Life spans 3 stages. Actually 4 – Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa. But in the present day social context, it is better to keep last one aside and focus only on the remaining 3.
During Brahmacharya one studies. Play, Pre-Kg, Kindergarten, Primary, High & Higher secondary school, Diploma, Graduate & Post graduate college, Doctorate, Certification all are focused on studying. Well, maybe not diploma & doctorate, but other than that everything else pretty much is. Typically 20% of the lifespan, this is Life’s first act.
During Grihastha one learns. To work, earn, love, wed, procreate, grow, buy, build, switch jobs & career, plan kids’ education, welfare and retire. Learning happens when information accumulated while studying is applied. Application augments knowledge. Knowledge makes one wiser or wicked. Everyone has a chance to go from an unknown student to a well known learned person with an aura. About 60% of one’s life is spent around career & family, in Life’s second act.
During Vanaprastha one reflects. One is expected to explore Life away from career and family, beyond the self, to get ready for Sanyasa. Alone or with life partner. It is a pilgrimage that will get one ready to renounce, everything that was something, until then. This is the last 20% of one’s Life, the third – and possibly final – act, for most.
- Grow from curious to glorious to wise. But failing to learn will lead to dependency, mediocrity & blame. Arjuna learned, while others just studied – under the same Guru.
- Mature from beginner to practitioner to specialist. But failing to apply will lead to preaching, boasting & stagnation. Sachin, Anand & Paes applied, scaled their sports’ Everest and shine as inimitable stars.
- Expand from I to We to All. But failing to go beyond I will result in a bloated ego, clogged mind & insufferable pain. Living for all is not limited to Sadhguru, Medecins Sans Frontieres or Vidyasagar.