Hindu Forest/ Wood Dwellers (Post No.5552)


WRITTEN by London Swaminathan
Date: 17 October 2018


Time uploaded in London – 15-49

(British Summer Time)


Post No. 5552



Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.

Vanaprastha is a unique stage in a Hindu’s life.

Hindus have four stages in their lives,
Brahmachari– Student life
Grhastha (asrama)—Householder stage (Family life)
Vanaprastha– Forest living
Sanyasa– Complete Renunciation

These four stages are not found anywhere in the world, but seen in Vedic literature written before the Hebrews, Greeks and other ancient literatures. This explodes the half- baked Aryan immigration theory. Hundreds of ancient Hindu customs and rituals, thousands of Sanskrit words are not found in European cultures or any other cultures except India. From northern Himalayas to the southern most Kanyakumari we see the same culture and thoughts from very ancient times. Sangam Tamil literature, which is 2000 year old, praised all the Vedic customs . Some Tamil poets have names such as Valmiki, Kamakshi (Kamak Kanni) , Maha chitran, Vishnudasan, Mahadevan, Damodaran, Kesavan, Kapilan, and Brahma .

It is very interesting to see the sculptures showing Vanaprastha stage in Bharhut and other Buddhist Centers. Great kings like Pandu of Mahabharata along with his wife Madri, emperor Chandragupta Maurya  (in Jain way) spent their later lives in the forests.

People who have seen their grandchildren, go to forest and live a detached life. They pass their time thinking of god and praying for the welfare of the world. Contrary to the modern old age homes, full of gossips and T V shows they watched nature and thought only about god and people’s welfare. In contrast to three course meals at old age homes they had natural organic food, only vegetarian food. Milk, honey, forest grains and fruits gave them good health and good and positive thoughts. They never knew dementia or depression. Those who read Aranyakas and Upanishads (Vedic literature in Sanskrit dated 800 BCE of before) would long for such a peaceful and happy atmosphere. Their only hobby was walking in the woods and enjoying nature. Parrots and deer came to such peaceful places and resided happily which we come to know from the ancient Hindu literature.

During this period the theological ideas of the Hindus were fully developed and put to writing. We see a deep tendency in portraying one supreme God -The Brahman. All other rituals and worship of other old gods were shown as steps towards a higher goal. The Trinity- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva -are the manifestations of this Supreme being. Some saw the Supreme being in the Sun as Gayathri and others saw the most powerful goddess. At no stage, they demolished the steps leading to the highest stage. They knew very well that those steps are necessary for people at lower levels. The lower levels were like nursery schools with lot of nursery rhymes,  (Slokas or hymns), lots of pictures on the walls. Next stage was like high schools with labs for experiments and wall charts (like modern temples with rituals). Next was the university stage with lots of debates and researches on gods and scriptures. When they passed all these nursery school, high school and university stages they came to forest for the real and ultimate peace.


We have beautiful forest scenes in Valmiki Ramayana and Kalidasa’s Sakuntalam drama.

Hindus are great nature lovers. The lofty Himalayas are the source of their numerous Aranyakas (Forest Teachings) and Upanishads (Philosophical Teachings).


The awesome nature with gigantic mountains and high water falls made them look tiny. They also compared their impermanence with the millions of years old valleys and hills. The beautiful flowers reminded them the three great virtues Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram.



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