What is a vow? And the difference between inspiration and commitment.
Mahatma Das: Just as one can offer Krishna an existing thing or a present action one can also offer him a future action along with the perseverance to fulfill it. That offering of perseverance is characteristic of a vow.
This is actually a definition or close to a definition of a vow that I found online given by the Catholic Church, so let’s analyze it a little bit.
The idea is that I agree to offer something to you, but a vow is I agree to offer you that forever and I also agree or I commit internally with perseverance to maintain that.
So I’m offering this particular object or service and I’m also offering the perseverance. It’s a promise to continue a future action. So the nature of a vow is that it requires a tremendous amount of commitment. And it requires a focus which states that once I make this vow all options to do anything to break this vow they’re now closed. So we often make vows but we don’t make that perseverance to the degree that we close off all options and when we don’t close off all options to do anything else other than follow this style there’s a good chance at some point we won’t follow it. So if you make a vow you cannot allow yourself to do anything or live a lifestyle which would cause you to do anything other than follow that vow. That’s the important key and a lot of us don’t do this. Devotees often write me I broke this principle I broke that principle it may be something simple, smoking a cigarette having a little drink of wine something simple as drinking some coffee with caffeine. After they promise not to do it, and so one of the things to look at is: did I remove all options, in my life. Did I, in my consciousness, remove all auctions of doing anything else but keeping those out. And I think if we’ve broken a vow in most cases the answer is probably I didn’t. I may have thought I have had but I didn’t, and what I think the problem is for many is they were inspired but they weren’t committed and there’s a difference between inspiration and commitment and we really need to know the difference. I’m inspired to do this so I’m no longer going do this or no longer I’m going to do that or I’m going to do this I’m going to do that, that’s my inspiration, but if the inspiration isn’t backed by commitment then what do you do when you’re not inspired? But if you’re committed, even though you’re not inspired you continue to do it because you’ve decided there is no other option than doing what I’ve said. If you simply work on inspiration then you’re in danger when you’re not inspired, so the commitment is the perseverance, the word we used here is “with perseverance”. When you make a commitment or a vow you also commit to persevere. So it is very important if we understand the difference between inspiration and commitment. I think a lot of devotees take initiation who are inspired but they’re not actually committed, they haven’t removed all options. Okay 16 rounds there’s no option in my life there’s no option of my consciousness to do anything with chant 16 rounds. There’s no option in my life to do anything but follow the four regulative principles. That’s what it means to take a vow. Same thing, I’m getting married, there’s no option for separation or divorce, we’re committed we don’t look at these other options. They only look at one option: follow this vow! Very very important principle! Hare Krishna.
Watch the video here: https://goo.gl/ox9Lsm