Āśrama and Saṃnyāsa
(3,465 words)

The term āśrama has two related meanings. The first is that of a residence, often located in forests, where holy people live and perform religious austerities ( tapas ). This is by far its most common meaning; it is so used in Brahmanical, Buddhist, and Jain literary sources, as well as in nonreligious texts such as drama, poetry, and fables. The second meaning of the term is that of a religious or holy way of life. The latter is, in all likelihood, a technical usage, as it occurs…

Cite this page
Patrick Olivelle, “Āśrama and Saṃnyāsa”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 21 February 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2212-5019_beh_COM_2050030>
First published online: 2012

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