Varnashrama, aka: Varṇāśrama, Varna-ashrama, Varṇāśramā; 5 Definition(s)
Varnashrama means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.
The Sanskrit terms Varṇāśrama and Varṇāśramā can be transliterated into English as Varnasrama or Varnashrama, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Purana and Itihasa (epic history)
Varṇāśrama (वर्णाश्रम).—Social polity;1 truth, charity and selfcontrol are equal to tīrthas for homekeepers;2 Yayāti speaks of four Varṇas born of one body and their respective duties of whom the Brāhmaṇa is superior;3 lost in a period of anarchy;4 in the Śākadvīpa;5 said by Manu;6 restrictions get loosened in Dvāpara;7 disappearance of, in Kali;8 (see Varṇa dharma). In Tretā Kṣatriyas followed the Brāhmaṇas, the Vaiśyas the Kṣatriyas and the Śūdras the Vaiśyas; there was thus peace everywhere and everything bore fruit;9 leads to enjoyment in heaven;10 no such system in Kṛtayuga.11
- 1) Matsya-purāṇa 2. 23; Vāyu-purāṇa 61. 97.
- 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 14. 41-2. Matsya-purāṇa 22. 80.
- 3) Ib. 30. 20.
- 4) Ib. 47. 257.
- 5) Ib. 122. 38.
- 6) Ib. 123. 23; 142. 42.
- 7) Ib. 142. 53; 143. 4; 144. 6 and 26.
- 8) Ib. 144. 96; 215. 63; 273. 32 and 46. Viṣṇu-purāṇa VI. 1. 10, 32-3.
- 9) Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 294; 49. 117; 57. 52.
- 10) Ib. 59. 22 and 36; 99. 425; 101. 6. 137 and 174; 102, 70 and 96; 104. 21.
- 11) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 7. 55.
The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)
Varṇāśrama (वर्णाश्रम).—Every man should perform his occupational duty in the light of his particular tendency. According to his abilities, one should accept a position in the varṇāśrama institution. The divisions of brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra are natural divisions within society. Indeed, everyone has a prescribed duty according to the varṇāśrama-dharma. Those who properly execute their prescribed duties live peacefully and are not disturbed by material conditions.
The Lord has said that the varṇāśrama-dharma is not properly executed in this Age of Kali; therefore He ordered Rāmānanda Rāya to go further into the matter. Rāmānanda replied with this verse from the Bhagavad-gītā (9.27), which instructs that while remaining in the system of varṇāśrama-dharma one may offer the results of his activities to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa in loving service. Naturally Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was asking Rāmānanda Rāya about the execution of devotional service.Source: Prabhupada Books: Sri Caitanya Caritamrta
Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).
Languages of India and abroad
varṇāśrama (वर्णाश्रम).—m pl S The four varṇa (grand divisions of the Hindu body) and the four āśrama (orders or stages of the Brahman).Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
varṇāśrama (वर्णाश्रम).—m pl The four varṇa castes and the four āśrama orders.Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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.
Varṇāśramā (वर्णाश्रमा).—the (four) castes and stages of life; वर्णाश्रमाणां गुरवे स वर्णी विचक्षणः प्रस्तुतमाचचक्षे (varṇāśramāṇāṃ gurave sa varṇī vicakṣaṇaḥ prastutamācacakṣe) R.5.19. °गुरुः (guruḥ) Name of Śiva. °धर्मः (dharmaḥ) the duties of caste and order.
Derivable forms: varṇāśramāḥ (वर्णाश्रमाः).
Varṇāśramā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms varṇa and āśramā (आश्रमा).Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
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Search found 21 books and stories containing Varnashrama, Varṇāśrama, Varna-ashrama or Varṇāśramā. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Brihad Bhagavatamrita (by Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī)
Verse 2.4.37 < [Chapter 4 - Vaikuṇṭha: The Spiritual Kingdom]
Verse 2.2.204 < [Chapter 2 - Jñāna: Knowledge]
Verse 2.2.212 < [Chapter 2 - Jñāna: Knowledge]
The Bhagavata Purana (by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)
Chapter 4 - The Characteristics of Rsabhadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead < [Canto V - The Creative Impetus]
Chapter 17 - Lord Krishna’s Description of the Varnasrama System < [Canto XI - General History]
Chapter 18 - Description of Varnasrama-dharma < [Canto XI - General History]
Śrī Hari-bhakti-kalpa-latikā (by Sarasvati Thkura)
Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī)
Verse 1.2.184 < [Part 2 - Devotional Service in Practice (sādhana-bhakti)]
Verse 1.2.185 < [Part 2 - Devotional Service in Practice (sādhana-bhakti)]
Verse 1.2.246 < [Part 2 - Devotional Service in Practice (sādhana-bhakti)]