Grihasthya refers to the second phase of an individual's life in the Hindu ashram system. It is often called 'the householder's life' revolving as it does around the duties of maintaining a household and leading a family-centred life.
This word is used to denote the person who is currently in that phase of his life which is called 'Garhastha' according to the ancient Hindu system of life called Chaturashrama, prescribed in Manusmriti for the Dvija castes.
A person becomes a 'Grihastha' from the age of 25 and this Garhastha phase ends at the age of 49. Once a man becomes a Grihastha, he is expected to settle down, get married & produce children. The phase of "Grihastha" is preceded by the phase of Brahmacharya and followed by the phase of Vanaprastha.
The four purusarthas (human goals) of grihastha ashram are summarised as follows. Dharma (religious principles). Artha (economic development). Kama (sense gratification). Moksha (liberation). "The four principles of life allow one to live according to religious principles, to earn money according to one's position in society, to allow the senses to enjoy the sense objects according to regulations, and to progress along the path of liberation from this material attachment." (Srimad Bhagavatam 4. 22. 34 Bhaktivedanta Purport.)
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