What Is Satya-Sankalpa

[Shri Krishna]“It is said, ‘Man proposes, God disposes.’ Thus a person may desire many things, but unless these desires are fulfilled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they cannot be fulfilled. Fulfillment of desire is called satya-sankalpa.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 8.16.22 Purport)

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Friend1: I heard an interesting term the other day.

Friend2: What is that?

Friend1: It’s in the Sanskrit language. I am familiar with many of the terms, but I hadn’t heard this one before. Satya-sankalpa.

Friend2: That is interesting. Satya is truthfulness. That which is real. Sankalpa has several meanings.  Determination. Desire.

Friend1: Yes and you put them together to get the concept of fulfilling desires immediately.

Friend2: Explain further.

Friend1: Say that I want to build a house. A large property. Three floors, with the basement as the modern day man-cave. A backyard sufficient for the children to play on a daily basis.

Friend2: That sounds like a nice plan.

Friend1: Well, that’s exactly what it is. Only a plan in the beginning. I have to put in some work for the dream to materialize.

Friend2: Surely a lot of work. Find the right property. Hire an expert architect. Builders who can do the job on time and within budget.

[backyard playground]Friend1: The entire thing could take years.

Friend2: For sure.

Friend1: Well, with satya-sankalpa everything would materialize as soon as I think of it.

Friend2: Oh.

Friend1: It is said that expert yogis can acquire this ability.

Friend2: The prapti-siddhi of yoga. I am sitting in front of you. You ask to see an apple. I produce one out of thin air. This isn’t a magic trick. It’s not an optical illusion. A real apple.

Friend1: I heard the satya-sankalpa term in the context of the difference between God and ourselves. We are supposed to be vikalpa. There is a difference between mind and identity.

Friend2: Mind is a material element.

Friend1: A subtle one, and we are spirit. That is why I cannot have a huge house just by thinking of it. The mind is separate from my existence.

Friend2: Yes, and with God it is different.

Friend1: There is mind, but it is part of His identity. The idea is that the mind of the Supersoul is the same as the Supersoul itself.

Friend2: And satya-sankalpa is proof of that.

Friend1: Okay, but where does the prapti-siddhi of yoga fit into this?

Friend2: That is a good question. We discussed how a yogi can acquire this ability. This implies work and also two different states.

Friend1: What do you mean?

Friend2: Before and after. At one time the yogi is without the ability. Then they put in some work and acquire it. Before they were vikalpa and afterwards they are sankalpa.

Friend1: I see.

Friend2: And even that is not perfect. The yogi cannot always get everything they want. Anyway, God is never devoid of this ability. He is always satya-sankalpa. Do you see the difference now?

Friend1: Yes, but I can understand why someone would chase after this ability. I can also foresee others considering that person to be God Himself.

Friend2: For sure. That is the concept of cheaters and the cheated. If you apply a little brainpower you would ask the supposed divine personality to explain why they weren’t divine to begin with.

Friend1: If you are God today, why weren’t you God yesterday?

[Shri Krishna]Friend2: Exactly. The knowledgeable person is not cheated. They worship the true satya-sankalpa. They know that the Supreme Lord can immediately grant whatever is desired, and so the opportunity to chant the holy names will persist: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

As satya-sankalpa known,
By immediate fulfillment shown.

That with greatest power is He,
Produced now, not illusion to see.

Whereas to others sometimes denied,
Vikalpa no matter how much tried.

So better with Shri Krishna staying,
And not with foolhardy playing.

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