Mind And Body Health


            Sankalpa is the seed out of which germinates and grows the tree of achievements. Sankalpa is small, subtle-almost invisible. The achievements can be big and mighty. In the Upanishads the Rishi asks the disciple to cut the Aswattha seed into two and asks him “What do you see?” The disciple said “Nothing, Sir”. Then the Guru explains, “Out of the invisible seed grows the mighty Aswattha Tree.

Sankalpa can be defined as the firm will and determination to transform a desire into reality. The mind desires a thing, the intellect shapes it and the will executes it. If all the three are in total unison, then the power of the spirit lends its strength and desire gets transformed into a Reality. The dream becomes a fact. Vision becomes a tangible experience.

Sankalpa can be of two kinds. One, petty, selfish and ego-centric. Another, broad, unselfish and God-inspired. Both are powerful agents of creation. The difference is that the former is demoniac and the latter Divine. As per the Gita, the one is Asuri Sankalpa and other is Daivi Sankalpa. The Bhagavat Gita calls Asuri Sankalpa as “Kama Sankalpa”. Sankalpa born out of selfish or sensuous desires.

Gita advocates action without selfish desire for fruit. That will sublimate Karma into Karma Yoga in which your selfish desires are subsumed by the Divine will. In that situation work becomes Yajna if performed without reference to your personal likes or dislikes, success of failure, for the sake of Loka Sangraha. Loka Sangraha is the same as  enabling people to follow the path of Dharma. When you work for the sake of Loka Sangraha your work becomes God’s work and your will becomes one with the Divine will. Your Sankalpa becomes Iswara Sankalpa.

All the mighty heroes of great achievements who were prompted by the Asuri Sankalpa became menacing threats to humanity and to the world order. Instead of Loka Sangraha they indulged in Loka Nigraha. They were men of great Sankalpa but their was  Kama Sankalpa  or Asuri Sankalpa. Nonetheless they had their rewards, their great achievements, and conquest of the three worlds. But ultimately they were destroyed – destroyed by the great Avatars who descended on Earth with the Daivi Sankalpa of maintaining the world order in tact, promoting Dharma and destroying Adharma. That had been the history of Bharath Varsha and the promise of the great Lord.

This is quite natural in a spiritually oriented society, whereas in a materially oriented society the experience is quite the opposite. In our society the anguished prayer of the spiritually inspired soul is “Na twaham Kamaye etc – I don’t desire kingdoms nor the heavens nor even Mukti. What I do desire is the total banishment of all sorrow from the suffering creatures”.

The Mantra was “Loka: Samastha: Sukhino Bhavantu”. That is the great Sankalpa, which had always been the inspiration of all our great men and great movements.

The wording of the Sankalpa is indicative of the cosmological perspective enshrined in the Hindu worldview. The immensity of the Sankalpa is reflected against the background of immeasurable time and space. Thus Sankalpa is a solemn and sacred commitment for a great collective endeavour.

Once you take a Sankalpa and seriously start living in accordance with that, immense strength comes to you. The inner reserves of strength start coming into play. It is continuous, inexhaustible and almost irresistible. But there is also a sure chance of equally strong opposing forces getting simultaneously generated.

Taking Sankalpa means consciously inviting these obstacles. Undeterred by them you have to move on the path you have chosen, fully confident that the divine forces are behind you, ever ready to support you, provided you not lose heart and sit-back. As Swami Vivekananda wrote to his disciple Alasinga Perumal, “So long as you have faith in you and faith in God, nothing can stop you on your onward march”.

Swamiji has given the secret of this unfailing faith in his inspiring and inimitable style in the following words. “Each one of us has a destiny to fulfill, each nation has a message to deliver, each nation has a mission to accomplish. Therefore, from the very start, we must have to understand the mission of our own race, the destiny it has to fulfill, the place it has to occupy in the march of nations, the note it has to contribute to the harmony of the races. ………...Just as there is individuality in every man, so there is a national individuality.     Each… has a mission in life, which is the result of all his infinite past karma…..Every human being is an embodiment of such an ideal, such a mission. Whatever else you may lose, so long as that ideal is not lost, and that mission is not hurt, nothing can kill you”.

Mananeeya Eknathji Ranade has given us the sum and substance of the spirit of Sankalpa in the form of a unique formula. ‘One Life one Mission’ No one can put it better.

                                                                                                                        P. Parameswaran

Abridged from Yuva Bharati, November 2005