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 but also the purpose behind the act.
A typical saṅkalpamantra should contain the names and other details like:
- Geographical position of the place of performance
- Date and day of the week
- Name of the person performing
Any rite which is not preceded by such a saṅkalpa will become fruitless.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore