four stages

four stages

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  • 1st Ashrama: Student (Brahmacharya)
  • Marriage
  • 2nd Ashrama: Householder (Grihastha)
  • This is the 1st stage and is usually started after puberty. This stage consists of vigorous study of the Vedas and other sacred literature. This stage starts the foundation for religious knowledge. The 1st stages lasts until marriage.
  • Birth of First Grandchild
  • Once marriage occurs the 2nd stage begins.
  • 3rd Ashrama: Forest Dweller (Vanaprastha)
  • This is the 2nd stage and begins after marriage. Hindu marriages are usually arranged. The purpose of this stage is to pursue a career and start a family. Women can join their husbands in this stage.
  • 4th Ashrama: Sannyasin (Wandering Ascetic)
  • The birth of the first grandchild starts the beginning of the 3rd stage.
  • This is the 3rd stage. The forest dweller stage is when a Hindu man retreats from worldly bonds in order to engage fully in spiritual quest(can literally go live in the forest). His wife may join him in this stage. The purpose of this stage is to reflect on your spirituality.
  • This is the 4th stage. This stage starts when forest dwellers are ready to come back to society. They remain detached from normal attractions and distractions of social life. If a Hindu man's wife goes on to this stage they must live detached from each other. The purpose of this stage is to engage with the world but not be attracted to it
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