Research Paper
Religion and Theology
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Hinduism: Four Stages Life Introduction Hinduism has often been considered as a predominant and indigenous religion in Indian subcontinent that keeps its multifaceted characteristics through various principles. Hinduism is formed and developed through a group of principles or practices, known as ‘Sanatan Dharma’ which means the eternal religion or eternal law.


Walter Hazen clearly observes that “Hindus believe that life is concerned with a series of duties” (Hazen, 2003, p.8). Therefore, Hinduism offers four stages of life based on karma which enhances self realization or ‘Moksha.’ These duties or karma always require every Hindu to be honest, virtuous and good worker in his or her life time. As per the principles or practices in Hinduism, life is believed to encompass four different stages. These four stages known as ‘ashrams’ and the followers of Hinduism strictly believe that every human being should ideally pass through these four stages. The first Ashram is called ‘Bramacharya’ which is the prime stage in every person’s life, especially from birth to youth. The second ‘ashrama’ or stage is known as ‘Grihasta’ or the status of a householder. ‘Vanaprastha’ or the forest retirement stage is the third one and in this stage a man ends his life as a house holder. He refuses all physical, sexual, and material pleasures. At this juncture he retires from social and professional life and he leaves his home (Das, 2012). The final stage is ‘Sannyasa’ which offers the role of a forest dweller and this fourth stage changes a man to a devotee of God. ...
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