Ritvik, Ṛtvik, Ṛtvij, Ritvij: 15 definitions


Ritvik means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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 terms Ṛtvik and Ṛtvij can be transliterated into English as Rtvik or Ritvik or Rtvij or Ritvij, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Ṛtvik (ऋत्विक्).—A Priest who officiates at a yāga. Those who perform yāgas like Agnisandhāna, Agniṣṭoma, Pākayaña etc. are called Ṛtviks. Manusmṛti, Chapter 2, Verse 143).

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Ṛtvik (ऋत्विक्) refers to the “priests participating in the Vedic sacrifices”, as mentioned in the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.27. Accordingly as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] once a great sacrifice was started by Dakṣa, [...] In that sacrifice that was being performed in that holy place of Kanakhala, Bhṛgu and other sages were made Ṛtviks by him (Dakṣa). [...] There were eighty-six thousand Ṛtviks in the performance of the sacrifice and sixty-four thousand Udgātṛs. The celestial sages Nārada and others acted as Adhvaryus and Hotṛs. They too were as many. The seven sages (jointly and) severally repeated the Sāman hymns”.

Note: The priests (Ṛtvijas) participating in the Vedic sacrifices are usually four in number. They are Hotṛ, Adhvaryu, Udgātṛ and Brahman corresponding to the four Vedas—Ṛg, Yajus, Sāman and Atharvan respectively. Each of the priests has three companions or helpers, the total no. is sixteen viz. Hotṛ—Maitrāvaruṇa, Acchāvāka, Grāvastut; Adhvaryu—Pratiprasthātṛ, Neṣṭṛ, Unnetṛ; Udgātṛ—Prastotṛ, Pratihartṛ, Subrahmaṇya and Brahman—Brāhmaṇācchaṃsin, Agnīdhra, Potṛ. See Āśvalāyana Śrauta Sūtra IV. 1.4-6.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Ṛtvik (ऋत्विक्).—The karma performed with a view to attain fruits; the performer has a round of births and deaths (śmaśāna); even sages were desirous of offspring in the dvāpara.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 50. 210-6.
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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Ṛtvik (ऋत्विक्) refers to “priest who performs a sacrifice on someone’s behalf”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Vaishnavism book cover
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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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

Ṛtvij (ऋत्विज्) refers to the “sacrificial priests”, according to the Mattavilāsaprahasana.—Accordingly, as the Kāpālika cries out: “My darling, look. This pub resembles the Vedic sacrificial ground. For its signpost resembles the sacrificial pillar; in this case alcohol is the Soma, drunkards (śauṇḍa) are the sacrificial priests (ṛtvij), the wine glasses are the special cups for drinking Soma, the roasted meat and other appetizers are the fire oblations, the drunken babblings are the sacrificial formulae, the songs are the Sāman-hymns, the pitchers are the sacrificial ladles, thirst is the fire and the owner of the pub is the patron of the sacrifice”

Shaivism book cover
context information

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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Yoga (school of philosophy)

Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Ṛtvik (ऋत्विक्) refers to the “officiants”, according to the Amanaska Yoga treatise dealing with meditation, absorption, yogic powers and liberation.—Accordingly, as Īśvara says to Vāmadeva: “Thought, intellect and ego are the officiants (ṛtvik); mind is the Soma-drinking sacrificer, and it sacrifices the senses and ten vital breaths into the orb of light. [This] orb of light shines from the root [of the palate] to the aperture [at the top of the head]. It is to be meditated on constantly by yogins [because] it bestows the eight supernatural powers such as minimisation”.

Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Ṛtvik (ऋत्विक्) is a Sanskrit word referring to one who acts on behalf of his preceptor.

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ṛtvij (ऋत्विज्).—a. Ved. Sacrificing at the proper season or regularly; -m. A priest who officiates at a sacrifice; यज्ञस्य देवमृत्विजम् (yajñasya devamṛtvijam) Ṛgveda 1.1.1; ऋत्विग्यज्ञकृदुच्यते (ṛtvigyajñakṛducyate) Y.1.35; cf. Manusmṛti 2.143 also; the four chief Ṛitvijas are होतृ, उद्गातृ, अध्वर्यु (hotṛ, udgātṛ, adhvaryu) and ब्रह्मन् (brahman); at grand ceremonies 16 are enumerated.

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

Ṛtvij (ऋत्विज्).—m. (-tvik) 1. A domestic chaplain, a family priest. E. ṛtu a season, yaj to worship, affix kvin, deriv. irr.

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

Ṛtvij (ऋत्विज्).—i. e. ṛtu-yaj, m. A priest, who receives a stipend for preparing the holy fire and conducting sacrifices, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 2, 143.

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

Ṛtvik (ऋत्विक्):—[=ṛtv-ik] [from ṛtu > ṛ] (in [compound] for ṛtvij below)

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

1) Ṛtvij (ऋत्विज्):—[=ṛtv-ij] [from ṛtu > ṛ] a mfn. ([from] √yaj), sacrificing at the proper time, sacrificing regularly

2) [v.s. ...] m. (k) a priest (usually four are enumerated, viz. Hotṛ, Adhvaryu, Brahman, and Udgātṛ; each of them has three companions or helpers, so that the total number is sixteen, viz. hotṛ, Maitrāvaruṇa, Acchāvāka, Grāva-stut; adhvaryu, Prati-prasthātṛ, Neṣṭṛ, Un-netṛ; brahman, Brāhmaṇācchaṃsin, Agnīdhra, Potṛ; udgātṛ, Prastotṛ, Pratihartṛ, Subrahmaṇya, [Āśvalāyana-śrauta-sūtra iv, 1, 4-6]), [Ṛg-veda; Atharva-veda; Taittirīya-saṃhitā; Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa; Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra etc.]

3) [=ṛtv-ij] b See p. 224, col. 2.

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

Ṛtvij (ऋत्विज्):—(k) 1. m. A domestic priest.

[Sanskrit to German]

Ritvik in German

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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