Left Pillar

Vanprastha Ashram

Age gracefully at Hanuman Dham

Age, they say, shows its colours to everybody. Be it the king or a pauper, boss or employee, minister or public, all have to experience ageing–an inevitable fact of life. Like all other things in life, this station of life needs to be planned in advance to make the most of it. Getting old brings with it a lot of changes. While some of them are as visible, such as grey hair, wrinkles and aching limbs, others like retirement, extended families and declining financial support are much harder to deal with. But the secret of living an ideal life is to make those last days of life the best ones. With responsibilities over, this is the time to live life to the maximum. 

According to many researches, the secret to maintaining the quality of life in old age is to have an active social life. In fact this is well described in our scriptures too. The human life span is divided into four ashrams. These are Brahmacharya, Grahasta, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa. The Vedas define a specific purpose for each ashram. And for Vanprastha, it is to share your experiences. Vanprastha is the stage of old age. It is described that in this stage a man needs to give up all responsibilities and take the path of social and spiritual work. This is the man whose experiences are bestowed on the public, who guides and leads. People in this ashram play the role of mentors. This in turn helps not only the society but also themselves for they become active in a new role. 

Recently, The Rush University in Chicago conducted a research with over 954 elderly people whose average age was 82 and found that old people who remain engaged in social work were less prone to disabilities. Even in a research funded by the United Kingdom's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) it was found that maintaining social relationships and mobility in old age were integral for general well being. 

The Dham will promote healthy living during Vanprastha Stage of life. It will be a place for the senior citizens to live their life amidst natural surroundings and utilize their time to help those who are in need. Senior Citizens will be the backbone of the Dham and will have to ensure that they use their experience to improve the life of others present at the Dham. The Dham will provide them with a Serene and Blissful Environment to experience spirituality and inspire others through SEWA, something that every individual aspires for beyond a certain age.

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