vaikhānasā vālakhilyau-
dumbarāḥ phenapā vane
nyāse kuṭīcakaḥ pūrvaṁ
bahvodo haṁsa-niṣkriyau
vaikhānasāḥ—the section of men who retire from active life and live on half-boiled meals; vālakhilya—one who quits his former stock of grains on receipt of more; audumbarāḥ—one who lives on what he gets from the direction towards which he starts after rising from bed; phenapāḥ—one who lives on the fruits which automatically fall from the tree; vane—in the forest; nyāse—in the order of renunciation; kuṭīcakaḥ—life in the family without attachment; pūrvam—in the beginning; bahvodaḥ—giving up all material activities and engaging fully in transcendental service; haṁsa—fully engaged in transcendental knowledge; niṣkriyau—stopping all kinds of activities.
The four divisions of retired life are the vaikhānasas, vālakhilyas, audumbaras and phenapas. The four divisions of the renounced order of life are the kuṭīcakas, bahvodas, haṁsas and niṣkriyas. All these were manifested from Brahmā.
The varṇāśrama-dharma, or the institution of the four divisions and orders of social and spiritual life, is not a new invention of the modern age, as proposed by the less intelligent. It is an institution established by Brahmā from the beginning of the creation. This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (4.13): cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam.

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