From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Swami Harshananda
Anṛta literally means ‘the not-straight'.
The words ṛta, satya and anṛta are frequently used in the Vedic literature, the first two being often used synonymously. If ṛta stands for ‘what is straight,’ the Truth at its fundamental level, for the thing-in-itself, satya stands for the verbal expression of the same.
Anṛta means the opposite of ṛta or simply what is not ṛta is used mostly to indicate untruth, commonly called asatya. Speaking anṛta has always been considered as a great sin.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore