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Snataka In Hinduism

Snataka is the term used to refer to the intermediary stage of life between pupilage and householder in Hinduism. This intermediary stage of life is recognized even in the Vedic lore (Satapatha Brahmana 12-1-1-10).

The completion of Brahmacharya stage is indicated by the performance of snana, a ritual to be conducted under the guidance of the master at an auspicious time. This ritual is also termed samavartana or aplavana. After this, he is freed from the special rules binding the actions/conduct of a student brahmachari. The new set of rules that become applicable to him are called the rules of a snataka. This is indicated by the new dress code suggested to him. These rules are almost similar to those prescribed for a married person or grhastha.

Three types of Snatakas are recognized:
  1. Vidya Snataka, one who has finished the Vedic studies, but not gone through the vratas
  2. Vrata Snataka, one who has completed his tenure of stay at gurukula, but not completed the study of the prescribed Vedic portions.
  3. Vidya Vrata Snataka the best amongst the group is one who has completed the prescribed Vedic studies and has completed Vratas with a clear intention of getting promoted to the life of a married person.
A number of snataka vratas are prescribed which almost all cover the norms of a good life in all spheres of activity. This is a classical model for students.