Sunday, 18 September 2016

Ashrama vyavastha continued

HARIH  OM 
Ashrama  vyavastha  -continued 
                     We  have  seen  the  brahmacharya  ashrama  in the  last  page.  We  shall  see  the  other  three  ashramas  today. . Grihastha  ashrama  is  the  stage  of  a  householder's  life   and  family  life  is  relevant  even  now. . Family  life  is  sanctified  through  a  religious  ceremony   and  it is  a  sacred  bond  that  keeps  a  man  and  his  wife  together  for  life. . Certain  values  like  patience,  tolerance  , forgiveness  ,  trust,  charity  ,  all  these  can  be  attained  only  through  living  in a  family.  It  becomes  the  duty  of  a  householder  to  take  care  of  and  extend  support  to  the  others  in the  other  three  ashramas. 

                 Vanaprastha  ashrama  is  the  third  in the  ashrama  scheme  . It  becomes  a  training  period  for  a  householder  to  slowly  reduce  his  involvement  in  his  family  matters   and  to  gradually  withdraw  from  his  duties  to  lead  life  of  enquiry  into  the  scriptural  truths. . At  this  stage  in  life  , a  person  finds  himself  physically  weak   but  his  desires  do  not  seem  to  reduce  at  all  as  Adi Sankara  says  in  the  Bhaja  Govindam. . The  mind  must  be  trained  to  withdraw  itself  into  seclusion   and  to  turn  within  towards  knowing  one's  Self. . This  ashrama  helps  a  person  to  prepare  himself  for  total  renunciation. 

                    Sannyasa  ashrama  is  the  fourth  and  final  stage  , wherein a  person  renounces  everything  ,  primarily    one's  ego   and  ignorance  of  the  Self. . It  may  not  be  possible  for  everyone  to  take to  the  ochre  clothes  but  one  must  develop  detachment  from  everything  even  while  being  in the  family. Sannyasa  in a  ritualistic  form  is  called  ashrama  sannyasa  ,in which  he  physically  renounces  everything. . In  the  modern  times  ,we  find  both  parents  pursue  their  career  goals  and  hence  they  expect  the  grandparents  to  take  care  of  their  grandchildren. . In  such  a  scenario  ,  the  aged  may  not  have  the  time  or  inclination  to  live  a  life  of  withdrawal. . They  should  ,inspite  of  their  new  responsibilities  ,  should  withdraw  now  and  then  from  family  and  find  time  to  study Vedantic  literature    under  a  Guru  ,so  that  their  minds  get  attuned  to  the  Higher. 

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