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    Most of us would have come across the word "sankalpam" before the start of almost any puja or even the sandhyavandanam as a matter of fact. What exactly is the significance of the sankalpam & why is it made mandatory in all rites & rituals?

    "Sankalpam" simply means a "firm decision". In the case of the sandhyavandanam, the mantra for the sankalpam would be "Mamopatta durita kshaya dwara.........". Here, our "firm decision" is that we shall perform the sandhyavandanam as per the Lord's wish.

    The immediate question that one would face is, "Why is it that I need to specifically make a firm decision with a mantra when I already know that I'll be performing the ritual long before I actually perform it?".

    The answer to that would be as follows. Of course you have made the decision to perform the ritual, but observe the samkalpa mantra. It states "..........sri parameshwara prityartham...........". This is one of the most important aspects of the entire "karma" section of the sanatana dharma. This one line clearly defines the very objective & nature of each & every ritual prescribed in Sanatana dharma. What is so important about these lines? Read on to know.

    Time & now, we come across people questioning the validity & authenticity of the various rituals that we as Hindus perform. The critics say, "You have done your ritual haven't you? Then where is the result? Why can't we see it? Since, the result cannot be seen, its obvious that all your rituals are dogmas & senseless blind beliefs". I'm sure most of us would have come across such a situation in our lives at 1 point or another & I'm also sure that most of us would have simply bent our heads without an answer or even criticised our own dharma!

    So, why doesn't a ritual yield immediate results as soon as its performed? The answer is provided in the sankalpam.

    Right at the start of a ritual, we declare that the ritual shall be done for the appeasement of the Lord. This is signified through the line "...Parameshwara Prithyartham...". Hence, right at the start of the ritual we detach ourselves from the results of it. This is in accordance with the popular verse of the Bhagawadgita-"Karmanye vaadhikaraste ma phaleshu kada chana". This means, we are not in a sense "bribing" the Lord through rituals & getting our tasks fulfilled.

    Instead we are surrendering to the Lord, a supreme force in such a way that we let the Lord himself decide the phala(results) of the ritual. It is the Lord's wish to decide when the devotee should receive the benefits of the karma. May it be immediate, in a later stage of life or in an another life itself. We merely perform our duties & pray so that we get what we deserve.

    Even at the end of the ritual, we conclude through Ishwararpanam(Note that Ishwara does not refer to Lord Shiva all the time. Depending of the faith of an individual, it can refer to Vishnu, Shiva,etc).

    It is probably exclusive to the sanatana dharma that something like the samkalpam has been formulated to synchronize the karma bhaga(section of rituals) & the bhakti bhaga(section of devotion).

    Source: Brahmin Culture and Traditions

  • #2

    Very nice and meaningful explanation At least now i understood the purpose of sankalpam. Thank you sir.


    • #3

      What a round about way of saying a message?
      What is the conclusion?!

      Samkalpam means = samyak kalpitam it means well narrated wishes, here begging the bliss of God
      to fulfill the wishes. It is a promise to God indeed.
      Every important ritual a Brahma (supervisor) is appointed for the perfectness of the performance of the karma,
      the phalan will be granted by the God (Whoever it may be) according to his merits and caliber.

      It is the duty of the kartha and Brahma to keep his promise by doing remaining part of the karma perfectly.
      Even if the kartha is doing the karma with most care, there may be chances for errors and hence in every karma
      the following mantra is chanted :
      " ... mantra heenam kryaa heenam bhakthi heenam hutaasana yathhutantu mayaa deva paripoorNam tatastude
      praayachitaani aseshaani thapa karmatma kaanivai yaani teshaam aseshaaNaam sri krishnanusmaraNam param".

      Thanks for choosing this forum for asking your vaideeka, Shastra, Sampradaya doubts,
      please visit frequently and share information anything you think that will be useful for this forum members.
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      Best Wishes and Best Regards,


      • #4


        There is no need to criticize the post whether it is short or round about; Each will have different version/explanations about the same subject; if that happens no one will be able to post any thread on any subject.

        SANKALPAM Thread which i posted is by Jagagad Guru Sri. Chandra Sekara bharati Mahaswamilgal .

        As Far as I know He is also much Learned Guru.
        Last edited by Padmanabhan.J; 26-07-13, 00:10.


        • #5

          Sankalpam is very very important in any activity prior to its commencement.
          In fact, as mentioned above, one has to have a firm decision and with his
          will, the activitiy is performed. Every activity is done with a specific purpose.
          The performer or the participants are clearly told by the Sastrigal that their
          mind should be on the task without any diversion through the Sankalpam
          to achieve the desired results. The participants offer their prayer to the sacred
          Fire, if it is a Homam, For e.g. He Bhagawan, bless me with what you can to keep
          me healthy, happy, etc.