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Rta: The Cosmic Order

Madhu Khanna (Editor)

In the Rg Veda there is a remarkable insight on the notion of Rta or Cosmic Order, the inflexible law of universal order and harmony whereby all disorders and chaos is restored to equilibrium. Rta is, in essence, the ordering principle of nature, which gives to everything from the vast galaxies, down to the nucleus of an atom, their nature and course. In the Vedic vision, this law of cosmic order is conceived to be manifesting at three levels: on the cosmic plane Rta governs the course of nature; on the socio-ethical level, Rta imparts justice; and on the religio-spiritual level, Rta mirrored the ritual performances of the sacrificial ritual (yajna). Rta contributes to the maintenance of balance between the micro and macro levels of existence.

The articles, presentations at a seminar, traces the genesis of the concept of dharma in rta and relate other aspects of socio-cultural-religious life like food and eating customs, cultural communication and religious narratives to the construction of order and its underlying vision. They importantly examine the elements and relationships that create the cognition of order in temporal and spatial expressions of the arts.

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About the author

Madhu Khanna

Dr. Madhu Khanna, project scholar of the Crossing Project, earned her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Wolfson College, Oxford University in 1986 with a specialization in Hindu Shakta Tantra. She has to her credit two popular publications: Yantra: the Tantric Symbol of Cosmic Unity and the Tantric Way (co-author), both published by Thames and Hudson, London with American, French, German and Danish editions. Her seminal work, The Sricakra of the Cult of Goddess Tripursundari, based on Sanskrit Manuscript sources is forthcoming. She has researched the major interdisciplinary-cross-cultural exhibitions organized by the IGNCA and edited the exhibition Catalogue of fundamental categories of civilization (on the theme of Prakriti, Rita-ritu, and Man and Mask). She was awarded the Homi Bhabha Fellowship in 1991 to work on her project, :Indian Goddess and Feminist Consciousness”. She is the President and founder member of the Tantra Foundation, New Delhi. Art present, she is an Associate Professor with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.

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Bibliographic information

Title Rta: The Cosmic Order
Author Madhu Khanna
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2004
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 8124602522
length 336p., Colour Illustrations 22; B/W Figures 34; 11.4" X 8.7"