The 4 stages of life in Hinduism is known as ashramas. These are
The very first stage of Hindu child is the student life. This is called brahmacharya ashrama. At this stage student should pay attention on education and service to the guru. Student also practices celibacy (non-married life). Guru teaches student a life of dharma and explains the 4 goals of life.
During this ashrama student learn the first portion of veda- samhitas and mantras etc.
After finishing this studies. Now he can enter the next stage that is life of a householder called grihasthashrama. This is the stage where the person can marry and have Children.
At this stage the person move to the second two goals of life that is Artha and Kama. Artha is desire for money and Kama means desire pleasure. At this stage these two goals will be important for him.
At this stages the person practices the second portion of vedas contains rituals which is useful in grihasthashrama stage of life.
This stage is a life of retirement . When a man handover his household responsibilities to his children and start to give more attention to spiritual journey and practices. In general words he spends more time in trying to get moksha/self-realisation.
At this stage, person practices the third portion of vedas known as aranyaka which is a preparation for sannyasa.
This is the last stage of life where the person give up on materialistic life. And start to live a simple life and enter an ashrama (spiritual retreat) or even become a monk or sannyasi . During this stage person Learn the last portion of vedas that is upanishads which is useful at this stage . At this time the whole concentration is with the last goal of human life that is moksha/liberation.
As we can see every stages of life have different goals of life even though we must understand that dharma is something which common in all the stages of life.
Only by following the strict code of dharma , human being expect to attain the fourth goal of life which is moksha – the goal of all human life.
The 4 stages of life in Hinduism is known as ashramas. – Brahmacharyashrama , grihasthashramas, vanaprasthanashrama, Sannyasashrama.
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