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A vanaprastha (from Sanskrit vana, forest, and prus, dwelling) is a person who is living in the forest as a hermit after partially giving up material desires.

This word is generally used to denote a particular phase of life. In this phase of life, the person is in a retreat from worldly life. He lives away from the city, in a jungle as a hermit, with as little material possessions as possible. This stage denotes a transition phase from material to spiritual life. It is the third in the four phases of a man, namely, Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha , and finally Sanyasa, as prescribed by Manusmriti for the Dhwija castes, in the Hindu system of life.