In that precise moment in time when you decide to do something, everything suddenly becomes crystal clear. You see your true capabilities, sometimes for the first time, because you allow them to rise to the surface. This is why challenges are so enlightening. They give you a better sense of yourself. They open your eyes to the most important – and the only – person who can turn your life around and bring miracles to life: YOU!
The place to start harnessing your power to determine your destiny, to achieve any intention as well as lasting fulfillment, is your own mind. According to the Vedic tradition, the most profound way to affect the course of your life is by harnessing the power of resolution or intention, which in Sanskrit is called sankalpa.
Sankalpa is the compound of two Sanskrit words: kalpa, which means “a way of proceeding” or, more revealingly, “the rule to be observed above or before any other rule,” and san, which refers to a concept or idea formed in the heart. Thus, sankalpa means determination or will: an intention, a conviction, a vow, or most commonly, a resolution—one that reflects your highest aspirations. In practical terms, a sankalpa is a declarative statement, resolution, or intention in which you vow or commit (to yourself, your teacher, a priest, or even God) to fulfill a specific goal.
So how do you know when you’ve chosen the correct focus for your sankalpa? The Vedic scriptural source, Chandogya Upanishad, conveys the exact same principle this way: “His desires are right desires, and his desires are fulfilled.” The terms “righteousness” and “right desires” point us back to the fact that the right desires are in line with our higher purpose. The Sanskrit term for such desires is satyakamna, which means “true desire.” The will to act on such desires is called satyasankalpa, or “true resolve.” How do you find your satyakamna, your true desire? The answer is to ask your soul. Steeped in soul, you no longer have to try to distinguish “thy” will from “my” will; soul is where universal will and individual desire merge. As Lord Krishna states in the Bhagavad Gita, “I am desire itself, if that desire is in harmony with the purpose of life.”
Look within!! Allow your inner voice to provide you with an answer that pinpoints the particular desire that will best serve your highest purpose. Don’t let your rational mind take over this process; it must be organic and intuitive. The response from your soul will be decisive and clear.