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The Four Stages of Life as a Hindu
Religion and Theology
Pages 6 (1506 words)
(Name) (Professor) (Subject) (Date) The Four Stages of Life as a Hindu Hinduism, the oldest religion in the world, recognizes the four “ashramas” or stages of life – Brahmacharya or the student stage, Grihastha or the householder stage, Vanprastha or the retirement stage, and Sanyasa or the ascetic stage.
Overall, the first three stages aim for an appreciation of life, while the fourth one is centered upon the rejection of life and the attainment of wisdom. During the first three stages of Hindu life, one is expected to observe the “dharma” or the laws of morality and the “sistacara” or the ideal social culture (Jhingran 77). Only Hindu males, however, are expected to undergo the four stages (76). Overall, the first three stages only include men and not women. Nevertheless, wives may participate with their husbands’ role beginning with the second stage. (“The Four Stages”) The first stage is the student stage, or Brahmacharya, where a Hindu male is expected to live and study with a guru or teacher for several years (“The Four Stages”). Normally, a high caste Hindu male undergoes the student stage from the age of 8 to 12 years old up to about 18 to 24 years old (“Hinduism”). This is the stage where the student serves the guru and shows respect to his teacher, as well as develop the habits, skills and practical knowledge he needs for the succeeding stages (“Hinduism”). Moreover, it is during this stage that the student begins studying the Vedas, or the sacred Hindu texts. ...
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