Photo: B. ROSSI

In traditional societies, humans do not merely observe the cycle of seasons, equinoxes, solstices; they participate in, and recreate the pulse of rhythm in their daily life. Each season is welcome with celebrations and festivities, songs, dances and myriad creative expressions. The coming of the seasons is something more than a phenomenon given in nature. It assumes the form of convergence of ritual acts, spiritual events, symbolic gestures and creative expressions. If adhered to correctly, the mere participation in them brings the individual into harmony with the annual rhythm of nature. The integral vision is based on the paradigm that humans in order to be complete must be recapitulate in their early cycles, the larger cosmic flows.

The concept on Rta originates in the Rigveda (10.85;4.23, 9-12;10.190). In the Vedic vision the universe is not conceived as a haphazard mass of elements and events, but is ordered whole, in which each part in heres the whole and the whole is balanced by its parts. The ordering principle of nature, the inflexible law of harmony, the universal cosmic flow which gives to everything from the vast galaxies, down to the nucleus of an atom, their nature and course, is Rta. Rta then, is observable everywhere. Rta governs the movement of the heavenly bodies, Rta commands the shift and play of the seasons, Rutu; and it is Rta which guides the repeated round of birth, growth and decay of all life-forms. Rta lives in each human being as the pulsation of the heart-beat and the innumerable rhythms that balance life.

Interestingly, India has six seasons :Vasant (Spring), Grishma (Summer), Varsha (The Rains), Sharad (Autumn), Hemant (Early Winter), and Shishir (Late Winter).



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