Most of the tech gadgets we purchase nowadays include a quick start guide along with a detailed manual. Because we live in a fast-paced world where sometimes we do not have enough time at our hands and want to quickly get started using the gadget.

Hence with that purpose, I want to present to you the quick start guide with a yogic practice of Sankalpa. I had ensembled this short guide for my own benefit as a quick revision of the practice, now and then. The main sources are from the videos this and this. Also from the book chapter titled Sankalpa from the book A Million Thoughts and this article on Sankalpa by Swamiji. So without any ado let’s get started:


A Quick Start Guide to SANKALPA

What is Sankalpa?

  • Sankalpa is a yogic practice of resolve.
  • The Sanskrit term for a vow, for resolve, for an oath, or for determination is Sankalpa.
  • When you make a decision, a stand, you have taken a Sankalpa.

How to practice Sankalpa?

  • Vow to do something (or not to do it) for an initial period of six weeks. After that, you can decide if you want to repeat or carry on with them forever.
  • You need not give up or take vows that extend your whole lifetime. Those vows are often unnecessary and unnatural.
  • Once you have kept your resolve for the set period, you can go a little easy after that. However, during the period of your practice, it is paramount that you don’t waiver.
  • The only mantra for successfully keeping the practice of Sankalpa is not to give up, no matter what.
  • During your period of Sankalpa, if you miss your practice even once, it is a hundred per cent breach of practice and requires restarting.
  • You need to, preferably, practise only one Sankalpa at a time.

Why practice Sankalpa?

  • The practice of Sankalpa strengthens your willpower like no other.
  • When you keep your resolutions, something amazing happens: your mind starts to listen to you a lot more, almost as if it understands that it’s in the hands of a determined individual.
  • As you progress with resolve, you will find your conditioned mind becoming feeble. You will experience an inexplicable inner strength. Such new-found strength will enable you to reach Sahaja, an emergent natural state of bliss ultimately.
  • The discipline to keep your resolve gives you the wings of confidence and wisdom to soar high.
  • Following and sticking to your Sankalpa infuses your mind with great power and determination.
  • Taking a Sankalpa is the only way to break free of an addiction. Except for this, there is no other way.
  • The practice of Sankalpa is one of the most powerful practices you can undertake to strengthen your willpower, to tame your mind, and to have your mind listen to you.
  • The one who is firmly established in his practices with vigour and intensity reaches his goal before long.

Additional tips

  • If you find yourself constantly thinking about your old habit, which is what’s going to happen in the beginning stages, simply and gently shift your attention.
  • Sometimes the best way to get rid of an old habit is to replace that habit with a new one rather than destroy the earlier one completely. Replacing a habit is much easier than just shedding your old habits completely.

Pitfalls to avoid

  • If you vow to do something but let it go without a determined and monumental effort, you will really struggle to keep any resolution you make the next time.
  • If you are detached, your habits cannot bind you. Your level of detachment, however, can only be ascertained once you are removed from the object of your attachment.
  • In one simple aphorism, Patanjali aptly nails down all possible hurdles one may encounter in carrying out any practice:

“Disease, sluggishness, doubt, inattentiveness, torpor, unrestrained senses, erroneous views, procrastination, and relapse are the obstacles in one’s practise.”

  • Unless you stick to your resolutions, your mind will not take you seriously.
  • When you don’t honour your own words, your mind will also not honour your words. In fact, it’s going to drive you nuts.

Thank you for reading, and I hope that it will be of some use. As a follow up to this post you may want to read my previous post on Sankalpa here.

Till next time,
The Math Guy.

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