314. Satsang with Ma.
Q-Are the Vanaprastha and Sannyas Ashrams appropriate under modern conditions?
Ma-One should try to live every Ashram (stage of life) according to the injunctions of the Shastras. The Vanaprastha and Sannyas Ashrams are difficult ones. Everyone should do as much as he can.
Q-The Shastras prescribe that a man should retire to the forest and adopt the Vanaprastha Ashram after he has completed 50. How can this rule be followed in our times?
Ma-When do people retire nowadays? At 55 or 58 or 60. Well, then at least at the age of 60 they should abandon their worldly life and, freeing themselves from their ties, live in an Ashram. Why be attached to what has been left behind? If at 55 the spirit of renunciation comes over you, retire and become a Vanaprastha.
Q-What is the path of a Rishi (Rishipanth)?
Ma-For the offspring of a Rishi--his sons and daughters--for them is the path of a Rishi. The wife of a Rishi is called Rishi patni and his son Rishi balak. What is meant by Rishi you can find out from the Shastras. You should study and perform the duties of a Rishi. The founder and ancestor of every family (gotra) was a Rishi. You are all descendants of Rishis. The Grihastashram should be lived in accordance with the rules of the path of a Rishi, in obedience to the Shastras and to Dharma. If a householder abides by the laws of conduct laid down in the Shastras, then by the grace of God he will automatically reach the goal of life. Where action is not spontaneous there is trouble and friction. Whatever action or event comes about without difficulty, should be understood as happening spontaneously. In this there is no toil or strain, no craving, it happens by God's Will.