WHAT ARE THE FOUR ASHRAMS, PURUSHARTHA & FIVE YAGNAS IN HINDUISM PHILOSOPHY?ARE WE FOLLOWING T
THE FOUR ASHRAMS;-
In Vedic times, the normal human life was regarded as eighty-four years, consisting of four sections of twenty-one years each.The four sections are;-
The first twenty-one years is called the "Brahmacharya ashram", the stage of youth or learning, which requires a certain discipline, guidance and purity for its full flowering.The seed of dharma is sown;so that a plant & a tree can develop in future.Self realization guides & saves to be entrapped(trap of ignorance).
2-GRIHASTHA ASHRAM(Householder phase);-
The second twenty-one years, from ages twenty-one to forty-two, is called the "Grihastha ashram" or householder phase. This is the main time for having children and raising a family, as well as for working and fulfilling our duties to society.
3-VANAPRASTHA ASHRAM(Hermitage phase);-
The third section of twenty-one years, from ages forty-two to sixty-three is the "Vanaprastha" or the hermitage phase. This is a time for return to contemplation and for guiding society .
4-SANNYASA ASHRAM(Renunciation phase);-
The fourth and last section from sixty-three to eighty-four is the "Sannyasa" or renunciation phase. The person, now an elder full of wisdom, inwardly aims to renounce all the outer goals of life. He also becomes a teacher of the spiritual knowledge and no longer partakes in social or political concerns. In this we see that only twenty-one years are allotted for the outer duties of life. Three-quarters of life is to be devoted primarily to spiritual study, Asrama and Purushartha.
WHAT ARE THE FOUR GOALS/PURUSHARTHA OF LIFE ?--- The Ashramas system is one facet of the complex Dharma concept in Hinduism. It is integrated with the concept of Purushartha, or four proper aims of life in Hindu philosophy, namely,
1-Dharma- (piety, morality, duties),
2-Artha -(wealth, health, means of life),
3-Kama- (love, relationships, emotions)
4-Moksha-(liberation, freedom, self-realization).
CONNECTION BETWEEN ASHRAM & PURUSHARTHA ?---
1-Each of the four Ashramas of life are a form of personal and social environment, each stage with ethical guidelines, duties and responsibilities, for the individual and for the society.
2-Each Ashrama stage places different levels of emphasis on the four proper goals of life, with different stages viewed as steps to the attainment of the ideal in Hindu philosophy, namely Moksha.
3-Neither ancient nor medieval texts of India state that any of the first three Ashramas must devote itself solely to a specific goal of life (Purushartha).
4-The fourth stage of Sannyasa is different, and the overwhelming consensus in ancient and medieval texts is that Sannyasa stage of life must entirely be devoted to Moksha aided by Dharma.
5-Dharma is held primary for all stages. Moksha is the ultimate noble goal, recommended for everyone, to be sought at any stage of life.
WHAT ARE THE FIVE YAGNAS?---
Right action with the right attitude is Karma Yoga.Actions can be selfless (satva), selfish (rajas) or harmful (tamas). We have to totally avoid actions that will harm others and ourselves. We have to reduce selfish actions to minimum. We have to increase selfless actions to maximum.We are
indebted to others in different ways. We should pay back the debts (runa). Paying back the debts is called yagna. These are classified into five categories;-
1. DEVA RUNA (Debt to nature) :-
We are indebted to air, water, fire, sun, etc. We should conserve them and not pollute them. We should work for their regeneration and sustainance.
2-BHOOTA RUNA (Debt to plants and animals);-
We are indebted to plants and animals for all the things that they provide like food, clothes, materials, labor, etc. They should be treated with kindness. They should be developed.
3.MANUSHYA RUNA (Debt to human beings) :-
We are indebted to various people who help us like farmers, tailors, masons, drivers, etc. We should treat everyone with kindness. We should serve the underprivileged by donations, service, etc.
4.PITRU RUNA ( Debt to ancestors) :-
We are indebted to our parents, grandparents, etc for the biological inheritance. We should take care of our parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, etc. We should help destitute people, orphans, etc.
5.RISHI RUNA ( Debt to teachers) :-
We are indebted to teachers, scientists, artists, etc for the scientific, technological and cultural inheritance. We should respect and support our teachers and other people and institutions of knowledge and culture. We should learn, develop and spread knowledge and culture.
WHAT ARE THE BASICS OF HINDUISM?-
1-We should give donation with humility to people who cannot pay us back at the right place and time when it is most useful to them without seeking any returns or fame. This is called charity (daana).
2-We should lead a disciplined life. This is called austerity (tapas). Austerity is of the body, speech and mind. Showing respect to God, elders, cultured people and wise people, cleanliness, orderliness, celibacy, non-violence are bodily austerity. Talking softly, speaking only that is truthful, pleasant and useful, studying and discussing religion and philosophy are verbal austerity. Gratitude, cheerfulness, calmness, control of mind and purity of intention are mental austerity.
3-As it is God who has put us in the situation that we are in, doing what is required in the current circumstance is our prime duty (swadharma). It is wrong to evade or refuse to do what is required and appropriate in any situation in life. Doing our own duty is a worship of God.
4-Right Attitude;---The objective of action is to develop detachment eventually. The goal should never be forgotten. The principles of the doctrine of Karma should be well understood. The person should be convinced of the doctrine. Whatever is done should be done as an offering to God (ishwara arpana buddhi). There should not be any shortcomings in whatever is done.
5-Everything should be done with full enthusiasm and perfection. After the action, there should not be any anxiety about the results. The person should be believe in the fairness of God. Whatever results that come should be accepted as a gift from God (prasaada buddhi).
6-There should not be any complaint or grudge about the results. The person should understand and accept that God is fair and this is what he deserves for the action that he has done now and in the past.
7-But more action in the right direction, better results can be got if so desired.Long term inner development should be given more importance than short term external results.Hinduism thus provides a lot of scope for good action. It also encourages everyone to do their duties without longing for the results. This way the person will naturally develop inner detachment from the world.
Are we ...According to our age...GUIDED WITH THIS PHILOSOPHY ?