This post is dedicated to my blogger friend @keithakenny 😊 as in my previous post he replied and brought something which reminded me of something from my bramhacharya days!
According to the ancient Hindu scriptures a person’s life is categorized into four stages, first Bramhacharya, second Grihastha, third Vanaprastha and fourth Sanyas. Life revolves around these four stages.
Bramhacharya provided guidelines for childhood and adolescent stage and certain basic values to follow during that time such as to train the children, to exercise control over the sense organs, that I remember is indriyas the root cause of all undesirable behavior so one needs to control that. In school our teacher was teaching about this when I challenged myself to control indriyas (sense organs) and I practiced it all during my childhood and adolescent stage without telling anyone. It was something that I wanted to see if I can and when I was able to control it was actually a big relief and sense of freedom, though it’s a form of discipline which anyway was part of my life while I was growing up in National Defense Academy, in Pune, Maharashtra India.
“Like a muscle, the more you exercise self-control on a consistent basis, the stronger you get.”
The second Grihastha stage is where I am right now where I am enjoying the married life, I have kids and I work and earn to make life prosper and ultimately that helps to progress the society.
“Most important thing in the world is family and love.” ~ John Wooden
The third Vanaprastha stage is something that we all look forward, for me yet to reach there. Because this stage one reaches after fulfilling all the duties of the family life, which is bringing up a family to rearing children and them preparing them to face the world and take the responsibility of a family life as if you’re giving the baton to the next generation to continue and this also teaches about the change aspect that it comes with time.
“Retirement is not the end of the road. It is the beginning of the open highway.”
Thus the gateway to the final stage is Sanyasa the fourth stage which can lead to nirvana or liberation after living a full life.
What I like about it is that it puts one into discipline such that you were prepared by your parents and now you’re preparing the future generation to play their part in this world. The modern living is that people don’t realize the importance of Vanaprastha which is to retire gracefully. When to pave way for the next generation is a difficult question to answer in the modern times where people don’t want to give up, whether it’s the power or money.
Vanaprastha provides useful guidelines for peaceful departure from this world where I often say we come here with a limited time and with a specific purpose. It’s ones duty to pass on the baton to the future generation without any attachment to one’s own position. I am sure we see this a lot in this Silicon Valley – how one CEO steps down and the next takes over but often it’s not the future generation.
That’s why when we talk about preserving this planet -we have not inherited but borrowed this from the future generation and hence we have a responsibility to preserve it for them at least
My thoughts were random today and I loved walking through them, thanks to @keithakenny !
“Life is the best teacher.”
Note: Now you can listen to the audio version of my blogs in Hindi on the UshaDawn Hindi Podcast on Google, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Check it out and new episodes uploaded every day 3 AM Pacific Standard Time
One thought on “The purpose of our life is to be happy !”
Thank you, Dawn, for the dedication and kind words. Your thoughts on Vanaprastha are also mine. My wife and I talk often about how the concept of life’s third stage is missing in modern western discussion. Most fear letting go of the power, prestige, and greater income of Grihastha to face only dark death. They lack any concept of the spiritual richness of Vanaprastha and cling grimly to fragile life as inevitable darkness closes in. They reap only fear. How sad. Better to embrace life in its fullness and see death as a beautiful sunset to a well-lived life.