Rig Veda Book 1 Verse 15 is dedicated to Indra but mentions someone or something called Ritu (Ṛtu). Now Ritu generally means season and Reet means the cosmic order and am confused which of these is being referred to here:

1 O INDRA drink the Soma juice with Ṛtu; let the cheering drops Sink deep within, which settle there.

2 Drink from the Purifier's cup, Maruts, with Ṛtu; sanctify The rite, for ye give precious gifts.

3 O Neṣṭar, with thy Dame accept our sacrifice; with Ṛtu drink, For thou art he who giveth wealth.

4 Bring the Gods, Agni; in the three appointed places set them down: Surround them, and with Ṛtu drink.

5 Drink Soma after the Ṛtus, from the Brāhmaṇa's bounty: undissolved, O Indra, is thy friendship's bond.

6 Mitra, Varuṇa, ye whose ways are firm—a Power that none deceives—, With Ṛtu ye have reached the rite.

7 The Soma-pressers, fain for wealth, praise the Wealth-giver in the rite, In sacrifices praise the God.

8 May the Wealth-giver grant to us riches that shall be far renowned. These things we gain, among the Gods.

9 He with the Ṛtu fain would drink, Wealth-giver, from the Neṣṭar's bowl. Haste, give your offering, and depart.

10 As we this fourth time, Wealth-giver, honour thee with the Ṛtus, be A Giver bountiful to us.

11 Drink ye the meath, O Aśvins bright with flames, whose acts are pure, who with Ṛtus accept the sacrifice.

12 With Ṛtu, through the house-fire, thou, kind Giver, guidest sacrifice: Worship the Gods for the pious man.

So my question is Who or what is the Ṛtu mentioned in this particular hymn according to the Vedic commentaries.

  • Related What is the concept of ritam as per the vedas? Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 6:48
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    Please don't Downvote. Such related questions asking the identification of deities and actual meaning & purpose of vedic suktas are very important as they help us in understanding of Vedas in better way . This question is absolutely fine and nothing wrong with it and are very much helpful to community as well as for site. Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 6:01
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    BTW Swami Dayananda has given explanation on this sukta in his commentary , but he did not explicitly mentioned about "Who is this Ritu" . It,s almost clear (from other scholars as well as from books like Brihad Devata ) that this is hymn to the seasons. If you want i can post answer with citing sources from dayananda's commentary as well as explaining it further with other available explanations. Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 7:36
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    In these verses ṛtu is translated as season by most of the translators like this one..few of the verses are translated as ऋतु/मौसम के अनुसार/अनुकूल (according to season) in Sanskrit-Hindi version which i have...
    – YDS
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 18:29
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    @Dr.VineetAggarwal - Yes , i will post the answer with trying to find more on this after some time. Thanks. Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 6:57

1 Answer 1


Rig Veda Mandala 1- Sukta 15 is hymn to the seasons , as mentioned in The Bṛhad-devatā a summary of deities and myths of the Rig-Veda. We can see the devatas of this hymn are Indra ,Marutganas ,Tvasta ,Agni ,Mitra-Varuna ,Dravinoda and Ashwini Kumaras. The season here is Pratidevata means the seasons themselves is also considered as devata or god.

36 The Rtus are here incidentally praised with the deities.

The central idea of this hymn is that Gods made the seasons and they drink the soma Juice according to different seasons from four different cups. And these seasons are also worshiped as gods.

This is further confirmed from commentary of Swami Dayananda of this hymn in hindi that " Ritu" word used in this hymn is denoting the seasons only. In his commentary Swami Dayananda is stating the names of the seasons like Vasanta (spring) etc. while explaining the meaning and mention of the word Samvatsara (संवत्सर) (Year) in the mantra.. See page no 233.

Here is the rough translation of his commentary of mantra 1 in english.

इन्द्र सोमं पिब ऋतुना त्वा विशव्न्तिन्द्वव : | मत्सरासस्तदोकस: ||1||

1 O man ! this Indra the creator of time divisions drink the juice of medicinal herbs with seasons like spring etc.

Conclusion - From all the above explanations its clear that the" Ritu" word mentioned in this sukta is for seasons and this is hymn to the seasons. In vedas the words Ritu (seasons) and Rita are equivalent , but here the word Ritu is used for seasons.

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    Yes , scholars and the translators are not mentioning any special meaning of the word Ritu other than seasons , so they are all simply taking the meaning of the word as we use in general sense. David farlow in his one book explaining the meaning of this sukta.I haven't included that in the answer because it's not a Vedic commentary.Will post the link in comments.:-) Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 10:08
  • books.google.co.in/… Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 11:03

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