[Advaita-l] vanaprastha in community

Shrinivas Gadkari sgadkari2001 at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 16 23:21:06 CDT 2009

Namaste Shri Michael,

Based on my understanding of vAnaprashta, your statement below captures the essence.
I firmly believe that we have to redefine scope and role of many terms from Vedic literature
in the context of present times and vAnaprashta is one of them. We can use scriptural 
references, and injunctions to understand the motive behind vAnaprashta and translate
it to current times.

Student stage is the learning stage.

gRhastha - is the stage when one is active and focus is more on vyaSTi and less on

For many people there will be unfulfilled tasks that required more focus on samaSTi
than was possible in the gRhastha stage. These can be taken up in the post gRhastha.
This is generally speaking the vAnaprashta stage.

In this process, if there arises a desire to completely give up vyaSTi  focus, and if
circumstances permit, one can do so and this would be samnyAsa stage.



I and those of my circle have found that the years after 'retirement' from paid work, and with sons and daughters creating their own families, are the most fruitful of our lives in their freedom : we are fully engaged in unpaid, if not unrewarded, work for the 'larger circle' of humanity. 


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