What really is intention?

intent2My first exposure to intention was in a yoga class where the teacher asked all of us to lie down while she played the CD that played music and words from yoga nidra. She asked us to create a “sankalp” for whatever we wanted including competence in the asanas. The language was chaste Hindi, of which I did not understand all the words, but I did still do the meditation as told to us during the yoga nidra session.

I did not really know its power then but soon realized that affirming that I would be able to do all the asanas made me focus only on the improvement and not the fact that I was not competent in most of them.  After this, I came across many people who led life with the same principle whether they called it sankalp, intent, affirmation, the law of attraction or visualisation.

The dictionary defines intention as something we plan to do or achieve, in other words, an intention is an aim combined with affirmation that we shall indeed achieve it.For us to create an intention is to clarify what we want to achieve in a day, a week, a month or even a lifetime. This act is deceptively simple but deeply powerful. By creating an intention, we suddenly know how to measure our day.

Intentions are seeds. If we act on certain intentions, we are planting certain seeds. We may plant seeds of hate, of greed, of lust, or of delusion. It is one thing to plant one seed, but if we keep planting them, then we keep nourishing them, keep watering them, and they grow and grow until they almost who we are. This is why intention attracts who we are, not what we want. While leading a life with intention, we learn to connect with the goal behind the goal and know we are truly doing what we need to do to make our live more meaningful.

Sankalpa or the power of intention is not just about creating an intention. It has to be followed through with consistent action. Usually, the biggest obstacle here is expected instant results for our actions. This is why it is said in the Bhagwad Geeta, “Karmanye vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana, Ma Karmaphalaheturbhurma Te Sangostvakarmani” that loosely translates as “You have the right to work only but never to its fruits. Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction”.

This is best way to lead our life, by becoming a personification of the intention itself.


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