This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

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An analysis of the concept of lalan-palan as directing mother-baby interactions

Anjali — Allahabad Degree College, Allahabad.

Rearing a child is a universal phenomena. What makes it specific is the unique culture in which the young member is socialized. Motherhood for Indian women is a psycho-spiritual phenomena and not just a psycho-sexual one. This psycho-spiritual meaning of all the institutions of socialization, particularly marriage of which a child is the outcome, makes the Indian context different from other societies. The preparation for mother-baby interactions begin much before a woman actually attains motherhood in the form of sanskaras - religious ceremonies accompanied with social festivity. The mother to be is addressed with reverence as dharini - the one who retains the seed of vansh - as she conceives, and Jaya/Janini when she gives birth. With the rise of modernization and industrialization, deviations have taken place but still the spirit behind the rituals remains essentially the same. The present study is an attempt to analyse the concept of lalan-palan as directing mother-baby interplay, tracing the philosophical and cultural roots of the concept, its present status and its impact on child rearing practices in India.

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