dharma means that which sustains or sustains. The Dharma is what sustains both Rta and Satya in the world of existence.
Where Satya is the foundation, Rta the abstract and objective principles, the Dharma Rta is in real action and understanding of the world. The Dharma is purpose, laws, morality, justice, the nature of a thing, and so on. While Rta is immutable and clear, the Dharma is changeable and can be difficult to grasp. Where Rta might be the ethical imperative that one must adhere to the truth, the Dharma is how to stick to the truth and whether adherence to the truth conflicts with another ethical commandment such as peace. The term appears in Vedic and post-Vedic texts, both as ṛta and as derived from the term. For example, in the Mahabhasya text of Patanjali from the 2nd century BC, he explains that Ṛtaka is the grammatically correct form of a son`s name, where the name would then mean “truth”.  It is Rta that rotates the Sun (our solar system) on the Milky Way, the Earth revolves around the Sun, goes through the seasons year after year, and so on. Rta is the link between the 5 major states: Agni (energy), Vayu (wind/gas), Apah (water/liquid), Prithvi (earth/solid) and Akasha (space). The interaction of these states is the world we can experience and observe, their relationships with each other are Rta. In modern times, Rta can be considered as the laws of nature such as gravity, thermodynamics, etc. Even more profoundly, it is the principle that underlies all laws.
14) [v.s.] truth personified (as an object of worship and thus among the sacred objects listed in the [Nirukta, by Yāska]) 1) [Name] Truth a) what is true; instructions, etc., that are factual or factual; (b) an established or verified fact, principle, right, etc. Vedic ṛtá and its Avestan equivalent aṣ̌a are both derived from the Proto-Indo-Iranian “truth” *Hr̥tás, which in turn pursues the Proto-Indo-European *h2r-tós “properly connected, straight, true”, from an assumed root *h2er-. The derived noun ṛta is defined as “fixed or fixed order, rule, divine law or truth”.  Full text (+248): Ritadhaman, Atta, Ritapsu, Ritambhara, Yajnarta, Ritadhiti, Ritajatasatya, Ritayukti, Ritavaka, Ritayuj, Ritapa, Ritasap, Ritajata, Ru rta, Bhringarita, Rdo-rta, Apasarin, Santa rita, Anajnakari, Camatkarin. Bhishma in the Mahabharata answers Draupadi`s question about the Dharma after Dushashana tried to undress her in court in this way: “I have already said that the Dharma is subtle, O Blessed. Even the famous sages of the world do not always understand. What the strong man calls the Dharma in this world is accepted by the world, although it is not. No matter what a weak person calls the Dharma, it is not taken into account by the world, even if it is the highest Dharma. And he goes on to say, “The Dharma is subtle, it is hidden in the darkest cave.” Bhishma did not give an answer and did not follow the Dharma either, and as such, he also says that the days of his clan`s power are diminishing and the Dharma will destroy them. 12) The Supreme Spirit. (In the Vedas, the ṛta of Sāyaṇa is generally interpreted as “water”, “sun” or “sacrifice”, with European scholars understanding it in terms of “divine truth”, “faith”, etc.) 2) Holy custom, pious act. यस्तनोति सतां सेतुमृतेनामृतयोनिना (yastanoti satāṃ setumṛtenāmṛtayoninā) Mahābhārata (Bombay) 12.47.49.
Rta is the moral/ethical harmony between nature, devas and people. Rta is the relationship between the world of humans, the world of devas and nature itself. People engage in activity and yagna to honor and nourish the devas who maintain the devas and ensure the proper functioning of nature and nature takes care of people through rain, plants, light, fire, farmland, food and the cycle of nature. It is a symbiotic relationship between these three spheres, its proper functioning is Rta. People must engage in yagna or sacrifice to feed the devas nourished by the prayers of the spirit and the songs and offerings that are sacrificed in the yagna, the physical food. Mantras fill the devas with a righteous determination to maintain Rta, and physical offerings burned in the yagna provide “physical” nourishment for the devas. Yagna is how people interact with and honor devas and the cycle of nature. 20) b ṛti, ṛtu See page 223, column 2 – p. 224, column 1. Ṛta – or arta – sometimes appears as an element in Vedic and Indian personal names, as in Iranian.
 [defective footnote] Already in the early Vedic texts, Ṛta is associated as an ethical principle with the concept of cosmic vengeance. The eighteen Mahapuranas comprise more than 400,000 shlokas (metric couplets) and date from at least several centuries BC. 5) [name] subsistence by gathering or gathering grain in a field. 4) [v.s.] venerated, respected, [cf. lexicographers, especially such as Amarasiṃha, Halāyudha, Hemacandra, etc.] Rta is so powerful and ultimate that it is even the principle that governs the Devas, it is the continuation of Rta that the Devas are aligned with Satya. Rta violation breaks the connection with Satya. Rta is not only the natural and cosmic law of existence, it is also the moral law that governs existence. This moral law is abstract, the language of morality being “written” in reality.
Rta is not relative, it is a normative and objective order of reality and morality. Rta controls the devas and the devas hold and serve Rta. Devas are both the personification of the natural world and beings of light connected to nature. For example, Agni is both the heat or energy found in fire, lightning and the sun, but also a being of light, a god (so to speak) of fire/heat. ritā (रिता).—A (rikta s) empty. 2 It will sometimes be found in all, and especially in the first five, meanings of the word rikāmā, to which we turn. 3 (Mainly in poetry.) Empty, penniless, voluntary, standing or without. In this way, the present and observed order in the universe at the time of the Vedas could have been called rta. Rta means the recognizable order present in the various living beings and their transactions.
It is an immutable and inevitable cause-and-effect relationship. “As you sow, so you reap” is the saying that arose from such an identified relationship. The Dharma is one of the most difficult ideas to understand and discover, as it involves many subjects: morality, ethics, law, traditions, customs, and practicality. It`s like saying that killing is immoral, but is it always immoral? Is it wrong to kill in self-defense or out of necessity or in times of war or in a variety of situations that our lives face? The answers are not always black and white and difficult to determine. It is difficult and requires nuance. Ṛta (ऋत) is related to the word Prakrit Aṭṭa in the Sanskrit language. The popular belief of the time of the Vedas is that in the world of creation, behind the various forms, there is a principle or a formless law that governs them. Our rishis realized that there are clearly defined principles or laws in solar activity (sunrise and sunset), lunar activity and seasonal changes. Similarly, they recognized the dominant principles behind living things.
They identified the origin of life and the cycle of different species and classes.