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  1. #1
    anandb is offline Senior Member
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    Sankalpam and its meaning

    I was always curious to know the meaning of the Sankalpam that we take before the start of a pooja or ritual. I am giving below what I have gathered from these sources. Credits given at the end.

    Firstly, we need to know the Hindu Cosmic cycle.

    1 Mahayuga = Sum of 4 Yugas (Krita, Treta, Dwapara and Kali) = 4,320,000 years. 1000 such mahayugas comprise a day-time of Brahma also known as a Kalpa. The kalpa is ruled by 14 manus in succession. The reigning period of a manu is one manvantara which is 71.42 mahayugas. There is an equivalent night-time of 4,320,000,000 years. The day-night of Brahma together constitutes one Brahma day (8.64 billion years). 360 Brahma days constitute a Brahma year while 360 years represent the lifetime of Brahma which is the life of the cosmos. Doing this simple maths gives the age of the cosmos to be 311 trillion years. Carl Sagan, the noted scientist says in relation to this, ""The Hindu religion is the only one of the world's great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang. And there are much longer time scales still."

    We are presently in the Sveta-Varaha kalpa in the reigning period of Vaivaswatha - the 7th manu. In this manvantara we are in the 28th mahayuga. As per our Cosmology, Brahma is supposed to have completed 50 Brahma years and is in his 51st year. That is why he is called "Parardha-dvaya-jivin" (ie) he lives for two parardhas. A parardha is half. Two halves make one. He is called so as he has completed one half of his tenure. These terminology makes better sense in relation to the Sankalpa.

    The actual Sankalpa mantra and its meaning runs like this

    ".... dviteeya parardhe - in the 2nd half of Brhama's life
    Svetavaraha kalpe - in the kalpa of Sveta-Varaha
    Vaivaswatha manvantare - in the reining period of the current manu Vaivaswatha
    Ashta Vimsati tame - in the 28th mahayuga of the current manavantara
    Kaliyuge - in this kali yuga
    Prathame Padhe - in the first quarter of this yuga
    Jamboodveepe - this denotes the place where the ritual is performed. India was known as Jambudveepa
    Bharata Varshe, Bharata Kande - in the land of Bharat
    Sakhabde Mero, Dakshine Parsve - to the South of the Meru mountain
    Asmin Varthamane Vyavaharike - in the current period now reigning
    Prabhavadi Shasti Samvatsaranam Madya - among the cycle of 60 years starting from Prabhava
    Nama Samvatsare - the name of the year in the 60 year Hindu calendar
    ....Ayane - Dakshinayane (Aadi to Marghazi) or Uttarayane (Thai to Aani)
    ....Ritou - denotes the 6 seasons or Ritus - Vasantha, Greeshma, Varsha, Sharadh, Hemantha and Shishira
    ....Mase - one of the 12 tamil months
    ....Pakshe - either Shukla Paksham (day after Amavasya till and including Pournami) or Krishna Paksham (day after Pournami till and including Amavasya)
    ....Subha Thithou - one of the 15 days between Pournami and Amavasya (Prathama, Dvithiya, Trithiya, Chaturthi, Panchami, Shasti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, Dasami, Ekadasi, Dwadashi, Trayodasi, Chaturdasi, Pournami or Amavasya
    ....Vasara Yuktayam - one of the days of the week (Bhanu, Soma, Bhowma, Soumya, Guru, Brugu and Sthira)
    ....Nakshatra Yuktayam - the day's star or Nakshatram.

    After saying the above the name of the ritual is said. The Paramacharya says the Sankalpam is a kind of record of what you performed with finer details going down to the day and location of the ritual. It seems to me the forerunner for a kind of bookkeeping or a system of maintaining minutes of a meeting.

    Source: Sankalpam and Cosmic Cycle
    vaishnavism: Sankalpam: What is it?
    Discourses of Paramacharya
  2. #2
    sadasivam.sridharan is offline Senior Member
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    Excellent explanation indeed!
    S.Sridharan
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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by anandb View Post
    Doing this simple maths gives the age of the cosmos to be 311 trillion years. Carl Sagan, the noted scientist says in relation to this, ""The Hindu religion is the only one of the world's great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang. And there are much longer time scales still."

    Dear Anand, Greetings!

    I appreciate your quote from Carl Sagan. I stand corrected.

    But, I can't help but mention the following. I am pretty sure Carl Sagan is not going to go for 311 trillion years.

    Cheers!
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  6. #4
    N.R.Ranganathan is offline Veteran
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    sankalpam

    Sir;

    Whenever we begin an auspicious function, we begin it with
    this sankalpa, which shows our concept of time and space !

    One minor but significant addition is that we start it as an act
    to please Lord Parameswara and finally end it as an offering to
    Lord Narayana. " I " is eliminated. Also, we say if there is any
    mistake or defect in uttering any mantra or leaving out
    any mantra ( similarly kriyas etc ), please pardon us. What humility !
    Last edited by N.R.Ranganathan; 11-10-2009 at 09:15 AM. Reason: spell check
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    venkatpasupathy is offline Member
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    Shri.anandb,
    Thanks for the lucid explanation. It is interesting to read the quote from Carl Sagan. Venkat
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  10. #6
    RVR
    RVR is offline Veteran Achievements:
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    Thanks anandb ji for your posting.

    It is highly informative.

    Keep it up

    All the best
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    venkatsharma is offline Newbie
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    Hello,

    I do amavasya tharpanam and when I say the Sankalpam, I know that JambuDweepa is wrong since I live in mainland Europe.
    Can someone tell me the correct word(s) to use in the complete Sankalpam.

    Help appreciated.

    Many thanks!
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    ilango is offline Newbie
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    Very well explained.
    we say instead of Jamboodveepe - New Zealand desae
    Vanakkam
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    drsundaram is offline Active Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anandb View Post
    I was always curious to know the meaning of the Sankalpam that we take before the start of a pooja or ritual. I am giving below what I have gathered from these sources. Credits given at the end.

    Firstly, we need to know the Hindu Cosmic cycle.

    1 Mahayuga = Sum of 4 Yugas (Krita, Treta, Dwapara and Kali) = 4,320,000 years. 1000 such mahayugas comprise a day-time of Brahma also known as a Kalpa. The kalpa is ruled by 14 manus in succession. The reigning period of a manu is one manvantara which is 71.42 mahayugas. There is an equivalent night-time of 4,320,000,000 years. The day-night of Brahma together constitutes one Brahma day (8.64 billion years). 360 Brahma days constitute a Brahma year while 360 years represent the lifetime of Brahma which is the life of the cosmos. Doing this simple maths gives the age of the cosmos to be 311 trillion years. Carl Sagan, the noted scientist says in relation to this, ""The Hindu religion is the only one of the world's great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang. And there are much longer time scales still."

    We are presently in the Sveta-Varaha kalpa in the reigning period of Vaivaswatha - the 7th manu. In this manvantara we are in the 28th mahayuga. As per our Cosmology, Brahma is supposed to have completed 50 Brahma years and is in his 51st year. That is why he is called "Parardha-dvaya-jivin" (ie) he lives for two parardhas. A parardha is half. Two halves make one. He is called so as he has completed one half of his tenure. These terminology makes better sense in relation to the Sankalpa.

    The actual Sankalpa mantra and its meaning runs like this

    ".... dviteeya parardhe - in the 2nd half of Brhama's life
    Svetavaraha kalpe - in the kalpa of Sveta-Varaha
    Vaivaswatha manvantare - in the reining period of the current manu Vaivaswatha
    Ashta Vimsati tame - in the 28th mahayuga of the current manavantara
    Kaliyuge - in this kali yuga
    Prathame Padhe - in the first quarter of this yuga
    Jamboodveepe - this denotes the place where the ritual is performed. India was known as Jambudveepa
    Bharata Varshe, Bharata Kande - in the land of Bharat
    Sakhabde Mero, Dakshine Parsve - to the South of the Meru mountain
    Asmin Varthamane Vyavaharike - in the current period now reigning
    Prabhavadi Shasti Samvatsaranam Madya - among the cycle of 60 years starting from Prabhava
    Nama Samvatsare - the name of the year in the 60 year Hindu calendar
    ....Ayane - Dakshinayane (Aadi to Marghazi) or Uttarayane (Thai to Aani)
    ....Ritou - denotes the 6 seasons or Ritus - Vasantha, Greeshma, Varsha, Sharadh, Hemantha and Shishira
    ....Mase - one of the 12 tamil months
    ....Pakshe - either Shukla Paksham (day after Amavasya till and including Pournami) or Krishna Paksham (day after Pournami till and including Amavasya)
    ....Subha Thithou - one of the 15 days between Pournami and Amavasya (Prathama, Dvithiya, Trithiya, Chaturthi, Panchami, Shasti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, Dasami, Ekadasi, Dwadashi, Trayodasi, Chaturdasi, Pournami or Amavasya
    ....Vasara Yuktayam - one of the days of the week (Bhanu, Soma, Bhowma, Soumya, Guru, Brugu and Sthira)
    ....Nakshatra Yuktayam - the day's star or Nakshatram.

    After saying the above the name of the ritual is said. The Paramacharya says the Sankalpam is a kind of record of what you performed with finer details going down to the day and location of the ritual. It seems to me the forerunner for a kind of bookkeeping or a system of maintaining minutes of a meeting.

    Source: Sankalpam and Cosmic Cycle
    vaishnavism: Sankalpam: What is it?
    Discourses of Paramacharya
    Anandb Sir, Very good. thanks for wondeful illustration.
    Love
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  18. #10
    kunjuppu is offline Veteran
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    Quote Originally Posted by anandb View Post
    The actual Sankalpa mantra and its meaning runs like this

    ".... dviteeya parardhe - in the 2nd half of Brhama's life
    Svetavaraha kalpe - in the kalpa of Sveta-Varaha
    Vaivaswatha manvantare - in the reining period of the current manu Vaivaswatha
    Ashta Vimsati tame - in the 28th mahayuga of the current manavantara
    Kaliyuge - in this kali yuga
    Prathame Padhe - in the first quarter of this yuga
    Jamboodveepe - this denotes the place where the ritual is performed. India was known as Jambudveepa
    Bharata Varshe, Bharata Kande - in the land of Bharat
    Sakhabde Mero, Dakshine Parsve - to the South of the Meru mountain
    Asmin Varthamane Vyavaharike - in the current period now reigning
    Prabhavadi Shasti Samvatsaranam Madya - among the cycle of 60 years starting from Prabhava
    Nama Samvatsare - the name of the year in the 60 year Hindu calendar
    ....Ayane - Dakshinayane (Aadi to Marghazi) or Uttarayane (Thai to Aani)
    ....Ritou - denotes the 6 seasons or Ritus - Vasantha, Greeshma, Varsha, Sharadh, Hemantha and Shishira
    ....Mase - one of the 12 tamil months
    ....Pakshe - either Shukla Paksham (day after Amavasya till and including Pournami) or Krishna Paksham (day after Pournami till and including Amavasya)
    ....Subha Thithou - one of the 15 days between Pournami and Amavasya (Prathama, Dvithiya, Trithiya, Chaturthi, Panchami, Shasti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, Dasami, Ekadasi, Dwadashi, Trayodasi, Chaturdasi, Pournami or Amavasya
    ....Vasara Yuktayam - one of the days of the week (Bhanu, Soma, Bhowma, Soumya, Guru, Brugu and Sthira)
    ....Nakshatra Yuktayam - the day's star or Nakshatram.
    thank you anandb.

    from age 15 till my final set of obsequies at kasi/gaya, i think i must have said these stanzas thousand times or more.

    good to know what it meant, after all these years.

    thanks again

    now that the mystery has been resolved, i go back to wondering, had i said this in tamil, maybe i would have appreciated it more

    also, with so many mispronounciations, from so many kutty vaadhiars, hope, those for whom these prayers were meant, got the benefit of my chant. which is past and done anyways.

    in retrospect, tamil chant of the same, would have been meaningful, no mistakes of pronounciations and would have understood my own offerings.

    after the first few times, i knew it by heart, and would chant along with the priest, more intent on shortening the time of the duration, much to the chagrin of my father

    thanks again sir, for the clarification.
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