Definitions

final stage

Ashrama (stage)

Ashrama redirects here. See Ashram for the Hindu hermitages.
An Ashrama (āśrama) in Hinduism is one of four stages in an age-based social system as laid out in the Manu Smrti and later Classical Sanskrit texts.

The Ashrama system

Under the Ashram system, the average human life was regarded as one hundred years, consisting of four periods of twenty-five years each. The goal of each period was the ideal fulfillment of four consecutive life stages.

The Ashram system
Ashram or stage Age Description
Brahmacharya
(student life)
0-24 The child typically would live with a Guru (spiritual teacher), acquiring knowledge, practicing self-discipline and celibacy, learning to live a life of dharma (right action), and practicing meditation.
Grihastha
(household life)
25-49 The ideal householder life is spent in selflessly carrying out one's duties to family and society, serving the saints, and gainful labor.
Vanaprastha
(retired life)
50-74 After the completion of one's householder duties, one gradually withdraws from the world, freely shares wisdom with others, and prepares for the complete renunciation of the final stage.
Sannyasa
(renounced life)
75-100 Completely withdrawing from the world, this is a time of complete dedication to spiritual pursuits, the seeking of moksha (spiritual freedom), and practicing meditation.

The Ashram system is believed by the Hindus to lead to a fulfillment of the four aims of life, namely Dharma (righteousness), Artha (wealth), Kama (desires, passions, emotions, drives, incentives) and Moksha (liberation).

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[[Category:Sanskrit words and phrases]

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