Shiva Sankalpam Sukta

Prayers for the protection of the Mind
with English translations of Pt. Usharbudh Arya

The Shiva Sankalpam Sukta consists of six verses and is from the 34th chapter of the Yajur Veda.

The Shivasankalpam mantras infer a special कल्प (Sankalpa – desire/intent). Anyone can have a Sankalpa that is, the intent or desire for anything – which can easily become an obsession. However, when the Sankalpa is backed by the right intent, the nobility of mind, that is, it is shiva-like. It becomes focused, meditative, benevolent, auspicious and powerful – and yet with detachment. Shiva Sankalpa allows desires and intent to be noble and not to be yoked or attached to the person. Desires can easily overcome us to the extent that we become what we desire.

These mantras also soothe, calm and protect the mind from negative influences. As a family, we chant these before sleeping so that the mind is in the positive state during sleep. The English translations (in green) are quoted from Pt. Usharbudh Arya

ज्जाग्रतो दूरमुदैति दैवं
तदु ुप्तस्य तथैवैति
दूरङ्गमं ज्योतिषां ज्योतिरेकं
तन्मे मनः शिवकल्पमस्तु1

Yaj-jaagrato dooram-udaiti daivam
tadu suptasya tathai-vaiti.
Door-aṅgamam2 jyotiṣhaam jyotir-ekam3
tan-me manah shiva-sankalpam-astu.

That far-going light of all lights that flies to distances in one’s wakeful state, and even so in one’s sleep, may that, my mind, be filled with beautiful and benevolent thoughts.

Notwithstanding all of its daivam divine qualities, the manah mind dooram udaiti travels far and wide while we jaagratah are awake. Tadu It behaves in tathai similar manner suptasya while asleep by doorangamam moving about and going afar. May tat that me manah my mind, jyotishaam jyotirekam be inspired and illuminated with shivasankalpam astu noble intent.

ेन कर्माण्यपसो मनीषिणो
ज्ञेकृण्व्ति विदथेषु धीराः
दपूर्वं क्षमन्तः प्रजाां
तन्मे मनः शिवकल्पमस्तु4

Yena kar-maaṇ-ya-paso maneeṣhiṇo
yajye-kriṇvanti vida-theṣhu dheeraah.
Yada-poorvam yaksham-antah prajaa-naam
tan-me manah shiva-sankalpam-astu.

That by which the wise ones perform their sacred deeds in the yajyas, and the patient ones go into the battle-field of life, that which is the unique, mysterious light hidden in the innermost recesses of all beings, may that, my mind, be filled with beautiful and benevolent thoughts.
The mind karmaani causes the performance of good deeds with apasah integrity. It has manisheenah discipline in yajye worship and krinvanti act of vidatheshu sharing knowledge with dheerah wise persons. Yadapoorvam unique, yakshamantah internally diverse prajaanaam all-encompassing: tan me manah may that my mind, shivasankalpam astu with noble intent.

त्प्रज्ञानमुतचेतो धृतिश्च
ज्ज्योतिर्तरमृतं प्रजा
्मान्नऋते किञ्चन  कर्मक्रियते
तन्मे मनः शिवकल्पमस्तु5

Yat-prajyaa-nam-uta-cheto dṛitish-cha
yaj-jyotir-antar-amṛitam prajaasu.
Yasmaan-na-ṛite kin-chana karma-kriyate
tan-me manah shiva-sankalpam-astu.

That which is awareness in itself, that which is consciousness; that which is patience, sustenance and memory. That which is amrita-jyoti, the deathless light present amongst all creatures, that without which no action is performed, may that, my mind, be filled with beautiful and benevolent thoughts.

That prajaanaam repository of knowledge, that cheta source of memory and consciousness, driti patience and courage yat which is jyotir antar internally illuminated and amritam free from being annihilated, that which prajaasu exists in everyone and yasmaan rite without which kinchan no karma action or work kriyate can be performed; tan me manah shivasankalpamastu may that my mind be filled with noble intent.

ेनेदं भूतं भुव भविष्यत्
परिगृहीतममृतेन र्वम्।
ेन ज्ञ्तायते प्तहोता
तन्मे मनः शिवकल्पमस्तु6

Yenedam bhootam bhuvanam bhaviṣh-yat
pari-gṛiheetam-amṛitena sarvam.
Yena yajyas-taayate sapta-hotaa
tan-me manah shiva-sankalpam-astu.

That amrita, the deathless one, by which is held all the past, the present and the future. That which presides over my intellect, O Lord, may that, my mind, be filled with beautiful and benevolent thoughts.

That in which the bhootam past, bhoovanam present and bhavishyat future parigrihitena is comprehended, that which is amritena indestructible, sarvam is present in everyone; yena that with which yajyasya worship and selfless sacrifice taayate is accomplished, that which saptahotaa7 interacts with the seven organs (2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, mouth), tan me manah shivasankalpamastu may that my mind be filled with noble intent.

्मिन्ृचः जूंषि
्मिन् प्रतिष्ठिता रथनाभाविवाराः
्मिश्चित्तं र्वमोतं प्रजाां
तन्मे मनः शिवकल्पमस्तु8

Yasminn-ṛichah saama yajoon-ṣhi
yasmin pratiṣh-ṭhitaa rathanaa-bhaa-vivaaraah.
Yasminsh-chittam sarvam-otam prajaanaam
tan-me manah shiva-sankalpam-astu.

That by which is sustained the knowledge of the Rig, the music of the Saama, and the sacred deeds of the Yajur like the spokes in the hub of a wheel; that into which is woven and interwoven all the chitta and consciousness of all beings, may that, my mind, be filled with beautiful and benevolent thoughts.

That yasmin within which exists the richah saama yajoonshi Rigveda, Saama Veda and Yajurveda like prathishthaah are present rathanaabhaavivaaraah like spokes in a wheel; that yasmin within which chittam sarvamotam prajaanaam knowledge is complete and full like the thread through a necklace tan me manah shivasankalpamastu may that my mind be filled with noble intent.

ुसारथिरश्वानिव ्मनुष्यान्
ेनीयतेऽभीशुभिर्वाजिन इव
हृत्प्रतिष्ठं दजिरं जविष्ठं
तन्मे मनः शिवकल्पमस्तु9

Suṣhaa-rathir-ashvaan-iva yan-manuṣh-yaan
ne-nee-yate-bheeshubhir-vaa-jina iva.
Hṛit-pratiṣhṭham yad-ajiram javiṣhṭham
tan-me manah shiva-sankalpam-astu.

That which, like an expert charioteer controlling the horses with reins held fast, ever leads men. That which is heart-abiding, ever-moving, and speediest of all forces, may that, my mind, be filled with beautiful and benevolent thoughts.

O yan manushyaan you with a mind, be Sushaarathirashvaan iva like a skilled driver of his vehicle who neneeyate forcibly maintains abhishubhi control of its speed and vajinah power. The mind is hrit pratishtham at your very centre, yat ajiram restless but immune from decay and javishtam of immeasurable speed – tan me manah shivasankalpamastu may that my mind be filled with noble intent.

  1. Yajur Veda 34.1
  2. Doorangaman could also refer to the limbs and sense organs
  3. Jyotishaam jyoti also refers to the power of those senses, thus the mind is the controller of the doorangamam senses.
  4. Yajur Veda 34.2
  5. Yajur Veda 34.3
  6. Yajur Veda 34.4
  7. Saptahotaa refers to multiple things: 7 hotas (performers) of the yajya. Also, the 7 senses that combine to make a perfect worship(Yajya): taste, breath, sight, hearing, feeling, intellect, and soul. The number 7 is also symbolical to: 7 days in a week
  8. Yajur Veda 34.5
  9. Yajur Veda 34.6