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We know of four Vedic ashramas: Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha & Sannyasa. Of these, only the 2nd one (Grihastha) seems to be meant for all varnas. The first, the third, and the fourth ones doN't seem to be meant for Shudras while Brahmanas seem to be expected to follow all the four ashramas. Nevertheless, Adi Shankara and Vivekananda skipped the 2nd and the 3rd ashramas to embrace Sannyasa. Thus, the question that crosses every sensible person's mind is: Are the Vedic ashramas all voluntary, hence farcical?

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    Is your question whether the ashramas are compulsory or if they are farcical? Your question is unclear; and asking if they are farcical is asking for opinions - please read the forum rules. May 12 '21 at 5:12
  • If a rule is Not compulsory in general (i.e. in a few exceptional cases, its violation may be permitted), anyone will violate it at will. And thus the rule will turn farcical, won't it? Nevertheless, I'd be glad to know whether the Vedic ashramas are compulsory.
    – Prakash RP
    Jun 12 '21 at 9:59

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