[Advaita-l] vanaprastha in community

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Wed Jun 17 03:52:04 CDT 2009

Namaste Shri Shrinivas,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. Since the Veda is 'unknown,
formless, eternal, and always present' in essence, and available to all, it
must surely always be in a potentiality of reformulation according to need
and time -- or so it seems to me.

It cannot be an accident that mankind is allowed today to live longer -- and
(until commerce finds a way of keeping us tied to machines until 80 or so !)
there is a chance for us to live a rich life in community after 'retiring'
from work -- and in the course of it, as you say, work to release samashti
from the bonds of vyashti !

That was why I put my question; but it's always good to enquire what the
inherited formulated Veda might have to say on the subject. There may not so
much be the will to become sannyasin these days, but vanaprastha is
available to all in its essence , as what is called today the 'third age' !

And we might guess that as these things run, an increased understanding of
vanaprastha will lead to a new understanding of sannyasa ?

With regards,

-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of
Shrinivas Gadkari
Sent: 17 June 2009 05:21
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Subject: [Advaita-l] vanaprastha in community

Namaste Shri Michael,

Based on my understanding of vAnaprashta, your statement below captures the
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
references, and injunctions to understand the motive behind vAnaprashta and
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
than was possible in the gRhastha stage. These can be taken up in the post
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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