Srimad Bhagavatam 11.18.01 - Detachment is the foundation for Vanprastha Ashram (download mp3)
by Vrishbhanu Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
vanam viviksuh putresu
bharyam nyasya sahaiva va
vana eva vasec chantas
trtiyam bhagam ayusah
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: One who desires to adopt the third order of life, vanaprastha, should enter the forest with a peaceful mind, leaving his wife with his mature sons, or else taking her along with him.
In Kali-yuga a human being generally cannot live more than one hundred years, and even this is becoming most unusual. A man who has a reasonable expectation of living for one hundred years may adopt the vanaprastha order at the age of fifty, and then at the age of seventy-five he may take sannyasa for complete renunciation. Since in Kali-yuga very few people live for one hundred years, one should adjust the schedule accordingly. Vanaprastha is intended as a gradual transition from materialistic family life to the stage of complete renunciation.