Living in the Grihastha Ashram can be a life-changing experience, offering spiritual growth and a deepening understanding of the Vedic lifestyle. In this Article we will explore What is Grihastha Ashram and how to prepare for it.
An ashram is a place of learning, where members are expected to adhere to the highest standards of spiritual practice and personal conduct. It is an atmosphere of peace, love, and discipline, where members practice the principles of yoga, meditation, and service to others.
Preparing to live in a Grihastha Ashram requires a commitment to the values of the ashram and a willingness to learn and grow. From maintaining a respectful attitude to embracing the lifestyle of the ashram, there are several steps one should take to make the transition into ashram life as smooth as possible. By following these steps, one can be sure to make the most of their experience and gain the most benefit from living in the Grihastha Ashram.
What is Grihastha Ashram ?
The Grihastha Ashram is the second step in a three-phase Vedic lifestyle progression. It follows the Brahmacharya Ashram and precedes the Vanaprastha and Sannyasa Ashrams. The Grihastha Ashram is generally entered when one is between the ages of 25 and 50 and is expected to last for the rest of one’s life.
It is a time of service, where one lives out the ideals of family life while continuing to perform regular spiritual practices. The Grihastha Ashram is a place where members help each other to progress toward their ultimate goal of Self-realization.
Living in the Grihastha Ashram is a great way to experience a life-changing spiritual journey without leaving behind the responsibilities of regular life.
Benefits of living in the Grihastha Ashram
Living in the Grihastha Ashram offers several benefits. These include:
- Increased Self-awareness – Being in the Grihastha Ashram allows one to delve deeper into the practice of yoga, meditation, and other spiritual disciplines. By living with like-minded individuals, one has the opportunity to reflect on the path of yoga and one’s position on the path. Living in the Grihastha Ashram allows one to connect with other like-minded individuals and share experiences and insights on the path of yoga.
- Greater Understanding of Vedic Philosophy – The Grihastha Ashram offers an environment in which one can study and reflect on the teachings of the Vedas. As someone living in the Grihastha Ashram, one has access to a wide variety of resources, including books, teachings on DVDs, as well as the guidance of experienced members.
- Opportunities to Serve Others – Living in the Grihastha Ashram is a way to demonstrate one’s commitment to the principles of yoga and to help others on the path of self-realization. The Grihastha Ashram provides many service opportunities.
- A New Community of Friends – While living in the Grihastha Ashram, one has the opportunity to connect with others on the path of yoga. Through the friendship of like-minded individuals, as well as the guidance of the gurukul and mahatma, one’s journey is sure to be easier.
Preparing to live in the Grihastha Ashram
As with any major life change, it is important to take the necessary time to prepare to live in the Grihastha Ashram. This includes meditation and introspection, as well as considering the practical aspects of living at an ashram. These steps can help one to make the transition from a regular lifestyle to that of the ashram as smooth as possible.
- Meditation and Introspection – Living in the Grihastha Ashram is about more than just staying in an ashram for a few months or years. It is about dedicating one’s life to the path of yoga. This is a lifelong commitment, and before making this decision, it is important to take time to meditate and reflect on where one is on the path of yoga. The more prepared one is, the smoother the transition into the Grihastha Ashram will be.
- Consider the Practical Aspects – It is also important to consider the practical aspects of living in an ashram. For example, while living in the Grihastha Ashram, one must give up certain luxuries of the modern world, such as the use of the internet, television, radio, processed foods, and non-organic produce. As such, it is important to consider these things before entering the Grihastha Ashram.
Mental and Emotional Preparation
As mentioned above, it is important to prepare both mentally and emotionally for living in the Grihastha Ashram. This can be done by reflecting on one’s relationship with the path of yoga thus far and meditating on how one wants to proceed.
It is also important to ensure that one’s mental and emotional state is one of harmony and balance. One’s attitude towards fellow members and the gurukula should be one of respect and humility.
There should be no resentment in one’s heart, and one should be free of envy, greed, and other negative emotions and thoughts. Additionally, one should be free of malice, anger, and any feelings of revenge and forgiveness.
One should be able to let go of resentments and grudges and be willing to let go of the past. A positive mental and emotional state is key to making the most of the experience of living in the Grihastha Ashram.
As mentioned above, living in the Grihastha Ashram requires a level of commitment to the principles of yoga that goes beyond that of living in the Brahmacharya Ashram. This means that one must uphold a higher standard of personal conduct, dietary habits, and general lifestyle. This is why it is important to prepare the body for living in the Grihastha Ashram.
- Practice the Principles of Yoga – One of the first steps in preparing for the Grihastha Ashram is to adopt a daily practice of yoga. This can be done through the regular practice of asanas (physical yoga postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), shatkarma (cleansing rituals), and meditation. Simply adopting a regular practice of yoga can help one to prepare their body and mind for the experience of living in the Grihastha Ashram.
- Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle – Along with practicing the principles of yoga, it is important to adopt a healthier lifestyle. This means eating organic produce, avoiding non-organic foods, and consuming plenty of water. It also means cutting out unhealthy habits, such as smoking and taking drugs.
Practicing the principles of yoga, meditation and service
By practicing the principles of yoga in the Grihastha Ashram, one can help others on the path of yoga and make the most of the experience. This includes:
- Helping others on the path – Being a role model for others and helping them to progress toward their goal of self-realization is not limited to senior members or gurus in the Grihastha Ashram. Each member has a responsibility to help others on the path of yoga.
- Being a student and learning from others – While helping others on the path, it is important to remember that one is also a student. Each day, it is important to be open to learning from others, whether this is through the gurukula or the words of a senior member.
Maintaining respect, humility and open-mindedness
While living in the Grihastha Ashram, it is important to maintain a respectful attitude towards other members, the gurukul, and the mahatmas. This means that one should avoid gossiping, speaking ill of others, and being judgmental or critical of others.
It also means maintaining a humble attitude towards one’s abilities and achievements and being open to the ideas and opinions of others. A critical attitude can hinder one’s ability to learn, while a lack of humility can hinder one’s ability to connect with others.
It is important to maintain the right balance between being able to respect and connect with others while being humble enough to be open to learning from others.
Adopting the lifestyle of the Ashram
Once one has prepared themselves mentally, emotionally, and physically for living in the Grihastha Ashram, it is time to adopt the lifestyle of the ashram. This includes following the rules of the ashram, such as attending all classes and activities, maintaining a clean and orderly environment, and being respectful of the other members.
It also means learning to live in harmony with nature, such as by eating only vegetarian meals and avoiding the over-consumption of resources. Finally, it means following the traditional spiritual practices of the ashram such as meditation, prayer, chanting mantras, etc. These practices help one to deepen their understanding of spiritual truths and become more aware of their inner self.
The lifestyle of the Grihastha Ashram is one of simplicity and harmony with nature. It is a lifestyle that encourages humility and respect for others, while also providing an opportunity to learn, grow, and connect with one’s spiritual side. By adopting this lifestyle, one can become more aware of their inner self and develop a deeper understanding of their place in the world.