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Sankalpa

by Swami Sivananda

The Operation Of Thought

There is the spiritual life in God. This is what relates us to the Infinite. You get everything in Brahman, as He is self-contained and Paripurna (all-full). All your wants and desires are satisfied there. There is then the physical life. This it is that connects us with the universe around us. The thought-life connects the one with the other. It is this that plays between the two.

We have the power within us to open or close ourselves to the divine inflow exactly as we choose. This we have through the power of mind, through the operation of thought. If you are Rajasic, you are far from God. You have shut yourself up from God. If you are Sattvic, you open yourself to the divine inflow.

The sacred Ganga takes its origin in Gangotri (Himalayas) and runs perennially towards Ganga Sagar. Similarly, thought-currents take their origin from the bed of Samskaras (impressions) in the mind, wherein are imbedded the Vasanas (latent subtle desires), and flow incessantly towards the objects both in waking state and dream. Even a railway engine is sent to the engine-shed for rest when the wheels become overhot. But, this mysterious engine of mind goes on thinking without a moment's rest. The expansion of this mind alone is Sankalpa; and, Sankalpa, through its power of differentiation, generates this universe.

Ajnanins have fickle minds with a great deal of fluctuation and myriads of Sankalpas. Their minds ever vacillate through Sankalpas. But, Jnanins will be free from Sankalpas. They will be ever resting in their Atmic Jnana (Jnana-Svarupa) which gives the highest satisfaction (Tripti) and Supreme Peace (Parama Santi).

Sankalpa Only Is Samsara

When Sankalpa increases prodigiously, it is in no way beneficial. It is for evil only. The cause of bondage is Sankalpa. It is all the Sankalpas and Vasanas which you generate that enmesh you as in a nest. You become subject to bondage through your own Sankalpas and Vasanas like a silk-worm in its cocoon. Sankalpa of the mind itself is pain. Its absence is Brahmic bliss. Sankalpa only is Samsara; its destruction is Moksha.

It is the Sankalpa of the mind that brings about this world with all its moving and fixed creatures. The poisonous tree of the great Maya's illusion flourishes more and more out of the seed of the mind's modifications, full of Sankalpa, in the soil of the variegated enjoyments of the world.

Maya is a big poisonous tree. Trishnas and Vasanas water the tree of Mayaic illusion. Karmas are the fruits. Lust, anger, greed, etc., are the sprouts. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are the buds. Indriyas are the twigs. Ahankara is the trunk. Raga and Dvesha are the two main branches. Various sensual objects are the leaves.

The individualised mind, which is full of Avidya and is all-pervading, though existing in name, has no form, either external or internal, like the Akasa permeating all space. The mere manifestation in all objects of (seeming) reality is the mind. Wherever there is Sankalpa, there does the mind exist.

The origin and the dissolution of this universe, which is nothing but a mode of consciousness, take place with the complete origination and destruction of the Sankalpas of the mind. Realisation of Brahman can be effected through the mind alone after abandoning its Sankalpas and Vikalpas. You should root out Sankalpa as completely as possible. This destruction of Sankalpa should be intelligently practised.

Annihilation Of Sankalpas Constitutes Moksha

You may perform Tapas for myriads of years; you may be able to travel at once through the three worlds; but, never will you be able to reach the stainless MOKSHA, except through the firm path of annihilation of Sankalpas. Therefore, endeavour to destroy this Sankalpa and, thereby, attain Brahmic bliss which is devoid of pains and heterogeneity.

It is only Sankalpa of the mind destroyed beyond resurrection that constitutes the immaculate Brahmic seat. Why can you not contemplate silently and secretly in your heart upon the destruction of this Sankalpa? Then it will so betide that even the throne of an emperor, who sways his sceptre over the whole earth, will be regarded by you as but a paltry bauble.

Remain without Sankalpa-Vikalpa and Dvaita-Bhavana (idea and feeling of duality). Divest yourself of all Sankalpas and be a Nirvikalpa. This is Brahma-Nishtha or Advaita-Nishtha. Strive hard to get this state. You will be then in perfect peace and joy.

The Svabhava Of Manas

The mind can very easily think of worldly objects. It is its Svabhava. Thoughts generally flow with ease towards objects. Mental energy will readily flow in that direction. The mental force can easily flow in the old grooves and avenues of mundane thoughts. It finds it extremely difficult to think of God. It is an uphill work for a Samsaric mind of Vyavahara. The difficulty in weaning the mind from objects and fixing it on God is the same as in making the Ganga flow towards Badri Narayan instead of its natural flow towards Ganga Sagar. It is like rowing against the current of the Yamuna. Still, through strenuous efforts and Tyaga it must be trained to flow towards God, much against its will, if you want to free yourself from birth and death. There is no other go if you want to escape from worldly miseries and tribulations.

How To Destroy Sankalpa

Destroy the stains of Sankalpa or the cloud of Sankalpa through the power of discrimination and constant efforts and be drowned in the ocean of Brahmic bliss with spiritual illumination. When you try to bury your shadow in the earth, it always comes out. Similarly, when you try to destroy the Sankalpas through Viveka-Vritti, they will come out again and again. Withdraw the mind from the objects and act according to your Guru's instructions. Purify the mind and fix it on the Akasa of the heart (Infinite Brahman). The mind will be destroyed in course of time. Be sure of this.

Do not for a moment contemplate upon the things of the universe. You need not exert yourself too much to rid yourself of this Sankalpa. With the checking of all thoughts, one's mind will perish. To crush a full-blown flower in one's hand requires a little effort, but even that little effort is not needed to do away with Sanklpa. Sankalpa is destroyed with the control of thoughts. Having firmly annihilated the external Sankalpa through the internal one and having destroyed the impure mind through the pure one, rest firmly in your Atma-Jnana.

When you are firmly established in the idea that the world is unreal, Vikshepa (through names and forms) and Sphurana of Sankalpa (thoughts) will slowly vanish. Repeat constantly the formula, "Brahma Satyam Jaganmithya Jivo Brahmaiva Naaparah" (Brahman alone is real. World is unreal. Jiva is identical with Brahman). You will gain immense strength and peace of mind through the repetition.

Having freed yourself from all desires for the visible objects before you and having made your impure mind firm and steady through your pure mind, eradicate all the Sanklpas that arise in the mind. Now, this mind, which arises through Sankalpas, perishes through it alone like a flame of fire which, though fanned by the wind, is yet extinguishable by the same.

The State Of Nissankalpa

With the extinction of the base Sankalpas, there is the extinction of Avidya and its effect, mind. Sankalpa is pain. Nissankalpa is all bliss. Sit alone in a solitary room. Close the eyes. Watch the mind and destroy the Vrittis one by one by continuous, energetic efforts. Asamprajnata Samadhi will ensue.

If, with the extinction of the pain-producing Sankalpas, the mind also is destroyed, then will the thick frost of Moha (delusion) affecting you from remote periods dissipate itself. Then, like an unobscured sky in the autumnal season, Brahman alone will shine resplendent, blissful, imperishable, non-dual, formless and without birth and death.

When your thoughts, which are now dispersed, shall be collected together and you will remain in a state of repose, then the eternally happy Atman will shine forth as the reflection of the sun is seen in a clear surface of water. Peace is not in money, woman or eating. When the mind becomes desireless and thoughtless, Atman shines and sheds forth eternal bliss and peace. Why do you search in vain for happiness in objects outside? Search within for bliss in the subjective, Sat-Chit-Ananda Amrita Atman.


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