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- The Infancy
" In this stage the man is born as a helpless baby and knows little but waiting as a man in embryo to spring out "
- The Schoolboy
" Here, he begins his schooling; the charms of helpless innocence cease.It is in that stage of life that he begins to go to school. He is unwilling to leave the protected environment of his home as he is still not confident enough to exercise his own discretion. "
- The Lover
" The lover is depicted as a young man composing his love poems, shown beneath two pictures of Cupid, the god of love and on the left, Romeo-Juliet balcony scene.In this stage he is always maudlin, expressing his love in a fatuous manner. He makes himself ridiculous in trying to express his feelings."
- The Soldier
" Here, he is hot-blooded with a high degree of self-respect. He looks forward to gaining a reputation, even if it costs him his life. He is inflamed with the love of war and, like a leopard, he charges.He is very easily aroused and is hot headed. He is always working towards making a reputation for himself, however short-lived it may be, even at the cost of foolish risks."
- The Justice
" In this stage he thinks he has acquired wisdom through the many experiences he has had in life, and is likely to impart it. He has reached a stage where he has gained prosperity and social status. He becomes vain and begins to enjoy the finer things of life.and he attains a socially accepted state and expounds the wisdom he has gained in his life. "
- The Pantaloon
" He is a shell of his former self — physically and mentally. He begins to become the butt of others' jokes. He loses his firmness and assertiveness, and shrinks in stature and personality and tries to shrink himself into a shell of his worries and is indifferent to his physical appearance and apparel, just as he was in his youth."
- The Old Age
"In this stage he is Dependent on others for care and unable to interact with the world, he experiences "second innocence, and mere oblivion. this stage is also known as second infancy."
- The First Ashrama - "Brahmacharya" or the Student Stage
" This is a period of formal education. It lasts until the age of 25, during which, the young male leaves home to stay with a guru and attain both spiritual and practical knowledge. During this period, he is called a brahmachari, and is prepared for his future profession, as well as for his family, and social and religious life ahead. "
- The Second Ashrama - "Grihastha" or the Householder Stage
" This period begins when a man gets married, and undertakes the responsibility for earning a living and supporting his family.
At this stage, Hinduism supports the pursuit of wealth as a necessity, and indulgence in sexual pleasure, under certain defined social and cosmic norms. When a person's skin wrinkles and his hair greys, he should go out into the forest. "
The Third Ashrama - "Vanaprastha" or the Hermit Stage"
" This stage of a man begins when his duty as a householder comes to an end: He has become a grandfather, his children are grown up, and have established lives of their own. At this age, he should renounce all physical, material and sexual pleasures, retire from his social and professional life, leave his home, and go to live in a forest hut, spending his time in prayers. He is allowed to take his wife along, but is supposed to maintain little contact with the family. This kind of life is indeed very harsh and cruel for an aged person. No wonder, this third ashrama is now nearly obsolete. "
The Fourth Ashrama - "Sannyasa" or the Wandering Ascetic Stage
" At this stage, a man is supposed to be totally devoted to God. He is a sannyasi, he has no home, no other attachment; he has renounced all desires, fears and hopes, duties and responsibilities. He is virtually merged with God, all his worldly ties are broken, and his sole concern becomes attaining moksha, or release from the circle of birth and death. (Suffice it to say, very few Hindu men can go up to this stage of becoming a complete ascetic.) When he dies, the funeral ceremonies (Pretakarma) are performed by his son and heir."