life is phased conveniently without
disturbing the fabric of his worldliness "
a s h r a m a
a s h r a m a
PHASE OF LIFE
Part - 1
Consciousness is undivided by itself. But every thing that envelops it seem to have defined divisions. Like the many seasons that return year after year, like the different age groups people classify their lives into, like the trees have many stages of springing, flowering and falling, like the animals having various seasons for various reasons, human life too has been phased well and compartmentalized.
The Vedic scriptures have a knack of dealing with lives of seekers in a more practical way. In fact vedas have elaborated every human aspect to such finest detail, that the magnitude of vedas had become bulky and enormous and appears very exhaustive today. Among its various proposals to humanity, vedas suggest to phase out one's life in such manner, that there is a organized way of living and seeking.
Disciple : You said vedas 'propose', why is that ?
Master : Yes, they dont dictate or declare or
even command but makes plain proposals !
Disciple : What happens if they command ?
Master : The commandments may not liberate
but can enslave. Commandments are for slaves !
However, vedas too emphasise the need to organize one's life, in order to make it a wholesome affair, especially when it comes to 'self realization' resonating with every day living. It has divided human life in to four stages such as brahmacharya ashrama (learning phase), grihasta ashrama (implementing phase), vanaprastha ashrama (withdrawal phase), sanyas ashrama (renunciation phase).
Disciple : Now this sounds too contradicting !
Master : How come ?
Disciple : You went on saying that realization
happens just in the moment, when someone
lived without any division. But this ashrama
concept sounds as if one has to divide all over again ?
Master : Precisely, you divide your life till that moment
of realization comes, then you divide no more !
Scriptures, religions, gurus play just their bit to organize the seeker's life, in order to get him to that moment of realization. The concept of ashramas in one's life is capable of giving certain discipline, as the seeker approaches truth without any unwanted hangups nagging him secretly. A proper and complete understanding of the dynamics of ashramas is a must before one start to follow them.
Disciple : What are the age groups alloted to each ashrama ?
Master : Roughly speaking every 20 years, the individual gets
promoted to the next ashrama, assuming that the average life span
of human being stands at 80. These days it could be less too !
Disciple : Which means I already missed out one ashrama ?
Master : You need not lose your heart, because the ashramas
are so flexible, that they function efficiently in multi dimesions !
Disciple : May I know how is that ?
Master : One need not wait for 80 years to complete
all the ashramas, but within the span of a day all the
ashramas can be effectively explored.