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 Blooming Stars

Sevashram, Paramarthashram

             2. Sevashram (the life of service): After the completion of satyashram a person is able to leave one’s family of origin. The person has acquired the necessary skills and tools besides self-confidence and a sense of direction to negotiate the various twists and turns, ups and downs of life. He/she is independent, fearless, is able to face life, and fend for oneself. Typically the person gets a gainful occupation, gets married, and begins a family of one’s own. A few decide to stay celibate and become sanyasis (monks/sisters) living under the tutelage or training of other sanyasis or join a religious society and live in community with common rules serving others or in silent prayer life or join a diocese to undergo training to become priests. In this ashram one’s obligations to family and society are dispensed.

            Intense pleasure and joy is experienced from marital bliss, extended family and close relationships, and friendships. One also undergoes intense pain and heartaches from disappointments, betrayals, tragedies and traumas. Children are brought into the world in one’s own likeness to continue one’s genes after great pangs of labor. It is a joy to see them bloom, grow, and develop, and mature to play their role in life and society, and to achieve their aims. Contributing to society through the most creative years to make this world a better place to live in is very gratifying. In this ashram one experiences the agony and ecstasy of life, the perils and vulnerability of intimacy. One gets a chance to leave one’s unique mark in this world. Sevashram beginning at 22-25 years and ending around 60 years roughly corresponds to Grihastashram. Sevashram marked by seva (service) is immensely helped by artha (wealth) and kama(pleasure) to go smoothly through life. Dharma and sathya (righteousness and truth) are lived; purity is practiced; moksha is always in view.

            3. Paramarthashram (Life guided by ultimate good/meaning): In this ashram a person, man or woman, is grasped by the ultimate good: union with God – the final return to God for beatific vision or merger with God (sayujyam). Truly this is a preparation for Siddhashram (setting for realization). As such, one bids goodbye to active involvement with the world and worldly affairs after having experienced life in its various dimensions. Now, one has a fair understanding of what the world can offer and what this life is about. One had ample opportunities to know the heart of humans. Unfinished business and various obligations are taken care of. There is gradual removal of oneself from worldly life and detachment from worldly and societal affairs. In that sense it takes the function of vanaprasthashram – a retired life. There is greater urgency with regard to one’s purpose in life as one is in the setting stage of life. Ascetic practices and disciplined life (sadhana) to attain an experience of greater unity of humanity and closer union with God are sharpened. One becomes very aware of the oneness of humanity and goes beyond ties of blood and clan relationships, caste and religious affiliations.

 

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