आश्रमांस्तुलया सर्वान् धृतानाहुर्मनीषिणः ।
एकतश्च त्रयो राजन् गृहस्थाश्रम एकतः ॥
aashramAms tulayaa sarvAn dhRutAn aahuH manIShiNaH ।
ekashcha trayo rAjan gRuhasthAshrama ekataH ॥
Oh! King, wise men have weighed the different phases of life in a balance. They have found one to be as heavy as the other three put together. Grihasthaashrama - the phase where one runs his household independently is equal to brahmacharya (student hood), vanaprastha (forest dwelling, retirement) and sanyasa (total renouncement) all put together.