AykAshramyam tvacAryA: pratyakshavidhAnAt gArhasthasya | (Apasthamba Sutram)
Meaning - There is only one Ashramam and that is Grahastha dharma.
Thus, the only Ashramam advocated by the vedAs is the eternal
gArhastyAshramam and none other. This is the reason why all our seers
(cause for our gotrAs) like atri , vasishta ,agastya , bharadvAja ,etc
led a lifestyle of jaDa, maravuri, living with consort in the forest,
doing penance, performing daily rituals (nitya karmA) , upAsana
(worship) of agni , yagnyA and chanting of vedAs until their last
It should be understood that there is no virtue that is superior to
"Daampatya-dharma’, the path of married life. Every one should follow
this advice of wisdom-Incarnate throughout their life time as wedlock
is the way to salvation. One can never experience the fruit of
creation without Wedlock. Male and Female species in creation are
complementary to each other. One can become whole and complete only
after Wedlock. Without Wedlock neither man nor woman can attain
fulfillment- they will remain incomplete.
The cause of this universe and the basis for all existence is the
penance of Brahman. The result of unswerving penance is knowledge
(vidya), gnyAnam , satyam (truth) , sukham (Happiness). This world,
created by, and resulting from unswerving penance, has these aspects
of form: vidyArUpam , gnyAnarUpam , satyarUpam , sukharUpam . The
same is bestowed upon us by the vedAs. Vedas have provided a platform
for every soul (being in their respective states) to experience this
'Brahman'. ( the ultimate power)
The main objective of all the Vedas is ‘garhastyashramam’ i.e, family
life (dampatya). ‘Brahmacharyam’ is instrumental and the
preliminary practice for ‘garhastyashramam’. Brahmacharyam is the life of Veda adyayanam, enjoying all sorts of happiness, well being,
etc i.e. Shastric veda adyayanam is brahmacharyam. Brahmacharyam is
also known as ‘garhasyta sadhanam’ as it is preliminary and part of
the garhastyashramam referred to in the Vedas. Brahmacharyam which is
the life of Veda adyayanam and Gayathri upasana is applicable for all,
irrespective of their sex and creed. The regulated proper method of
mastering Vedas etc., helps one lead Dhampathya life
successfully. This is applicable to woman also. Women are entitled to
all ceremonies like Upanayanam, etc.
Mastering the Vedas as ordained is itself a Tapas (Penance). It must
be noted that Karma (or action) and Jnana (or knowledge) are not two
separate entities. Therefore there is no separate path for Jnanamarga.
There is only one path, and that is Vedamarga, the path of the Vedas.
Its culmination is in Dhampathya life. The Maharshi couple led the
Dhampathya life throughout their lives. Remaining in that Dhampathya,
one should desire good progeny, beget ideal children and bring them up
with great care. They are the true wealth for ‘the here’ and ‘the
hereafter.’ Immortals are fortunate enough to hear the lisping of
their children. In a sense, one can attain immortality, if, being of
good character, one is born as his/her own progeny. The Vedas state
When a man and a woman of pure conduct, bound by mutual love,
consummate their marriage, all elements like form, etc., get totally
absorbed in the fire of their union. This absorption creates an
intoxicating light radiating from them. When this intoxicating light
is also absorbed, Ananda, or Bliss arises and shines forth. The light
is absorbed in itself, and Ananda shines. From that, issues forth a
child, the sum total of all elements. The Maharishis advised- Always
live in the state of Vedic Dampatya.
The Mahashakthi who created the whole universe, laid down the
vedic path so that all mankind could live happily enjoying all
comforts- temporal and spiritual. The Vedic path is nothing but
the life lived by the Maharshis: the eternal dhampathya life
enjoined by the Vedas.
“uthishtatha maaswapta agni michadhvam bharataaha” (YV)
This means “ O Bharathiyas! Awake and yearn for fire”, Bha in Sanskrit
means light. One who worships light is a Bharateeya. That India is
called Bharat clearly conveys that all Indians were following the
Vedas and leading a life as prescribed by the Vedas. It extols all to
worship fire which is the primordial energy behind all creation
Vedic path refers to the three stages of a person:
The initial stage, which is Brahmacharya: the study and learning of
Vedas and Gayathri Upasana, and worship of Agni through oblations
twice a day.
The next stage is the Grihastashrama (getting into marital life) and
offering oblations to Agni by performing Agni upasana , Yagas , etc.
along with the life partner which are meant for the evolution of one’s
self in the spiritual realm.
The final stage is offering one’s body after death to the Agni that
It should be understood that vanaprastha is the continuation
of grahastha stage after discharging the duties and retiring along
with the wife and continuing agni upasana, penance, and
To lead a life as prescribed by the Vedas, here is the system to
be followed by one and all:
Initiation into Gayathri Upasana
Study of the Vedas or understanding the messages given in them.
Agni upasana as part of Gayathri Upasana and vedic study (BRAHMACHARYA).
Getting into married life and continuing Agni Worship as a couple – Grahastha Dharma.
Offering one’s body in the fire worshipped by the couple (The concept behind the ritual followed for cremation in the present day)