Vanaprastha, aka: Vana-prastha, Vānaprastha; 6 Definition(s)


Vanaprastha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism


1a) Vānaprastha (वानप्रस्थ).—A sādhu: fit for Śrāddha feeding;1 duties of: living on fruits and roots; clothing with skins and barks of trees; bathing morning and evening; performance of homa; life in forest;2 the third order of life.3

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 32. 26; III. 7. 317; 9. 70; 15. 16 and 35.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 8. 176; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 9. 18-23. Matsya-purāṇa 225. 3.
  • 3) Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 1. 30.

1b) The third āśrama;1 adopted by Yayāti after Pūru's coronation; living on fruits and roots and always in peace, having conquered his mind and anger, was engaged for 1,000 years in offering oblations to Pitṛs and Devas and in fire rites and entertaining guests; performed penance feeding on water alone for 3 years, on air for a year, in the midst of fire for another year and standing on one leg for six months; reached heaven.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 59. 25; 104. 23.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 35. 1-2, 13-17; 40. 1, 4 and 7.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
context information

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Vānaprastha (वानप्रस्‍थ): The third stage of the dvija's life, when he is required to relinquish worldly responsibilities to his heirs and retires to the woods with his wife for an anchorite's life. A person who is living in the forest as a hermit after giving up material desires.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

Vānaprastha (वानप्रस्थ).—Retired family life, in which one quits home to cultivate renunciation and travels from holy place to holy place in preparation for the renounced order of life; the third order of Vedic spiritual life; A retired householder. A member of the third spiritual devision of life, according to the Vedic social system of four āśramas.

(Source): ISKCON Press: Glossary

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Vānaprastha (वानप्रस्थ) refers to the third of the four stages of a layman (āśrama) according to Cāmuṇḍarāya (940–989 A.D.) in his Caritra-sāra. The vānaprastha is one who has not taken the vow of nudity but wears one piece of cloth and engages in moderate asceticism. (This would perhaps correspond to the ailaka layman of later times). Cāmuṇḍarāya, who was a Digambara Jain, has taken over the Hindu concept of the four āśramas, which, following Jinasena, he terms brahmacārin, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, and bhikṣu.

According to Medhāvin (fifteenth century) the vānaprastha—here equivalent to a kṣullaka—is also styled apavāda-liṅgin and the bhikṣu (as) utsarga-liṅgin.

(Source): Jaina Yoga
General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

vanaprastha (वनप्रस्थ).—n S The woods or wilderness as a place of retirement and seclusion for the Brahman of the vānaprastha or hermit order. (The word, although signifying generally Wilderness-place, obtains the special application above shown.)

--- OR ---

vānaprastha (वानप्रस्थ).—m (S) The Brahman of the third order who has passed through the conditions of student and householder, and has left his house and family for lonely meditation in woods and wilds,--the hermit or anchorite. 2 also vānaprasthya n S The āśrama or order of the hermit-Brahman.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vānaprastha (वानप्रस्थ).—m The Brâhman in the third stage of life-the hermit.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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