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What are the rules for Sankalpa of naam japa?

If someone is chanting 108 or 1008 storam of a deity. How to decide the following:

  • number of days to continue.
  • number of times per day.
  • Day to start Sankalpa.
  • dietary restrictions.
  • others rules.

How to get these information according to shastras? Scripture reference will be appreciated.

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A. A sankalp is made between oneself & Ishta/Ishwar. There is no ONE given rule for making a sankalp, as taking a sankalp (in presence of Agni & Jal) is customizable according to-

  1. capacity of how much austerity/poojan/jaap one can do & how much time one
    has,
  2. how larger is the avistha (desire).

I don't strictly follow any texts in this, but two things I follow-

  1. I do japa for two days (atleast) of the same japa mantra to know my capacity & the amount of time it requires daily. The first day, I do 1-3 mala (1 mala = 108 japa), the next day as much as I can. From these two days, I understand what effort I can give for a prolonged period.
  2. Before making a sankalp, I ascertain that this is what I CAN TRULLY do. . If you are new, doing 1-3 malas per day should be very apt. If you can do more than that, absolutely fine. As you progress, you may slowly & gradually increase your jaap count by 1 mala per 1 month/3 months as you find it suitable. Just know this, whatever you actually do sankalp of, should be what you can fulfill, thats all. There are however, specifics in some sankalps, that follow the 108Xodd number of chants.

B. Starting of the sankalpas, can be on the auspicious poojan divas of the deity- such as Mon- Rudra, Wed- Ganapathy and so on; or 1, 7, 9, 14,16,21,28 or more days from an auspicious tithi of the deity- such as Mahashivarathri or Navrathri etc. It is upto you to mark the day and do vidhivat pujan or whatever rituals you earmark.

C. Usually eating satvik (complete veg) foods devoid of tamas is best during these times. Generally, one may choose to eat - 1. simple veg food incl. rice, flour; 2. non-rice veg food; 3. complete fruit & milk diet. Which one is to be done depends in some specific sankalpas or in general the devotee.

D. Other rules- Respecting elders, and in general all people; keeping peaceful thoughts & a polite tongue;not thinking/not doing anything to harm someone; doing daan to children, students, escpecially those in need, go-daanam (daan to cow), dogs etc. is preferrable during these times.

Shubham

Namaskaram.

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    Feb 11 at 14:27
  • @Shome, thanks for your answers. Just two follow up questions: 1> Number of days to continue a sankalpa has any pattern ? 2> For mantras you mentioned as mutiple of 108 but regarding a stotram is it odd numbers? If you share some some script reference it will be great. Feb 12 at 6:13

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