Shiva means: auspicious; meditative; of divine mind; benevolent; beneficent. Sankalpa is an unbreakable resolve. Sukta means well said. It is practiced for developing calm clear thoughts, alignment to purposeful living, and for strengthening mental resolve.
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Our much maligned mind deserves a look at its positive attributes. It is the most creative form of energy in the universe. It is our very being. With some malignancy, it is still the source of immense benevolence, all beneficent knowledge, and all love and beauty. There is much to sing in praise of the mind. No pathologies here; only the divine power of the mind -- so the ancient Rishi sang in the Vedas.
The 33 rd chapter of Kanva recension of Yajur-veda contains only the first mantra. The 34 th chapter of the Vajasaneya recension has six. These are the most well known. Less known is the apocryphal version in the Khila-suktas of Rg-veda Khila-sukta 33 , containing 26 mantras. In this presentation I plan to synthesize the commentaries of the great acharyas, Sayana, Uvvata, Mahidhara and Swami Dayananda Saraswati into paraphrased presentation of a comprehensive rendering.
This, for the first six of the mantras from Yajur-veda. The remaining 20 mantras are being translated for the first time. It has required these many paragraphs to translate the mere 21 words of the first mantra as presented below. Other mantras are also more or less consisting of similar number of words but they require lengthy explanations. The explanations of mantras given here are by no means exhaustive, only illustrative. The true meaning will dawn upon the contemplative muni only through meditation.
As meditation progresses through its many stages and states, so does the meaning unveil itself. No mantra is ever recited in the tradition without worshipfully remembering its rishi , the seer and its devata , the deity, divine conscious power. Thus the rishi of the first six mantras from the 34th chapter of Yajur-veda is named Shiva-sankalpa and the deity is mind itself. The rishis of the mantras from khila-suktas , apocryphal hymns, are not known.
What are presented here are paraphrases and not always literal translations of commentaries, although we have attempted to maintain an integral intellectual honesty in making these presentations, staying as close as possible to the original. I am the self that is consciousness 2. I am purusha , dweller of the city of body and nature. This, my mind rises like the sun. It rises above and beyond my senses and travels far beyond them. In my wakeful state it traverses and is operative towards even the distant objects through its contact with the senses.
So also does it go to the objects concealed as they are of the past, future, present, too close, or too distant. It goes to them as though they were in its own realm. Similarly goes the mind of one seeing dreams. It goes to distant objects, objects that are in the form of imprints and impressions that have created realities that consist of latent proclivities vasanamaya padartha. As the mind reaches out far in dream and sleep by whatever path, by the same path does it return to where it has been in the wakeful state.
The mind of one asleep, being in its natural state, goes to atman the spiritual self which is normally thought of as distant; it becomes absorbed in it, coalesced with it. This angelic godly mind daivam manah is by which one becomes a being of bliss and does no longer grieve or suffer 3. The divine in the human person is the cognition-self. In that does the mind dwell and it is through the medium of this mind that cognition-self is grasped; hence it is of the shining ones, angelic, godly.
As it is said:. It is called light because it is the instrument of illumination and operation of the senses which are the means of cognition of each of its realm. It is one single light among the lights known as senses that lead one to experiential consciousness and cognition. Of these senses, mind is the true light, the one light of many lights, the illuminator, the one that impels them into involvements pr-vartakam. The senses only thus impelled do become involved each in its realm.
Atman connects with mind; mind with the senses; the senses with their objects — so says Nyaya 4. Without being connected with the mind they cannot be operative. May my mind be of resolve towards the fruits such as the celestial and heavenly ones in the life beyond, and of welfare, bene, in the current life. May it be resolved upon the right means such as sacraments for attaining the celestial and worldly beneficence. May it be such, keeping dharma as its object, that its resolve and inclination is always productive of bene.
May such a mind, not dependent on causes homogeneous to senses, my realm, the conditionality upadhi of all operations, of me who am the field-knower, be shiva-sankalpa 5. Sankalpa is the attraction towards desirables like opposite sex; may my mind become such that its desires rest pacified.
May my mind be established in Shiva, one-bliss-self, Supreme Self; may it dwell established in the in Knowledge that Supreme Self. Those who follow the divine commands and keep company of the wise, thereby purify the mind that is endowed with manifold powers; the mind that is operative in wakefulness and pacified in sleep.
Those who know that the mind is the speediest of the speedy forces and the impeller of senses, they thereby bring the mind under control; they can thus channel the mind away from the ugly and the undesirable and towards the beautiful and the benevolent. Sacraments and sacred acts cannot be performed without the mind, and these acts can only be undertaken when knowledge has arisen before.
This mind is unique. It is unprecedented, for, it precedes the senses. It is yet non-externalized because it is identifiable with atman the self. This mind alone can be sacramental and sacred. It dwells within the bodies of all entities that are born. The senses dwell in the externals; the mind alone is the internal sense. Because of being in the presence of God and the saintly, those who are ever intent upon action keep their minds under restraint. They are the meditative ones dhyani endowed with intelligence, performing the enjoined acts such as fire sacraments, other dharma-endeavours, pursuits of experiential knowledge or in battle fields.
The mind [wherewith they so perform] is unique, endowed with the highest attributes and actions. It is honour-worthy, coalesced in the hearts of all living beings.
May such a mind, identified as the very process of thought contemplation, be shiva-sankalpa, ever inclined towards the [path of] dharma. It well behooves the human beings that, through realizational worship 8 , beautiful thoughts and company of the noble ones, they divert their minds from non-dharmic conduct and incline it towards dharmic behaviour.
The mind that produces specialized cognitions in beings, is the means and the medium wherewith the highest knowledge is obtained. This mind fully and harmoniously causes the cognition of both generalized knowledge [of direct perceptions] and the specialized cognitions [of inferential processes]; this same mind is the medium wherewith highest knowledge [from wise sages and from revelations] is received.
Without this mind no action can be performed because all involvement in and operation of actions in beings is preceded by the mind. Oh human beings, the mind that is the instrument of fulfilling all purposes of beings as it is the inner illuminator in four aspects of inner instrument antah-karaNa , faculty of intellect buddhi , mind-field chitta and identifying principle aham-kara Divert that mind away from injustice and non-dharmic conduct and tending and inclining towards justice and truthful action.
The mind wherewith is grasped, known, from all sides the reality relating to the past, the existent world that is present, and future. Oh human beings, the mind united with the imperishable Supreme Self, wherewith all this reality staying in the three time divisions — past. Present and future, is grasped, known;. The mind wherewith the fire sacrament like agniShToma as well as the application of empirical sciences is extended, expanded,. Oh human beings, the mind that is trained and has become accomplished through the main methods as well as the subsidiary means of yoga, becomes thus the knower of all three time divisions 11 as well as of the whole creation, and thereby the medium accomplishing action, realizational worship and knowledge The mind in which the lauds [of Rg-veda], psalms and hymns [of Sama-veda], and the liturgical chants [of Yajur-veda] are established it is only in the health and self-stability of that mind that there would flash the three levels of knowledge Veda and it is thus that in such a mind all Word is established.
As the spokes are established in the navel the centre of the chariot wheel, so is the network of Word established in the mind. May such mind of mine be shiva-sankalpa, one with pacified activities, the one in which all operations are now resting in peace. The mind in which the Rg, Yajus, Saman and Atharvan Vedas are affixed, are stabilized from all sides, like spokes in a hub,. Oh human beings, it well behooves you that you purify with knowledge and dharmic conduct that inner instrument, mind,.
It is the mind that carries the human beings 12 exceedingly from here to there as they beings operate only impelled by the mind. How is that? Here an illustration: the way a good charioteer, controlling, leads the horses with a whip.
There are two similes here. As the charioteer both controls and leads the horses, so also the mind controls and leads the beings. This mind dwells, is established, in the heart, for, it is in the heart that it is to be found and realized This mind is non-aging as it remains [unaltered] in the respective condition during childhood, youth and old age. As a good and clever charioteer drives the horses from all sides with the help of the reins, similarly the mind drives living beings, such as humans, swiftly in all different directions.
Just as the charioteer controls the speedy steeds with reins and keeps them under restraint [so also does the mind]. May such my mind find favour in the restraint that is identical to auspiciousness. In this mantra there are two similes. The mind leads a human being perforce towards the object of his attachment and addiction the way a charioteer leads the horses with the reins.
It reins them as a charioteer reins the horses. The five, fifty, hundred, thousand, million, billion are the bricks of the fire altar that the body is composed of. It is all of the mind. May such my mind be of beautiful and divine resolves, filled with Shiva-thoughts. This great Person, of the solar hue, beyond darkness I do know; The wise ones who see its womb and origin do so with the mind.
The shining ones, devas, who cause the resolves in my heart and mind and shape the sky of my inner vision in manifold ways; they who circulate in my ears and eyes, they are of the mind.
The one whom the wisdom-endowed ones, seers and poets kavis , purify, and reveal this moon that is verily an expansive creator and ordainer, along with the moving and unmoving entities and heaven and space, may such my mind be of beautiful and divine resolves, filled with Shiva-thoughts. By which the awesome heaven, earth and sky of inner vision is filled, and by which mountains, quarters and sub-quarters are all pervaded, and so, too, all this fully knowing world, may such my mind be of beautiful and divine resolves, filled with Shiva-thoughts.
Siva Sankalpa Suktam
Our much maligned mind deserves a look at its positive attributes. It is the most creative form of energy in the universe. It is our very being. With some malignancy, it is still the source of immense benevolence, all beneficent knowledge, and all love and beauty. There is much to sing in praise of the mind. No pathologies here; only the divine power of the mind -- so the ancient Rishi sang in the Vedas. The 33 rd chapter of Kanva recension of Yajur-veda contains only the first mantra.
Shiva Sankalpa Suktam