The New Year is just a few days away and new year resolutions are among the thoughts and words swirling in our heads.
The English word ‘resolve’ means firm determination to do (or not do) something. Resolve in action is resolution, which comes from the Latin word meaning to release or ease. That’s what we’re all after, some relief from our troubles, isn’t it?
Sanskrit, the language of yoga, offers a profound simplicity to the modern concept of making a resolution. If we take a closer look at the word sanskrit, we see that it combines the prefix san (or sam) which can mean ‘wholly’ ‘perfectly’ ‘completely’, with the root ‘krit’ which means ‘done.’ Thus, the name of the language itself indicates the connection or union or even perfection of meaning expressed in word.
As a primarily spoken language (historically), Sanskrit has a special way of capturing the meaning of the word in the sound of its pronunciation. I myself am finding that the deeper I delve into yoga theory, the more meaning there is in the practice of chanting the Sanskrit, even in simply the making sound of aum.
When we take that same prefix san of the word Sanskrit and apply it to the root kalpa, which can mean ‘feasible,’ ‘possible’, ‘proper,‘ or ‘able’ (as well as the many other definitions including an ‘era’ or unit of time), we get an invitation to start 2011 very gracefully: in union with that which is possible.
A sankalpa is made before sacred acts, which is exactly what we hope to make our experience of 2011. It helps to infuse the mundane of the upcoming event (in our case the next 365 days) with the Spirit, the part of us that is beyond time. We set an intention, a statement of purpose, a pact with our deepest Selves.