There are four ashrams in life. You have to act in all these ashrams. As young students, the first ashram, means first phase of life you gain education.
Second phase of life is a householder’s life wherein you take care of responsibilities. You do good action and you grow your family and you also help others.
The third phase in life is sharing whatever experiences you have gained, sharing with others. You know by engaging in social work. Stop thinking only about ‘me’, ‘my children’, but caring for all the people, talking, thinking about everybody. And then the last stage is ‘sanyas’ (retirement).
The fourth stage in life is where you are quite elderly. At that time you simply bless and you just enjoy the bliss; you remain content in life. ‘Sanyas’ means to be totally centered; ‘nyas’ means being centered and ‘sanyas’ means right-centeredness. Where you say, ’I want nothing for myself and I am here for everybody.’
So these are four stages in life.