Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Old Age

  • Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_620-1


In Hinduism, karma “principle of action” and dharma “the right way to perform the work” are of great value, and the life of a person is regulated according to four age-based stages: studentship (Brahmcharya); householder (Grihstha); retirement (Vanaprastha); and renunciation (Sanyas). However, two Ashrama, i.e., Vanaprastha “retirement” and Sanyasa “renunciation” are associated with the old age [1]. According to Hinduism, the physical body perishes whereas the soul is eternal. Many Hindu scriptures prescribe methods for aging gracefully, including yoga, dietary practices, cognitive exposure, and mental-physical activities. The Vedanta literature states that when the life elements interact with material particles, old age and death results. In the Atharva Veda, a desire to see and live up to hundred autumns is expressed: Pashyem sharadah shatam, Jivet sharadah shatam. Also, in the Rig Veda a desire for sound mental and physical health as well as longevity is expressed [7].


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Humanities & Social Sciences – Languages & LiteratureShri Mata Vaishno Devi UniversityKatraIndia