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Four Stages of Life

Hinduism tells us the aims of life and also shows the practical way how to achieve those aims and to do this, Hinduism divides a person’s life in four stages or Ashrams: and every person should ideally go through each of these four stages:
·         The First Ashrama – “Brahmacharya” or the Student Stage
·         The Second Ashrama – “Grihastha” or the Householder Stage
·         The Third Ashrama – “Vanaprastha” or the Hermit Stage
·         The Fourth Ashrama – “Sannyasa” or the Wandering Ascetic Stage
Each stage or ashram has specific duties and expectation which must be attained at an appropriate age. In ancient India, a man was expected to live a hundred or so years and so each stage would be approximately 24-25 years.

1. Brahmacharya – The Celibate Student:


Brahmacharya is the stage of life being a student. In the traditional Indian system of study, a child, once he had become a Brahmachari, would live and learn from his guru all that was essential for him to become a productive and thinking human being.
(Now a days a boy has to also stay away from home for higher studies)

2. Grihastha – The Married Family Man:


In this stage the man has to perform his duties as a member of society and become a positive provider to his family, his community and his society at large. He must be usefully and ethically employed. He must earn wealth and use his service for the larger good.

3. Vanaprastha – The Hermit in Retreat:

This is stage of a man when his duty as a householder comes to an end. The Vanaprastha ashram is semi-retirement. At this age, he should give up all physical, material and sexual pleasures, retire from his social and professional life. Gradually letting go of the ties that bind him being the society elder who is willing to share the knowledge and wealth he has earned for the benefit of others. No wonder, this third ashrama in now a days nearly out of date.

4. Sannyasa – The Wandering Recluse:

The last stage, Sanyas, involves looking inwards and completely liberating oneself from all worldly appetites and desires. In this ashram, a man must prepare himself for the next journey out of his body and thus reject anything that constrains his release and liberation. In this stage, a man is supposed to be totally devoted to God. . He is virtually merged with God, all his worldly ties are broken, and his sole concern becomes attaining moksha, or release from the circle of birth and death. When he dies, the funeral ceremonies (Pretakarma) are performed by his son and heir.

What About Women?:

Traditionally, Woman’s role is of a dependent nature, they need the protection of a responsible male at every stage of life. Though these ashramas are principally considered for the male, females too have a vital role to play in each one of them. So women are not actually excluded because they are always supposed to have an active social and religious life at home.
Hinduism is not a religion; it is an attitude towards life and of achievement. Hindu practices show us the way to live a full and productive life as a physical, spiritual and emotional being.










Purpose of Life

It is never-ending debate that finding God is the purpose of life or purpose in life is to find happiness. I say that God is Happiness. He is pleasure. God is the Joy that never go away from your soul. So we should try to acquire that Happiness.  No one else other than you can give it to you; so you must continuously have to cultivate it in yourself or in your life.
In fact, we must be happy, because God has given us this wonderful world. But enjoyment is not the purpose of life. Souls are brought into this world, so as to make use of birth to liberate them from the unaware state they had been within.
A person born in this world must use the opportunity  to free himself from Samsara and achieve Moksha according Hinduism purpose of Life
Even if life gave you at one time everything you wanted — Health, wealth, power and friends — after a while you would again become dissatisfied and need something more. But there is one thing that can never become out of date to you its joy itself. Happiness that is delightfully varied, though its essence is changeless, is the inner experience everyone is seeking. Lasting, ever new joy is God. Finding this Joy within, you will find it in everything without. In God you will tap the Reservoir of perennial, unending bliss.
There is nothing wrong in looking for to be happy in life. There is nothing wrong in being cheerful and positive.
Secrets of Lasting Happiness
 
Happiness depends to some extent upon certain external conditions, but mainly upon your mental attitudes. If you don’t choose to be happy no one can make you happy. And if you choose to be happy, no one can make you unhappy. Do not hold responsible God for that!
 
If God has not given us freedom to use our own will, then we could blame the God. When we are unhappy, even God has given us that freedom. It is we who make our life what it is today.
Change your thought if you wish to change yourself. Since you are only responsible for your thoughts, and only you can change them. Therefore, start now to think only those thoughts, which will bring you health and happy family life.

Keep busy doing constructive things for your self-improvement and for the benefit of others, for whoever in the God’s kingdom must attempt to do good for others every day. If you follow this pattern, you will feel the mood-dispelling joy of knowing you are advancing, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Happiness lies in making others happy, in leaving self-interest to bring happiness to others.
Giving happiness to others is extremely important to have our own happiness, and a most satisfying experience.
Some people think only of their own family: “Us four and no more.” Others think only of self: “How am I going to be happy?” But these are the very persons who do not become happy!
When you came in this world, you cried and everyone else smiled.
So live your life in such way, when you leave this world, everyone else will cry, but you will be smiling.
The more you depend upon conditions outside yourself for happiness, the less happiness you will experience.
Every day, do some good things to help others, even if it is only a nothing. If you want to love God you have to love people. People are God’s children.

When you leave this world, objects resources will be left behind; but every good that you have done will go with you. Wealthy people who live in heartlessness, and people who never help others, do not attract wealth in their next life. But those who give and share love, whether it is a lot or little, will attract prosperity.                                

That is the law of God and meaning of life
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