In Hinduism, any of the four stages of life through which a twice-born (see upanayana) Hindu ideally will pass. These stages are: the student, who is devoted and obedient to his teacher; the householder, who supports his family and the priests and fulfills duties to the gods and ancestors; the hermit, who withdraws from society to pursue ascetic and yogic practices; and the homeless mendicant, who renounces all possessions and wanders from place to place begging for food. In English the word has come to mean a place for the pursuit of spiritual or religious disciplines, often under a guru.
Variants of ASHRAM
ashram or ashrama
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