This paper was presented at the
National Seminar on
Indian Psychology: Theories and Models

SVYASA, Bangalore,
December 26 - 28, 2007

 

The individual & his/her development, child development; aging; ashramas

Aravind Prasad — Veda Vijnana Gurukulam, Bangalore

 

Among thousands of species, human beings, with their mind and their multiple instincts are absolutely extraordinary. Instincts are those qualities that are born with every human soul and play a dominant role in the different age periods of a human life span. The Rishis of Vedic age perfectly moulded their instincts with the help of the Ashrama-system that they followed but which in the present day is impossible to follow because of the modern liberal life style.

By allotting the first 25 years of a human life to the gurukulam-system of living, the basic instincts like curiosity of learning and questioning etc. were cultured, encouraged and undoubtedly regulated by the Acharya’s living and advices so as to make him a perfect gruhastashrami where wealth, sex, name and fame play a lively an important role. Nevertheless, this first and second ashramas (brahmacharya, gruhastha) for a modern man wobbling in between physical and psychological problems remains no more an ashrama but rather for him this span of life has become a real ‘shrama’. No ‘aha’ experiences. But when the most dominant instincts if sublimated in these two ashramas, a human soul becomes pruned with all his vital energy converted to spiritual energy and hence starts the third ashrama (vanaprastha). As a result the individual gets fully prepared for his fourth ashrama (sanyasa).

A ‘Rishi life-style’ for the modern man is impossible; still, every citizen in different age groups can follow the ashrama system.

Brahmacharya:

· A child should be cultured up to the age of eight under the proper guidance of parents.

· The thirst of knowledge should be quenched under an appropriate Guru by moulding him with different samskaras and creativity should be encouraged.

Gruhastashrama:

·Should be accompanied with 5 yajnas and they are: 1) eco-friendly life; 2) suryopasana; 3) goseva; 4) vedaparayanam; 5) pyramids with Tulsi around.

These two ashramas when regulated will pave way for the perfection of the other ashramas too. The modern generation with hi-fi living, forgets its real stand; in the name of modernization if it rejects the ashrama-system of life, then it is sure to be blamed by the future generation for the unbearable loss that it would be miserably facing.

Email the author, Mr. Aravind Prasad, at rgbhat@vvgurukulam.org