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Hindu Stages Of Life

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According to the Hindu religion the first stage of life is called Student. This stage begins when the child is between the ages of eight and twelve. In this stage the child or "student" is dependent on the teacher. The teacher is the person who the student lives with, usually not his or her parents. While the student is living with the teacher or master, he exchanges services for lessons. The service the student gives to the teacher is by doing anything that would please the teacher or that would make him comfortable. The type of things that would please the teacher would be, living as he was taught, telling others about the "religion", participating in everyday ritual, etc. To make the teacher comfortable the student may get the teacher a blanket, something to eat or drink, or a chair to sit on. The teacher in return gives the student lessons. These lessons help build the students values and character. The teacher may give the student common knowledge as well.

The second stage of life, according to the Hindu religion, is Householder. This stage of life begins when the student is in his twenties and goes until he is around fifty. In this stage the student gets married and develops his own family. He also takes on success through his career and duty to the community. This is the stage where the fulfillment of pleasure takes place. These pleasures include; worldly success, duty to community and anything that would result in the student feeling pleased or fulfilled. If we look at this stage in now, in our own time, we may say that it resembles our western society more than any other one of these stages. This is where the student develops his life and how, where and when he is going to live it. This is the stage where the student establishes who he going to be.

The third stage in the Hindu list of stages of life is Retirement. This stage begins once the fist grandchild is born. When, from a western culture, we hear the word retirement, we automatically think condo on the beach with no worries in the world. But according to the Hindu belief this is the stage where the student starts his true self discovery. This is the stage in which the student begins his "adult education". In this stage also the student is able to answer the question, "what is the meaning of life?" The student doesn't go off and buy a house on the beach and just relax until the end of his day. He reflects on his life and decides



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