Riti, aka: Rīti, Riṭi, Ṛti; 9 Definition(s)


Riti means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Ṛti can be transliterated into English as Rti or Riti, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Ṛti (ऋति) is the Sanskrit word translating to “brass”, a metal alloy made of zinc and copper. It is used throughout Rasaśāstra literature, such as the Rasaprakāśasudhākara.

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra
Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Riṭi (रिटि).—A head of a Śiva gaṇa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 41. 28.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Katha (narrative stories)

Rīti (रीति).—Vānana boldly asserts that rīti is the soul of poetry, that rīti consists in the special arrangement in combination of words and the speciality lies in the possession of Guṇas. Vānana gives only the Vaidarbhī, the Pāñcālī and the Gauḍīya. Bhoja adds Lātiya, Āvantī and Māgadhī.

Soḍḍhala who flourished after Rājaśekhara also follows him in the matter of three Ritis, namely Vaidarbhī, Pāñcālī and the Gauḍīya but he introduces a new idea not found elsewhere viz. the idea of the three rītis considered as corresponding to theethree qualities of voices, belonging to the cuckoo, the peacock and the swan.

Source: Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Rīti (रीति, “style”) is one of the important measuring rods for the poets. This is an indispensable characteristic feature of a poem. Viśvanātha Kavirāja opines that the arrangement of words or syllables, which render help in heightening the excellence of rasa or the sentiment, is regarded as rīti. Rīti, is as if, the adjustment of body parts of an individual. In his Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti, Vāmana, the rhetorician states that the particular style of arrangement of words is known by the term rīti. It is the very essence or ātmā of poetry.

This rīti is of different types. Regarding the variety of rīti, the poeticians are of divergent opinions. Bharata (Nāṭyaśāstra VI.25-26) refers to five types of rīti. The Agnipurāṇa (adhyāya 340) speaks of four kinds of rīti. Bhāmaha (Kāvyālaṃkāra I.35) mentions about Vaidarbhī and Gauḍī and puts more importance upon Gauḍī. Daṇḍin (Kāvyādarśa II.9) accepts only two varieties of rīti viz. Vaidarbhī and Gauḍī and favours Vaidarbhī. Again, Vāmana (Kāvyālaṃkārasūtravṛtti 2.9) as well as Rājaśekhara (Kāvyamīmāṃsā, p. 10) mentions three kinds of rīti viz. Vaidarbhī, Gauḍī or Gauḍīyā and Pāñcālī. Moreover, Rudraṭa, in his Kāvyālaṃkāra, Viśvanātha Kavirāja (Sāhityadarpaṇa IX.1-2) also, mentions four kinds of rīti, referring to Lāṭī or Lāṭikā to be the fourth one. Bhoja, in Sarasvatīkaṇṭhābharaṇa says about six types of rīti, adding two more viz. Āvantikā and Māgadhī.

It may be mentioned here that according to Mammaṭa and Ānandavardhana the term, rīti and vṛtti are synonymous. Regarding the characteristics of the above four styles, some opine that the Gauḍī is a grand composition, the Vaidarbhī is sweet, the Pāñcālī is mixed, while, the Lāṭī is composed of simple words.

Source: Shodhganga: Mankhaka a sanskrit literary genius (natya)
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Riti (“the Soul of a Kavya”):—Riti is to the Kavya what Atman is to the Sarira. The word Atman is believed to have been derived from the root ‘At’ meaning to move constantly or from the root ‘An’ meaning to live, or perhaps from both. The term Riti is derived from the root ‘Ri’ meaning to move. The identity of Riti with Atman becomes complete when we take Dandin’s metaphor of Gunas as Pranas. Just as the Atman is the Karana Sarira of a person, Riti is the Karana Sarira of a Kavya. The natural beauty or Sobha of a Kavya depends on the Gunas of its Soul which is Riti.

Out of Riti arise the Gunas, the Pranas or directional forces round which the subtle and gross materials organize themselves. Since Riti, like the Atman, is a having and moving principle, it imparts life and movement to the subtle and gross bodies of the Kavya. Thus Riti determines the character of a Kavya as the Atman determines the character of an individual.

Source: Triveni: The Philosophy of Riti

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

rīti (रीति).—f (S) pop. rīta f A manner, method, way. 2 Custom, habit, practice, habitual action. 3 Fashion, popular usage, general course, local observance.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

rīti (रीति).—f A manner; habit, custom; fashion.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ṛti (ऋति).—[ṛ-ktin] An army. -f.

1) Going, motion.

2) Assault, combat; ऋतिर्हन्यमाना (ṛtirhanyamānā) Av.12.5.25.

3) Abuse, censure.

4) Emulation, envy.

5) A road.

6) Manner of proceeding.

7) Prosperity.

8) Fitness, truth.

9) Remembrance.

1) Misfortune.

11) Protection.

12) Auspiciousness (most of these meanings are found only iu lexicons).

Derivable forms: ṛtiḥ (ऋतिः).

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Riṭi (रिटि).—

1) The crackling of flames.

2) Black salt.

3) A musical instrument.

4) Name of an attendant of Śiva; cf. भृङ्ग (bhṛṅga) (ge) रिटिः (riṭiḥ).

Derivable forms: riṭiḥ (रिटिः).

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Rīti (रीति).—f. [rī-ktin]

1) Moving, flowing.

2) Motion, course.

3) A stream, river.

4) A line, boundary.

5) A method, mode, manner, way, fashion, course, general way; रीतिं गिराममृतवृष्टिकरीं तदीयाम् (rītiṃ girāmamṛtavṛṣṭikarīṃ tadīyām) Bv.3.19; पुत्रादपि धनभाजां भीतिः सर्वत्रैषा विहिता रीतिः (putrādapi dhanabhājāṃ bhītiḥ sarvatraiṣā vihitā rītiḥ) Moha M.2; उक्तरीत्या, अनयैव रीत्या (uktarītyā, anayaiva rītyā) &c.

6) Usage, custom, practice.

7) Style, diction; पदसंघटना रीतिरङ्गसंस्थाविशेषवत् । उपकत्रीं रसादीनां सा पुनः स्याच्चतुर्विधा ॥ वैदर्भी चाथ गौडी च पाञ्चाली लाटिका तथा (padasaṃghaṭanā rītiraṅgasaṃsthāviśeṣavat | upakatrīṃ rasādīnāṃ sā punaḥ syāccaturvidhā || vaidarbhī cātha gauḍī ca pāñcālī lāṭikā tathā) | S. D.624-5.

8) Brass, bell-metal; (rītī also in this sense).

9) Rust of iron.

1) The oxide formed on the surface of metals.

11) Calx of brass.

12) Natural property or disposition.

Derivable forms: rītiḥ (रीतिः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ṛti (ऋति).—f.

(-tiḥ) 1. Prosperity, felicity. 2. A road, a way. 3. Abuse, censure, reproach. 4. Envy, emulation. 5. Going, motion. 6. Ill fortune. E. and ktin aff.

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Riṭi (रिटि).—f.

(-ṭiḥ) 1. The crackling or roaring of flame. 2. A musical instrument. 3. Black-salt. m.

(-ṭiḥ) Name of an attendant of Siva.

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Rīti (रीति).—f. (-tiḥ-tī) 1. Usage, custom, practice, local or traditionary observance. 2. Oozing, leaking, distilling. 3. Brass, pale-brass, or prince’s metal. 4. Rust of iron. 5. Calx of brass. 6. Scoria of any metal, or the oxide formed on the surface of metals by their exposure to heat and air. 7. Boundary, limit. 8. Going, motion. 9. Natural property or disposition. 10. A stream, a river. 11. Style, diction; they are:—vaidarbhī, gauḍī, pāñcālī and lāṭikā or māgadhī . E. to go, to run out, &c. aff. ktic .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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