Four stages of a male life 1 celibate student stage

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Four Stages of a Male Life 1. Celibate Student stage (first period of life when a Hindu male gains knowledge for caste duties) Lasts about 12-15 years unless going to university 2. Householder stage (second period of life when a Hindu male marries and raises a family) Householder supports other stages Marries around 23 years of age—usually arranged marriage within one’s varna and jati 3. Forest-dweller stage (third period of life when a Hindu man retires) Can enter this stage after children have left home, retires from job, family, social life May retreat to forest to live a more spiritual life Today, this stage is practiced only by a few 4. Renunciant stage (fourth period when a Hindu male becomes a sannyasin (renouncer) (optional) Renounces the world and his previous life completely Concentrates on achieving moksha before death Sparse diet, intense study and meditation w/ a yogi Shudras, Dalits, Women (almost never follow these stages) Women’s role is to support the last three stages
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Four Goals (Aims) of Life Dharma - fulfilling one's purpose Artha - prosperity Kama – desire, sexuality, enjoyment Moksha - enlightenment
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Four Goals (Aims) of Life cont. Goals parallel the stages of life in Hinduism Dharma —comprehensive term that guides the other aims or goals Means following the dharma that guides your particular caste duties both socially and ritually Hindus may look to epic stories for guidance Take nonviolence vows Employ rituals in everyday life Artha — material success and prosperity Hindus provide material security and share in life’s bounty w/family Helps to explain economic drive and success of many Hindus today Kama — aesthetic pleasures of mind and body Restricted to householder stage Hindus…enjoy life’s sensual pleasures Moksha — release from life, moksha (continual cycle of rebirth/redeaths)—final goal For Hindus, a proper time for everything Both the stages and the aims—attempt to balance life of worldly person w/ life of a renouncer
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Hindu Women Marriage— Motherhood (most impt. role even today) Self-esteem is related to her husband Marry at a young age Considered a failure if she is childless, esp. w/o son Abortion (Legal) Sex selective abortions favoring males (by ultrasound, outlawed in 1994) Impt. to have a male heir b/c no pension system in India Resulted in population imbalance in India today, problematic Divorce Divorce—difficult, Remarriage is uncommon Woman is looked down upon Suicide rates for women are high (even though suttee has been outlawed) Suttee ( widow burning--ancient practice of wife’s death by immolation on funeral pyre of her deceased husband) Violence Violence against women in India is on the increase 2012 gang rape of a female physiotherapy student galvanized the country’s collective consciousness on this issue BBC production on the incident “India’s Daughter”
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Hindu Rituals (Topics) Puja Images Worshipping in the Temple and in the Home Pilgrimages Festivals and Holidays Funerals Yoga
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