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The Asramas regulating man's life are four: Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vaanaprastha and Sanyasa. They are all based on Grihasthaasrama. That is the chief Asrama, because the Grihastha fosters the other three. The Grihastha is the most important of all.
As all living beings depend upon air for their existence, the other three Asramas are dependent on the Grihastha. The Grihastha not only feeds and clothes the others, but he also provides facilities for the study of the Vedas. Manu, in his Dharma Sastras, has emphasised this point very clearly. He has declared that the Grihastha too attains Moksha; only he must follow strictly the Dharma laid down for his Asrama. There is no doubt that every one, to whichever Asrama he may belong, who adheres to the Dharma of that Asrama, will attain Moksha.
In the Manusmrithi, in the Naradaparivraajakopanishad and other such
texts, it is mentioned that in some instances, Grihastha who adheres to
Dharma is reckoned as the highest type of man, while in some other texts
it is laid down that only sages who have renounced everything deserve
worship. Therefore, a doubt may arise whether one can adopt the Grihasthaasrama
which is the base and support of all or whether one has to take up the
universally honoured Asrama of Sanyaasa, the path of Nivritthi. There
is an intimate relation between the worship-worthy Grihastha and the saintly
Paramahamsa. So, to whichever Asrama you may belong you do no wrong. All
the four Asramas lead you to Moksha or Liberation if you follow strictly
the Dharma as laid down for each and if you devote yourselves steadfastly
to your uplift. Each Asrama is important at the particular stage; the
conduct of the individual, his practice, that is the essential test. If
one is engaged in Sad-aachaara, every Asrama is holy, every Asrama is
commendable. That is the judgement of the Sastras.