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In the beginning of any ritual, one has to say Sankalpam - a formulaic utterance where you tell the devatas where and when in the Universe the ritual is being conducted, the purpose of the ritual, etc,.

My question: what is the purpose of the Sankalpam? Is it to inform the devatas of something they don't already know, or what? Please quote the relevant passage(s) from scriptures.

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    It is to make yourself determined that you should do so and so things. Sometimes it may extend to days and months. – Rakesh Joshi Dec 17 '17 at 14:38
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    It specifies your location in Space time and inform/declare to bramhan that you are doing whatever act(generally nitya or kamya karma) to please him. It also acts as a reminder to jeeva that he is doing this act to reduce karmic balance and acts as workout acts for obese person. – Yogi Dec 17 '17 at 18:49
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सङ्कल्प - Samkalpa - is a Sanskrit word meaning a resolution; a free will or a determination. The word Sankalpa itself means good intention, an oath or a resolution to do something, a solemn pledge to do something good.All Yagnas and worships are accomplished after taking a vow for its performance. Sankalpa is nothing but an expression of feeling which the Saadhaka (doer) has for accomplishment of a Saadhana (task). By making a pledge a person becomes committed towards the accomplishment of his goal. Taking sankalpa as also oath means becoming committed to something and making Paramatma /Ista-Devata witness of it.

The sankalpa, which we say is in all pujas /rituals at the start, consist of four sections together to announce four important things.

  • Which time-cycle we presently are in .
  • Where we are doing this ritual
  • On which day and at what time we are doing it.
  • What we will be doing in the course of this ritual.


    Samkalpa or will and its purpose is discussed in Chandogya Upanishad - Adhyaya 8 - Kanda 4.

संकल्पो वाव मनसो भूयान्यदा वै संकल्पततेऽथ मनस्यत्यथं वाचमीरयति तामु नाम्नीरयति नाम्नि मन्त्रा एकं भवन्ति मन्त्रेषु कर्माणि ||१||

Will is greater than the mind.For one wills ,then he reflects , then he utters speech , and then he utters it in Name. In the Name the mantras become one ; and in the mantras sacrifice become one.

The examples of the power of the will (Samkalpa) are given in next mantra.

तानि ह वा एतानि संकल्पैकायनानि संकल्पात्मकानि संकल्पे प्रतिष्ठितानि संकृप्तां द्यवापृथिवि संकल्पेतां वायुश्र्चाssका शं च संकल्पन्तां ssपश्र्च तेजश्र्च तेषां संकृप्तयै वर्ष संकल्पते वर्षस्य संकृप्त्या अन्न. ....||2|

The Heaven earth willed ; the air and Akasha willed ; the water and fire willed. Through will of these , Rain wills ; through the will of Rain food wills ; through the will of the food the Breath wills.through the will of breath Mantra wil; Through the will of Mantra sacrifice will.Through the will of sacrifice the world wills through the will of the world , all things will , this is will meditate upon will .


In the beginning the of Brahman itself created the Sankalpa ,he created this universe through Sankalpa only . And his all the elements which were helpful in his creation also made Sankalpa. That's why we do sankalpa in the beginning of any work. And this is the power of Sankalpa.

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