Rucha or Richa (Sanskrit Devanagari: ऋचा) (Hindi: Richa) refers to a shloka (couplet) or mantra, usually two to four sentences long, found in the Sanskrit religious scriptures, the Vedas. The etymological origin of rucha is the Sanskrit word, ruc (ऋच्), which means to praise. Rucha, is therefore, one ruc after the other. Other meanings of ruc are splendour, worship, a hymn. Rucha can also refer to a verbal composition of celestial sounds called "shrutis"; the Gayatri Mantra is a rucha as well. Rucha means "aphorism of Rig Veda".
In the Rig Veda, "richa" refers to individual verses (sometimes also called "mantras") which are collected into a "sukta" or hymn. The hymns or suktas were then combined into the 10 "mandalas" or books of the Rig Veda. For example, the famous Purusha sukta has 16 richas. It is the 90th sukta of the 10th mandala of the Rig Veda. The Rig Veda contains about 10,600 richas organized into 191 suktas. The other three Vedas use similar terminology.
To give an example of the approximate length of a richa, the first richa of the Purusha Sukta is:
sahasra shirsha purushah sahasrakshah sahasrapat sa bhumim vishvato vrtva atyatishthat dashangulam
Purusha is thousand-headed, thousand-eyed, and with a thousand feet. He contains the universe, and transcends it by ten digits.
See the Wikipedia entries for Rig Veda and the Purusha Sukta for more information.
The pronunciation of the given name 'Richa' varies based on the geography and native language of the speakers. Hindi speaking populace would pronounce the Sanskrit word as "richa" as opposed to Marathi or Kannada speaking populace. Both the 'ru' and 'ri' pronunciations of the given name are correct and are regional variants.
Richa is a popular given name among Hindu females. Some notable people named Richa as follows:
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