Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages

Popular Article

Four stages of life in hinduism - The Hindu FAQS

There are 4 Stages of Life in Hinduism. These are called “ashramas” and every man should ideally go through each of these stages:

1. Brahmacharya – Bachelor, student phase of life
2. Grihastha – Married life phase and duties of maintaining a Household
3. Vanaprastha – Retirement phase and handing over responsibilities to next generation.
4. Sannyasa – Phasee of giving up material desires and prejudices. Wandering Ascetic Stage

Four stages of life in hinduism - The Hindu FAQS
Four stages of life in Hinduism – The Hindu FAQS

Brahmacharya – Student Phase:

This is a period of taking formal education from guru about art, warfare, science, philosophy, scriptures etc. Previously, the average lifespan was considered as 100 years so this phase is the first quarter or 25 years. At this phase, young young male leaves home to stay in gurukul with a guru and attain both spiritual and practical knowledge. During this period, he is called a Brahmachari and is prepared for his future profession.

Grihastha – The Married Family Man:

This stage is the second quarter of one’s life (25-50 years of age) begins when a man gets married, and undertakes the responsibility for earning a living raising kids and supporting his family. At this stage, Hinduism supports the pursuit of wealth (artha) as a necessity, and indulgence in sexual pleasure (kama), under certain defined social and cosmic norms. At this stage, the children of this man are in Brahmacharya phase.

Vanaprastha – Retirement stage:

This stage of a man begins when his duty as a householder comes to an end. This is a third phase of life (51-75 approximately). In this stage, the person handover the responsibilities to next generation. He has become a grandfather, his children are grown up, and have established lives of their own. At this age, he give up his wealth, security, sexual pleasures. At this time, the previous generation enters Grihasta phase.

He is allowed to take his wife along but is supposed to maintain little contact with the family. This kind of life is indeed very harsh and cruel for an aged person. No wonder, this third ashrama is now nearly obsolete.

Sanyasa – The Wandering Recluse:

At this stage, the man give up every material desires and detaches himself from all the material relationships. He supposed to be totally devoted to God. He is a sanyasi, he has no home, no other attachment; he has renounced all desires, fears, hopes, duties and responsibilities. He is virtually merged with God, all his worldly ties are broken, and his sole concern becomes attaining moksha or release from the circle of birth and death. At this stage, the previous generation is entering Vanaprastha stage where as the generation before them are entering Grihastha stage. And the cycle goes on.

1. “We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”

2. “He alone sees truly who sees the Lord the same in every creature…seeing the same Lord everywhere, he does not harm himself or others.”

3. “It is better to perform one’s own duties imperfectly than to master the duties of another. By fulfilling the obligations he is born with, a person never comes to grief.”

4. “No one should abandon duties because he sees defects in them. Every action, every activity, is surrounded by defects as a fire is surrounded by smoke.”

5. “Reshape yourself through the power of your will…
Those who have conquered themselves…live in peace, alike in cold and heat, pleasure and pain, praise and blame…To such people a clod of dirt, a stone, and gold are the same…Because they are impartial, they rise to great heights.”

6. “The awakened sages call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results.”

7. “It is better to strive in one’s own dharma than to succeed in the dharma of another. Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own dharma. But competition in another’s dharma breeds fear and insecurity.”

8. “The demonic do things they should avoid and avoid the things they should do… Hypocritical, proud, and arrogant, living in delusion and clinging to their deluded ideas, insatiable in their desires, they pursue unclean ends… Bound on all sides by scheming and anxiety, driven by anger and greed, they amass by any means they can a hoard of money for the satisfaction of their cravings… Self-important, obstinate, swept away by the pride of wealth, they ostentatiously perform sacrifices without any regard for their purpose. Egotistical, violent, arrogant, lustful, angry, envious of everyone, they abuse my presence within their own bodies and in the bodies of others.”

9. “Abandon all attachment to the results of action and attain supreme peace.”

10. “Those who eat too much or eat too little, who sleep too much or sleep too little, will not succeed in meditation. But those who are temperate in eating and sleeping, work and recreation, will come to the end of sorrow through meditation.”