Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:Dear all,
I made some vows I couldn't hold, and were inappropriate for me. Would rather not go into details. How does one go about returning vows?
Maybe this can be helpful http://www.dharmaling.org/en/teachings/ ... ommitments
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
"Even though you have recognized your essence, if you do not get accustomed to it,
You will be carried away by the enemy of thoughts, like a small child in a battle field.
So long as you are not free from the limitations of accepting and rejecting,
That long will you not recognize the view of the innermost secret heart-essence."
pratimoksha vows are said possible to be given up. The case happen in monks or nuns, not sure how lay people do it but should be possible.
If it's bodhisattva vows, there is no way to give it up, unless you give up bodhicitta, which is not something you should even consider. However, as long as you keep your bodhicitta and the willing to benefit others, it's more flexible in sense of keep the vows.
For samaya, there is also no method to give up, but if you have any practical problem, you can ask your lama and try to get permission from him, so it's also flexible.
Pratimoksha vows are the base of vajrayana vows and after empowerment they were turned into 'part of' vajrayana vows, so if you have received empowerment, you shouldn't just give up several vows just by yourself, better to consult your lama and see what you can do.
There must be a way to make things easier, just don't give up three jewels and bodhicitta, try to keep in the path still.
OK, one of them is that I vowed to follow a politician I don't like life after life to make sure he can never cause harm. I think it is a vengeful vow and something I should regret.
Also a psychic told me I took vows of poverty before. This one has certainly got to go.
There is one more vow but that one I wouldn't go into details.
in this case, as you didnt take the vows in front of a predecessor you can just give them back in the same setting as before. I still would prefer to talk to your Lama about it as it is also a good way of making a fool of yourself, which can be quite humbling. Its good to open up to your Guru and not try to make yourself look more representable then you are.
Anyway- when giving back the vows I would also say some Vajrasattva Mantras and maybe make some positive aspirations like " May I lead that politician to Buddhahood once I got there" or "May he always have Bodhicitta and never hurt beings again."
Hope that helps
Well, the term vow in English is used as both religious and non-religious. However in Chinese or Tibetan, buddhist vows are 'disciplines' rather than vows. Only samaya also called vows but they are very different from normal vows.
If you break a vow you made in front of three jewels, it might bring you bad karma; however it's still far less serious than break the rules claimed by Buddha himself if you have received those rules as 'vows'.
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