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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Saṅkalpa literally means ‘declaration’.

Every act or rite has to be preceded by a saṅkalpa. It is actually a declaratory formula giving not only the details of the day according to the pañcāṅga[1] but also the purpose behind the act.

A typical saṅkalpamantra should contain the names and other details like:

  1. Kalpa
  2. Manvantara
  3. Yuga
  4. Geographical position of the place of performance
  5. Year
  6. Solstice
  7. Month
  8. Fortnight
  9. Date and day of the week
  10. Name of the person performing
  11. Purpose

Any rite which is not preceded by such a saṅkalpa will become fruitless.


  1. Pañcāṅga means traditional calendar.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore