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Asramas and Physical Development..

Background The term Varna Asrama Dharma invokes a picture of backward, regressive social system in which some people enjoyed a higher social status due to their birth while many were enslaved.
While this is true in the way the implementation of Varna Asrama Dharma evolved, that was not the aim of Varna Asrama Dharma.
Varna is a dharma. It is eternal. It is the law of Universe. There will always be four professions. Knowledge providers (brAhman), Service providers (kSatriya), Material/goods providers (Vaizya) and Labor (Zudra). This is how it is at all times and nothing can change it ever.
Similarly Asrama is a dharma. Asramas have been defined based on bodily needs of human beings. Asrama are the Law. This is how human beings are tuned and setup.
Practising Asrama dharma is simply understanding the way societies and individuals evolve and aligning our life to towards it. Those who follow Asrama dharma lead a happy existence tuned with nature. Brahmacarya The dharmasutras say "A …

Brhadharanyaka Upanishad - Sloka 1.4.8

Background - Sloka 1.4.1 to 1.4.7 Atma existed before any kinds of Purusa. Atma is the ‘manas’ as it ‘sees itself. It was all alone. It is also the ‘aham’ that exists before any expression. Now we use the word ‘aham’ to indicate ourself, as 'aham' is the 'Self' or 'Atma' in us.

That which is the previous of all, in which everything is digested, that is Purusha. It does not have desire to manifest or evolve.

Our manas develops a fear, which arises from being alone. Fear comes when there is more than one. So the manas has nothing to fear if it is all alone. Similarly Atma also does not have any fear in being all alone.

When Atma is alone, there is no enjoyer and enjoyed. The 'desire' to enjoy and be enjoyed triggers manifestation from the unmanifest Atma. Thus manifestation happens out of desire and not out of fear.

Atma tore apart separating the male and female due to this desire to be the enjoyer and enjoyed.  Yajnavalkya says Stri was torn apart like …

Brhadharanyaka Upanishad- Realizing Atma - Part 2

Background The Atma that the pravrAjina/brAhmana desire to realize, for which they wander/perform Yajna/dAna/destructive tapas or learn verses, is not capturable, not perceivable, not attachable, not interactive, not affected by our actions or inactions.
So actions in this Universe that we perform to realize that Atman, like bhikSa-carya/yajna/dAna/destructive tapas/learn verses are only our desires and no more than that, for Atma is beyond all of these.
Then how do we realize that Atman..?
Brhadharanyaka Upanishad - Sloka 4.4.23 Sloka 4.4.23.1tad etad ṛcābhya uktam । eṣa nityo mahimā brāhmaṇasya na vardhate karmaṇā no kanīyān । Translation That (tad) this (etat) spoken (uktam) in the verses (rcabhya). This (esa) eternal (nitya) glory (mahima) of the brAhman (brAhmanasya) (one who is descended from the brahman, who has the evolutionary zeal or evolutionary realization) neither grows (na vardhate) nor reduces (na kaniyan) with actions (karmana)
Meaning This spoken by the verses "…

Brhadharanyaka Upanishad - Realizing Atma - Part 1

Background Asrama is a dharma, the law of the Universe. Whether one wishes or not they get subjected to this dharma. To be happy, it is better we understand this dharma and align our living to this dharma.

There are four Asramas. Brahmacarya, gRhasta, vanaprastha and saMnyAsa. These are natural development stages in our life.

We grow from being born into adults. This is brahmacarya. In this stage one should maximize learning, because our brains are suited to learn the maximum during this stage.

Then as we grow into adulthood, we enjoy the dharma of the householder. Biologically, urges in us, make us to go for our mate, produce/protect kids, grow them up etc. This is gRhasta. Our body, brain and mind are best suited to do these functions in this stage.

Then we retire from active personal life but will be able to contribute to the best of abilities. This is vanaprastha. Here our body cannot hold the pressures of gRhasta, but to the best of the abilities we can contribute. Our brain can…