by Michael Ketterhagen
“Sankalpa Shakti” is the power or energy of intention, in the Yoga world. Whenever we speak an intention, either mentally or physically aloud, “sankalpa shakti” is busy activating our will and determination. Sometimes that activation is very low on the energy table and sometimes it is out of this world strong. Our emotional level when making the intention and our habit (samskara) of speaking, or thinking, or acting on that intention strengthens that “shakti.” It becomes stronger and stronger spiritually energized power as our intention intensifies.
As some of you know I am in the middle of two significant experiences—the practice of the “Sri Sukta” and cancer of the blood, called Multiple Myeloma. The Sri Sukta is a set of 16 mantras that I repeat a number of times in preparation for a much longer practice of the song. It is a practice that leads one to inner and outer prosperity, joy and happiness. I am also in the middle of chemotherapy for the blood cancer and sometimes that treatment makes me weak and my mind foggy. At those times I am not able to do the spiritual practice of “Sri Sukta” very well.
I told my yoga teacher Pandit Rajmani this and he said, “Don’t worry. Do the best you can and I got you covered.” He will be doing the practice with a number of us and his spiritual level of consciousness excels.
In any case, when he said this, I realized that he was aware of my “sankalpa,” my will and determination, to complete the extensive practice and that he was there to take care of any of the lapses that may occur as I complete the practice and receive the fruit of the practice. He had my back, just like the Divine Mother (God) has anyone’s back, when they seriously intend to do spiritual practice. It doesn’t matter how well we do with the practice, just the intention is heard by our Ultimate Teacher (Guru), Our Ultimate Creator and Nurturer in our lives. The fruit of “eternal life in this and the next world” will come, especially according to the intensity of our request and the faithful commitment to that intention through personal spiritual practice.
The more we do yoga, either asana or meditation, with the intention to do our best, the more “shakti,” power/energy God has to work with. It’s the same with any other Spiritual practice, like the Catholic rosary, or a daily practice of reading Sacred Scriptures.
All we have to remember is that “God has got us covered!”