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THE IMPORTANCE OF SANKALPA IN SPIRITUALITY;-- 12 FACTS;- 1-It is said that anything can fail you in life but not the sankalpa made during yoga nidra, that a sankalpa can change your destiny.A Sankalpa is a resolve, (or resolution if you will,) which can be also made before any sadhana or beginning of any yogic practice, before meditation, or even at the start of our day. 2-Sankalpa is a Sanskrit word and can be translated as a resolution or resolve. A resolve or resolution is defined as will or purpose or intentions that one formulates mentally for virtuous conduct, It takes the form of a short phrase or sentence which should be clearly and concisely expressed, using the same wording each time, to bring about a positive change in one's life. 3-It is not only a positive affirmation or a positive thought but a process of training the mind to develop the will and to develop clarity of thought, to be the motivation behind your life. 4- The resolve that is made can be used for yoga nidra and personal practices like meditation and mantras ;at the beginning and end, . It can be remembered at anytime to increase its strength, when waking, when going to sleep, when going through hard times, whenever motivation is needed. The more it is remembered the more it will reinforce the seed that has been planted, it will ground us, motivate us, increase our willpower, focus us and give us a deeper sense of purpose and direction. 5-The purpose is to transform one ‘s life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When made on a mind that is calm and relax, the sankalpa is impressed on the subconscious. We then plant the seed of our sankalpa at the deep level of our soul, knowing that when the time is right, in the divine timing, this is what we will be experiencing in our lives. 6-If used properly a sankalpa will strengthen the mind and will. It helps to awaken the willpower within by uniting the conscious awareness with the unconscious forces which lie dormant. It can completely transform every aspect of the personality. It should not be used to fulfil desires, instead something should be chosen that will positively affect oneself physically, mentally and spiritually. 7-It is a way of transforming ones character, personality, direction and aims in life in a more positive and beneficial way. The sankalpa is a choice we make on deciding how we should live our lives. It should be a short statement made when we are peaceful and quiet. Time should be given to identify the most suitable sankalpa and it will not automatically come to the mind.The sankalpa should be in tune with an individuals personality. It should not cause struggle or doubt in the mind. It should come from within and not just be a quick thought. 8-The sankalpa is trust and faith in ourselves, if we do not have faith in our sankalpa then there is no point in using it. We should nurture the sankalpa, remembering it frequently. We should have positivity for our sankalpa, we should not question it. It should be in harmony with our mind and body. It should be the motivating force that we are working towards in life. 9-The phrasing of the sankalpa is also important. The sankalpa should always be affirmative. Cognitive Psychological studies have shown that the negative statement takes more time for the brain to understand whereas the positive is easy to understand for the neural networks. We should not say, I am going to stop being angry. We should say, I am going to (or I will) cultivate compassion, tolerance and kindness.It should be simple. We should not say,I want to be like this, this and this. There should be no greed attached to the sankalpa either, we should not want everything from our sankalpa, step by step what is needed will be identified. 10-There are two kinds of sankalpa:--- 1-The first one being a statement you make about something which is already in place, for example, ‘I am at peace with myself,’ or ‘I am healed.’ 2-The second kind of sankalpa is to set a specific intention or goal, which you hope to aim for. This could take the form of setting yourself milestones, or mini goals, in order to help you achieve your ultimate goal within a time frame set only by you. 11-So ,before you decide on your sankalpa, spend a few days meditating and thinking carefully about your life and where you want to go. It is said that the greatest of all sankalpas is to awaken the kundalini who dwells in mooladhara chakra and makes its headway through sushumna. Here are some suggestions of sankalp,Viz. 1- I awaken my spiritual potential 2- I am a positive force for the evolution of others 3- I am successful in all that I undertake 4- I am more aware and efficient 5-I achieve total health. 12-Be aware that change doesn’t happen overnight, and if things don’t work out, don’t criticize yourself. Just give yourself a gentle reminder of your good intentions. However, you need to be steadfast in your resolve and ensure that your sankalpa becomes as much a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth. Use it as a mantra during Pranayama, post a reminder of it on your computer or phone screen, and repeat it to yourself quietly before going to sleep. You will soon reap the benefits of its daily use.Its a personal choice to use the present tense rather than the future tense for affirmations. SANKALPA IN YOGA NIDRA;-- 08 FACTS;- 1-A sankalpa or resolve is made during the practice of yoga nidra. It should be something of immense importance to you. Resolves are short sentences of moral significance to be embedded in the subconscious such as 'I resolve to stop smoking.' In the state of yoga nidra passivity, this autosuggestion is very powerful. Such resolves can change your whole life. They will certainly come true if you repeat your resolve with enough conviction. By this method you can change old habits and cure certain mental illnesses. 2-A sankalpa or resolve is an affirmation which you make to overcome any weakness affecting your body, performance and life, and to awaken any other strength you may feel is necessary to provide you with internal balance. Rather than saying, 'I am going to give up...', give a complementary thought such as, 'I am developing...' or 'I am expressing my positive nature'. In that way you can make a sankalpa according to your choice and wish. Treat the matter as if it has already happened. Be one step ahead of what you want to achieve. 3-The sensitivity and potentiality of the mind is increased by the sankalpa. It increases the willpower. Initially, through a form of positive suggestion, it takes you into the psychic dimension, where the mind is sensitized (react easily ) and where the faculties of the mind have a lot of force. 4-In the initial stages sankalpa is used to focus the mental energies, and in the later stages it builds up the psychic (paranormal )energy. Initially it may seem like a form of autosuggestion(the hypnotic or subconscious adoption of an idea) but it is preparing the ground for harmony to express itself within you and it sharpens the faculties of the mind. 5-Sankalpa is the capacity to harness (control and make use of) the willpower and to harmonize forces in the body-mind. These forces are normally dissipated (unrestrained )by inner conflicts or confusion or by the various external demands and responsibilities of life. It is a tool to focus the energy, the prana, the life force, so that it becomes like a laser beam. 6-Sankalpa is one of the most important techniques in yoga. It should be used every time we begin our yoga practice, not just in yoga nidra. The practice of yoga nidra allows the sankalpa to go very deep into the psyche; however, remembering the sankalpa during other forms of yoga practice or during daily life helps us to stay focused and grounded with a deeper sense of direction and purpose. 7-The sankalpa is a way of focusing our attention on a point in the future. It is a future-directed technique, so that we can carry ourselves through the hard times, with a view of the light at the end of the tunnel. We are all in therapy at one level or another. Yoga therapy is just an application of yoga in the medical setting, but we are all trying to heal and find a greater wholeness and we all have a sankalpa, even if we are not aware of it. 8-When we are sick and suffering, a sankalpa can be of particular benefit because it is often hard to remember what we are doing and why we are doing it. Moreover, the process of therapy is difficult and the road to recovery may not be straight and simple. We use the sankalpa as a way of remembering what it is we are trying to achieve. LEVELS OF SANKALPA ;-- 05 FACTS;- 1-There are several levels of the sankalpa or resolve. There is one major sankalpa that we all have, which is the root sankalpa. This is the root desire, or the root sankalpa, of our being. The human mind operates mainly on desire. The word 'desire' here does not refer to emotional desires only, but rather to desire as a motivating force that operates in order to fulfil the basic needs of human existence. 2-These include the desire to breathe, sleep and eat. Beneath these desires is the reason we have come into existence. This desire is totally aligned to our dharma, our purpose, and it is very difficult to know what this root desire is. It is a great blessing when it reveals itself. 3-The key to successful use of the sankalpa is to bring the sankalpa we make during yoga practice into line with the root sankalpa of your being. In a healthy mind all our desires are linked up to our root desire. Our many conscious desires are often an attempt by the subconscious mind to take us back to the fundamental, primal urge that motivates us as individuals, and this can be different for us all. 4-Defining this primary desire requires finding the truth of our own being. This takes on different forms. It can be enlightenment, strength, or it can be knowledge. It can be so many different things. Sometimes the sankalpa is directed at a spiritual aim. Sometimes it is directed at a more psychological aim. Sometimes it is directed in a much more worldly sense. So when we create a conscious sankalpa we have to harness it to something that we really want. 5-The practice of sankalpa in yoga allows us to spend a little time contemplating and trying to tune into what we really want in life, what will give us deep satisfaction and fulfilment. It is a fundamental practice because it provides a foundation for everything else. In order to achieve satisfaction and contentment, which are the basis of health, we need to be aware of our core purpose, our dharma, our true nature, and what we want to achieve in life. HOW CAN WE FIND A SANKALPA ?-- 1-Finding a sankalpa is not easy. A sankalpa that really fits us takes time. Some people find it sooner, while for others there is confusion. Some like to add a whole lot of things together such as 'I should become stronger, more loving, wiser, richer and have a nice partner' and many other things. This type of sankalpa can create more confusion. The most important thing in phrasing a sankalpa is to make it simple. The simpler it is the more in harmony it is with the truth of what we are after. It is important not to get greedy. 2-When we are facing illness, often it is very simple to find a sankalpa, such as 'I will become healthier'. Implicit (indirect)in this resolve is; the fact that to achieve this goal. Because it is not mentioned ;what I have to start to do something about my health- right now. It is also an open-ended (without definite limits) sankalpa, because it means that we simply get healthier and healthier and there is no limit to how healthy we will become. 3-Ultimately a good sankalpa will come back to one primal thing that is important to us and if we achieve that thing we will get everything else at the same time. That is the ultimate curative (healing)sankalpa. On the way to achieving that primal aim, however, it can be good to have mini sankalpas that can be used day to day. We can have a sankalpa that 'Today I am going to be focused', or 'Today I will get through my meditation without sleeping'. That is the way to a greater holistic (treating the whole of something & not just a part) health for body and mind. HOW CAN WE DEVELOP POWER IN OUR SANKALPA ?- 1-The power of the sankalpa arises when we tune into our desires, into what we really want to achieve. When confusion and doubts arise they undermine the process, like a worm burrowing into the brain. There needs to be congruence, (balance) in the phrasing of the sankalpa between what we want to achieve and our feeling state, because we want to get away from the confusion, doubt and conflict. 2-When helping people to formulate a sankalpa we fine-tune their sankalpa until it feels right for them. Then we can see a certain energy forming. The person has clarity about what they want and where they are going. They may change their sankalpa somewhere down the track when they need to, but they have a feeling of real conviction. Experimentation and individuality are the keys. Find your own way with it. 3-It is sure that we all have made sankalpas and achieved things. It may be that life takes us to many different places, even appears to take us out of yoga for a while, but if we remember our sankalpa then perhaps we are practising a higher yoga and being more true to ourselves. If you keep your sankalpa you carry yoga wherever you go and whatever you do.So think of a sankalpa and repeat your sankalpa every day. Anything in life can fail you, but not the sankalpa made with determination, will, perseverance and sincerity. .....SHIVOHAM.....