‘New Age Fathering’ and Trysts with Faith
Bringing up a child is resurgence of one’s individual and social identity. Fathering is nexus of father’s self, child’s self and their social bond. It results in evolving selves of the two. The element of ‘existentialism’ renders fathering as an individual, social and ‘spiritual’ exercise. The paper brings forth the idea of fathering with faith, in a social group of fathers, who are exposed to the ideals of Integral Yoga perspective. Integral Yoga in India has its genesis in the ideas of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. The social groups, who engage with the ideals, are spread all over the world, but the paper draws data from four social groups: two groups are in Delhi and two groups are in the Ashram and Auroville, in Tamil Nadu. Fathers made numerous intentional choices in parenting that were rooted in their faith; they reported an initial process of questioning to arrive at ideals of human existence. This also informed them about their ‘view of child’ as an independent being that requires ‘freedom’ for growth. However, the ‘questioning’ on, ‘what is important for child rearing?’ was more conspicuous in the group in Delhi, while for fathers at Tamil Nadu, who have grown up at the intentional communities, the challenge of ‘outside’ (society) on their child was critical.
KeywordsNew age Fathering Faith India Father-child relations
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