Ritu, Ṛtu: 16 definitions



Ritu means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, 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 Ṛtu can be transliterated into English as Rtu or Ritu, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Ṛtu (ऋतु, “Period”):—Fourth of the eight Mātṛs born from the body of Śaśinī, according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra. These eight sub-manifestations (mātṛ), including Ṛtu, symbolize a connection to the moon. They are presided over by the Bhairava Krodha and his consort Vaiṣṇavī. Śaśinī is the third of the Eight Mahāmātṛs, residing within the Mātṛcakra (third of the five cakras) and represents the moon.

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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Ṛtu (ऋतु).—A Sutapa god.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 14.

1b) An Amitābha god.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 16.

1c) Wife Samattī; with the sun in the hemanta*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 28. 31; 52. 16.

1d) One of the twenty Sutapa gaṇas.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 15.

1e) Six in number;1 due to the movements of the sun;2 representation of pitṛs and pitāmahas,3 sons of Brahmā;4 sons of Nimi;5 fathers of five ārtavas; considered as pitāmahas while ārtavas are pitṛs;6 duration of each, two months;7 three ṛtus make one ayana;8 their locale, māsa and ardhamāsa;9 are Agni;10 prayed to in śrāddha;11 sang and danced at the marriage of Umā;12 characteristics of.13

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 4; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 13. 4.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 3. 14; 23. 106; 31. 26; 62. 48; 66. 38; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 21. 126, 153; 24. 57.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 13. 8; 23. 76; 28. 16-17; III. 1. 59; 72. 30; Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 7.
  • 4) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 13. 12.
  • 5) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 13. 18.
  • 6) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 13. 18, 20, 23; Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 18, 24-25.
  • 7) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 13. 17.
  • 8) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 13. 114.
  • 9) Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 12.
  • 10) Matsya-purāṇa 141. 14 and 57.
  • 11) Matsya-purāṇa 16. 39.
  • 12) Matsya-purāṇa 154. 492.
  • 13) Matsya-purāṇa 229. 13-26.

2) Ritu (रितु).—One of the 20 Amitābha gaṇas.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 16.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Ṛtu (ऋतु) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.44.10) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Ṛtu) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: archive.org: Natya Shastra

Ṛtu (ऋतु).—Each season (ṛtu) should be Indicated by the sign, costume, activity or scenery which is proper to it or whatever is specially desired or avoided (lit. undesired) in it. These seasons according to the necessity should be indicated with proper Sentiments as being full of happiness for those who are happy, and full of distress for those who are afflicted.

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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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms

Ṛtu (ऋतु).—Season. Note: Ṛtu is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu

Ṛtu (ऋतु) refers to “seasons” in the traditional Indian calendar, as defined in the second chapter (dharaṇyādi-varga) of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu (an Ayurvedic encyclopedia). The physician (bhiṣaj) should pay attention to the seasonal (ṛtu) factor in the use of medicinal drugs.

Accordingly, there are five seasons (ṛtu) defined:

  1. Hemanta (Mārgaśirṣa and Pauṣa),
  2. Śiśira (Māgha and Phālguna),
  3. Vasanta (Caitra and Vaiśākha),
  4. Nidagha (Jyeṣṭha and Āṣāḍha),
  5. Śarada (Aśvin and Kārtika).

Accordingly, “the bulbous roots in winter season (hemanta), other roots in cold season (śiśira) and flowers during spring season (vasanta) are supposed to contain better properties. The new leaves or shoots in summer (nidagha) and the drugs, which grow in mud, like Lotus etc., should be used in autumn season (śarada)”.

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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Arcana-dipika - 3rd Edition

Ṛtu (ऋतु) refers to “season”.—According to the Vedic calendar, there are six different seasons, which correspond to the twelve months of the year. For precise dates please refer to a Vedic calendar.

  1. Vasanta, or spring (Phālguna to Vaiśākha—mid March to mid May);
  2. Grīṣma, or summer (Vaiśākha to Āṣāḍha—mid May to mid July);
  3. Varṣa, or rainy season (Āṣāḍha to Bhādrapadā—mid July to mid September );
  4. Śarada, or autumn (Bhādrapadā to Kārtika—mid September to mid November);
  5. Hemanta, winter, before the frost (Kārtika to Pauṣa—mid November to mid January);
  6. Śiśa, or winter (Pauṣa to Phālguna—mid January to mid March).

In accordance with the season, one would utter, for example, varṣa-ṛtau.

Vaishnavism book cover
context information

Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Ṛtu.—(EI 7-1-2), ‘six’. Note: ṛtu is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

ṛtu (ऋतु).—m (S) A season, a period of two months. The Hindu year is divided into six such; viz. vasanta, grīṣma, varṣā, śarat, hēmanta, śiśira. 2 The menstrual flux. 3 fig. The periodical conception or bringing forth of female animals: also the flowering and bearing of trees and plants.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

ṛtu (ऋतु).—m A season. The menstrual flux.

context information

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 dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ṛtu (ऋतु).—[ṛ-tu-kicca Uṇ1.71]

1) A season, period of the year, commonly reckoned to be six; शिशिरश्च वसन्तश्च ग्रीष्मो वर्षाः शरद्धिमः (śiśiraśca vasantaśca grīṣmo varṣāḥ śaraddhimaḥ); sometimes only five; शिशिर (śiśira) and हिम (hima) or हेमन्त (hemanta) being counted together; cf. पञ्चर्तवो हेमन्तशिशिरयोः समासेन (pañcartavo hemantaśiśirayoḥ samāsena) Ait. Br. वसन्तश्चैत्रवैशाखौ ज्येष्ठाषाढौ च ग्रीष्मकौ । वर्षा श्रावणभाद्राभ्यां शरदश्विनकार्तिकौ ॥ मार्गपौषौ च हेमन्तः शिशिरो माघफाल्गुनौ ॥ गोरक्षसंहिता (vasantaścaitravaiśākhau jyeṣṭhāṣāḍhau ca grīṣmakau | varṣā śrāvaṇabhādrābhyāṃ śaradaśvinakārtikau || mārgapauṣau ca hemantaḥ śiśiro māghaphālgunau || gorakṣasaṃhitā).

2) An epoch, a period, any fixed or appointed time.

3) Menstruation, courses, menstrual discharge.

4) A period favourable for conception; वरमृतुषु नैवाभिगमनम् (varamṛtuṣu naivābhigamanam) Pt.1; ऋतुः स्वाभाविकः स्त्रीणां रात्रयः षोडश स्मृताः (ṛtuḥ svābhāvikaḥ strīṇāṃ rātrayaḥ ṣoḍaśa smṛtāḥ) Ms.3.46,9.7; Y.1.11,79.

5) Any fit season or right time.

6) Fixed order or rule; द्वा यन्तारा भवतस्तथ ऋतुः (dvā yantārā bhavatastatha ṛtuḥ) Rv.1.162.19.

7) Light, splendour.

8) A month.

9) Name of Viṣṇu.

1) A symbolical expression for the number 'six'.

11) A kind of collyrium.

Derivable forms: ṛtuḥ (ऋतुः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Ritu (रितु).—(MIndic = Sanskrit ṛtu; compare AMg. riu), season: Gaṇḍavyūha 408.1 (verse; after vowel).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Ṛtu (ऋतु).—m.

(-tuḥ) 1. A season, (the Hindu year is divided into six seasons, each consisting of two months.) 2. The menstrual evacuation. 3. The time favourable for procreation, or sixteen days in each month. 4. A month. 5. A kind of collyrium. 6. Light. E. to go, tu Unadi aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Ṛtu (ऋतु).—[ṛ + tu], m. 1. Order (ved.). 2. Right time, Chr. 288, 3 = [Rigveda.] i. 49, 3. 3. A season (of the year), [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 3, 217. 4. The menstrual discharge, Mahābhārata 14, 2739. 5. The season approved for sexual intercourse, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 3, 46, sqq.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Ṛtu (ऋतु).—[masculine] right or fixed time, period, epoch, season (mostly reckoned as 6, but also 5, 7, 12, & 24); the menses of a woman & coition at that time; fixed order, rule.

ṛtunā & ṛtubhis in time, at the appointed time, [especially] for sacrifice or a festival: pura ṛtos before the (right) time, too early.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Ṛtu (ऋतु):—[from ] m. ([Uṇādi-sūtra i, 72]) any settled point of time, fixed time, time appointed for any action ([especially] for sacrifices and other regular worship), right or fit time, [Ṛg-veda; Atharva-veda; Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā]

2) [v.s. ...] an epoch, period ([especially] a division or part of the year), season (the number of the divisions of the year is in ancient times, three, five, six, seven, twelve, thirteen, and twenty-four; in later time six seasons are enumerated, viz. Vasanta, ‘spring’; Grīṣma, ‘the hot season’; Varṣās (f. [plural] [nominative case]), ‘the rainy season’ Śarad, ‘autumn’; Hemanta, ‘winter’; and Śiśira, ‘the cool season’; the seasons are not unfrequently personified, addressed in Mantras, and worshipped by libations), [Ṛg-veda; Atharva-veda; Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā] etc., [Mahābhārata; Manu-smṛti] etc.

3) [v.s. ...] symbolical expression for the number six, [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā; Sūryasiddhānta] etc.

4) [v.s. ...] the menstrual discharge (in women), the time after the courses (favourable for procreation; according to, [Bhāvaprakāśa] sixteen days after their appearance), [Suśruta; Mahābhārata; Manu-smṛti] etc.

5) [v.s. ...] sexual union at the above time, [Manu-smṛti ix, 93; Mahābhārata]

6) [v.s. ...] fixed order, order, rule ([Boehtlingk & Roth’s Sanskrit-Woerterbuch]), [Ṛg-veda i, 162, 19]

7) [v.s. ...] light, splendour, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

8) [v.s. ...] a particular mineral, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

9) [v.s. ...] Name of a Ṛṣi

10) [v.s. ...] of the twelfth Manu.

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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