What Is a Vow?
What is a vow? Your own commitment. You decide to do a certain thing, to follow certain principles, and that becomes your vow. You make a vow. A marriage vow is a commitment. A monastic vow is a commitment. Even friendship is a commitment. Life itself is a commitment.
If you make a vow and honestly try, and find you cannot live up to it, you need not feel guilty about it. Because if you feel guilty then you lose your courage, your strength of mind. But if you make a promise to somebody and if you fail in your promise and by that you affect someone else’s life, then certainly you will feel guilty and the karma will affect you.
Without commitment in life we can never grow. Commitment is a way of training the mind and making it obey you. You become the master of your mind. Who wants to break the commitment? Your mind. The mind pops up, “Oh, I don’t want to do it,” and you give up. Then wherever you go, whatever you do, the mind will have that same tendency. Think before you leap. Once you leap, that’s it. Stick to it, whatever it is. Your dynamic will should be applied. “Yes, I decided to do it. I am going to do it. I will never back out.” The dynamic decision itself will help you achieve success in that.