enter the next phase called grihasta ashrama"
Part - 1
While the first ashrama dealt with the learning phase of your life, the second phase follows close on heels, with its unique characteristics, such as finding ways to make a living in this world. As a student learning within the secured walls of the school, now the student has completed his studies and contemplates on career, profession, marriage and importantly a family.
Disciple : But why do you call it as applied living ?
Master : Because the student now applies his
knowledge learnt in his school as a brahmachari !
Disciple : Does it mean he did not live a life before?
Master : He did. But not independently, but with
the support of his parents and the guru at the school !
Entering girhastashrama is to find ones own independent ways, mostly in consultation with elders, to make a living in this wide and wild world. Earlier on as a brahmachari, he lived a life without the worry about food and clothes as he was protected by his parents and other guardians. But now as he grew up and crossed the first 20 years, its time he would test his own skills at making a living and support his parents and others in turn.
Disciple : What is the age group meant for this phase ?
Master : Technically speaking, from 20 to 40 is the period !
Disciple : But these days students study well in to their 20's too ?
Master : True, they have more history and more information to study !
The reason why the age group for the various phases cannot be fixed is because of this reason. It may change from time to time. That's why it is more appropriate, when seen from a subtler perspective of living through the phases within a span of the day. Besides, you cant expect one to live for 80 years to complete all the phases in a natural manner.
Disciple : I understand that the phases divided within 80 years
can be just figurative understanding and cant be always real ?
Master : Well said. Because it appears that one has to always
wait for 80 years to complete all the phases successfully !
The grihasta ashrama begins right from the time you plan about your future life. Whenever you get busy about planning your life, you are passing through the phase of the applied living. Technically it is also called as the phase of the house holder. Its because, you plan to settle down in the form of getting a job, marriage and family and find a home to live your life applying the various things you learnt in life.
Disciple : But which are the times
one becomes a grihasta in daily life?
Master : Whenever you step out of
your house to go to work, to earn money,
whenever you felt the need for a man or
woman in your life, a home to live and
children to parent and protect, and
secure your life for all of your future,
then you are entering into the
grihasta phase of your life !
Within a day, when you remembered about your house tax to be paid, electricity bill to be cleared, the pending visit to the bank about your loans and account, the school fees of the children to be paid, thoughts about work, office, boss, colleagues, buying properties, house rent, change of job, promotion, increment, going through old pay slips, entering int o some business, or expanding the existing business, counting money in the locker, shopping, cooking, are some of the many many occasions when you display distinct quality of a grihasta.
Disciple : I seem to do all of that all the time ?
Master : That's OK. Its not wrong, just that
at this point of time you are predominantly
expressing as a grihasta !
Disciple : To be a grihasta is to be less evolved ?
Master : There is no less or more, when it comes
to this varna ashramas. They are all same !