|An article related to|
- Ashrama redirects here. See Ashram (disambiguation) for other uses.
The Ashram system
Under the Ashram system, the average human life was regarded as one hundred and eight years, consisting of four periods of twenty-seven years each. The goal of each period was the ideal fulfillment of each of the four consecutive stages of life.
|Ashram or stage||Age||Description||Rituals of transition|
|8-18||The male child would live with his family till he was at the age of 5. He would then be sent to a Gurukul (house of the guru) and typically would live with a Guru (teacher), acquiring knowledge of science, philosophy, scriptures and logic, practicing self-discipline and evangelicalism, learning to live a life of dharma (righteousness).||Upanayana at entry.|
|18-40||The ideal householder life is spent in enjoying family life, carrying out one's duties to family and society, and gainful labor. The man in this ashram has to shoulder responsibilities of the other three ashrams.||Samavartana at entry. Other rituals of Hindu marriage later.|
|40-65||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.|
|65- Demise||One completely withdraws from the world and starts dedicating to spiritual pursuits, the seeking of moksha (freedom from the cycle of rebirth), and practicing meditation to that end.|
stages of life
(aims of life)
|Saisava||0–2 years||No moral codes during this period|
|Balya||3–12 years||Brahmacharya||Dharma||Vidyarambha, Learning of alphabets, arithmetic, basic education according to varna|
(13 - 19)
|Kaishora||13–15 years||Brahmacharya||Dharma and Moksha|
|Tarunya||16–19 years||Brahmacharya||Dharma and Moksha|
(20 - 59)
|20–29 years||Brahmacharya or Grihastha||Dharma, Artha and Moksha|
|30–59 years||Grihastha||Dharma, Artha and Kama and Moksha|
|60–79 years||Vanaprastha||Dharma and Moksha|
|80+ years||Sanyasa||Dharma and Moksha|
- Chakkarath, p. 39.
- Rama, p. 467.
- Kriyananda, p. 154.
- Ashrama, Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
- Friedlmeier, Chakkarath, Schwarz (2005), Culture And Human Development, Psychology Press, ISBN 1-84169-568-8
- Kriyananda, Swami (1998), The Hindu Way of Awakening, Crystal Clarity Publishers, ISBN 1-56589-745-5
- Rama, Swami (1985), Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita, Himalayan Institute Press, ISBN 0-89389-090-1