Study Guide

The World's Religions - Chapter II, Hinduism, The Stages of Life, Summary & Analysis

Huston Smith
This Study Guide consists of approximately 51 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The World's Religions.
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Chapter II, Hinduism, The Stages of Life, Summary and Analysis

In Hinduism, the first stage of life is that of the student. Traditionally, this stage lasts from about the time of initiation (ages eight to twelve) and lasts for a period of about twelve years. Following that is the stage of marriage where energies are turned outward toward providing for a family. The elements of pleasure, success, and duty are involved in this stage. Some may never progress beyond this stage. The fourth stage of retirement arrives approximately after the birth of the first grandchild, bringing on the time of pondering the meaning of life. Beyond retirement comes the stage of sannyasin, defined in the Bhagavad-Gita as one who neither hates nor loves anything" (p. 53). This stage is just the opposite of desiring to be "somebody". In the extreme...

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