Nature in Vedic Thought: Gods, the Earth, and Ṛta

Part of the Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures book series (SCPT, volume 12)


Continuing with the theme of sacred nature, this chapter traces sources of some of the ideas about nature and the human being from the Vedic tradition. The representation of “nature and human” in the Vedic period can be viewed from two perspectives. The representation, thought, and behaviour of the people during the Vedic period from an eco-sociological viewpoint differ from the eco-philosophical interpretation. The purpose of this chapter was to look beyond the two rather opposite viewpoints taken by previous research in this area to see whether it is possible to construct an ecological philosophy of Vedic period fairly, without bias. The term ṛta , an alternative conceptualisation of nature as “natural law”, and the interpretations of these concepts are also detailed in this chapter. I have also briefly suggested the ecological implications of such understandings.


Vedic nature Gods Goddesses Panentheism Earth Natural law Ṛta 


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© Springer India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Manipal Centre for Philosophy and HumanitiesManipal UniversityManipalIndia

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