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The vision of RTA in the Vedas

Miller, Jeanine G. (1978) The vision of RTA in the Vedas. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The rsis developed their view of the nature of the world and man's role therein, from a visionary insight which they claimed not only as an heirloom from their ancestors but also as having themselves developed. Their vision embraces the whole cosmic order and regards the process of manifestation as a continuous unfoldment in accordance with one basic law of harmony, rta: the world order exhibits a balance of all those factors that contribute to its making, a holding together in mutual tension of all opposites. Rta is thus considered as both the mode and regulator whereby all things manifest, evolve, and adjust to changing conditions, as well as the overall order resulting from the harmonious working out of all according to the inherent law of existence. As manifestation means action, movement, the dynamic aspect of rta attracts more attention than its static counterpart, the stability of the fixed order which merely emphasises the constancy of change and succession - in paradoxical terms, the unchanging order of change. Three fundamental aspects of rta are studied:1) The natural: the one law that underlies the basic structure of the universe in accordance with which all evolves and from which derive all other laws; hence the law of becoming, of transformation, of harmony. 2) The socio-ethical: the one truth which in the human context of socio-ethical norms can be translated as integrity-integration: man fulfils himself in as much as he lives truly and can therefore integrate himself in the cosmic order. Truth at the human level is equivalent to harmony at the universal level.3) The religio-sacrificial: the one sacrifice with which the cosmic order is identified, a constant give and take of all its units, an eternal sharing and exchange which itself is rooted in the law of transformation. To this order all beings contribute in greater or less measure, whatever friction occurring from non-cooperation or opposition, being finally offset by the greater pull towards harmony. Nothing can really over-ride the one law. Through the agency of gods and men rta as the "pattern in the heaven" is made manifest at the natural level and in the norms and ethics of human society. Man's sacrificial ritual is seen as his microscopic attempt at re-enacting the macroscopic drama of the dynamics of rta. The Rgvedic vision of cosmic wholeness contains the seeds of many of the later speculative theories of Hindu philosophy.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Letters
Thesis Date:1978
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:23

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