Saṅkalpa in this context means a solemn vow or determination to perform any ritual observance. The declaration of purpose and intent. For example, a declaration to perform chaturmāsa vrata which is for four months or a simple religious observance for a day or two.
The śivarātri vrata refers to the religious observation of kṛṣṇa-pakṣa chaturdaśī tithi as a penance to invoke the grace of Lord Śiva for forgiveness of all sins. The Mahā Śivarātri vrata is observed once a year in Magha māsa whereas every month has a māsika śivarātri vrata falling on the kṛṣṇa chaturdaśī of every month.
Sankalpa for the Śivarātri vrata is taken on the evening of the previous day i.e. magha kṛṣṇa trayodaśī which happens to be Sunday 3rd March, 2019.
With clean body, mouth and limbs we shall visit the Bhima-Shankara temple at Bhim Tal on the evening of 3rd March for the saṅkalpa.
- We (men) shall all be dressed in white clothes and without leather in the body. Women should have colored clothes, at least for lower garment.
- Carry a canvas purse if you must.
- Carry your japa mala in japa bag
- Carry some dakṣiṇā for the priest
After the evening puja and arati is completed, we have to do the following –
Take a little white rice, one flower, bilva leaf and a little water in your right hand. Say the following prayer and place it gently on top of the Śiva liñga.
शिवरात्रिव्रतं ह्येतत् करिष्येऽहं महाफलम्।
निर्विघ्नमस्तु ते चात्र त्वत्प्रसादाज्जगत्पते॥
śivarātrivrataṁ hyetat kariṣye’haṁ mahāphalam|
nirvighnamastu te cātra tvatprasādājjagatpate||
Fold your hands in namaskāra and say the following
देवदेव महादेव नीलकण्ठ नमोऽस्तु ते।
कर्तुमिच्छ्हाम्यहं देव शिवरात्रिव्रतं तव॥
तव प्रसादाद्देवेश निर्विघ्नेन भवेदिति।
कामाशः शत्रवो मां वै पीडां कुर्वन्तु नैव हि॥
devadeva mahādeva nīlakaṇṭha namo’stu te|
kartumicchhāmyahaṁ deva śivarātrivrataṁ tava||
tava prasādāddeveśa nirvighnena bhavediti|
kāmāśaḥ śatravo māṁ vai pīḍāṁ kurvantu naiva hi||
Thereafter perform daṇḍavata praṇām and pradaksina before leaving.