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I took a vow in an extreme situation. Now that is proving to be counter productive as it is effecting personal life. Can a vow be taken back? Are there any recital of taking back a vow?

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  • No. A vow is a vow. When you have taken a vow, you should complete it. That's it. It is not something you could do it by your wish. It is not an agreement with conditions. Mar 30, 2017 at 10:08
  • Who is going to know or care? Its only you. So do what feels right to your heart.
    – user9376
    Mar 30, 2017 at 13:03

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Let me tell you a little incident happened with Arjuna, So Arjuna had taken this vow that if anyone abuse his "Gandiva bow " He would take his head off right away.

And in short his elder brother Yudhister abused him and his gandeev in front of family (Lord Krishna was there too).

So Arjuna told everyone and he had this vow and now he is going to take his head off.

Lord Krishna smiled as always....

And told him to call his elder brother using ekavachanam 'you' (tvam, instead of bhavan) - because disrespecting your elders is equal to killing them.

Arjuna calls him all sorts of names starting with 'tvam', it is called 'tvamkara-adhyayam' in mahabharata and in this way he disrespected his brother enough and which is no less than taking his head.

So he kills Yudhistira but Yudhistira does not die.

Arjuna understood (So should you)

At the end of the day you will take the Vow back no matter what answers you get.

So if it doesn't make any sense take it back right away.

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    Actual story - When Arjuna says he is going to kill Yudhistira, Krishna tells him to call his elder brother using ekavachanam 'you' (tvam, instead of bhavan) - because disrespecting your elders is equal to killing them. Arjuna calls him all sorts of names starting with 'tvam'.. it is called 'tvamkara-adhyayam' in mahabharata. So he kills Yudhistira but Yudhistira does not die. Great... everyone is happy.
    – ram
    Mar 30, 2017 at 12:14
  • But everyone is NOT happy. Arjuna has made another vow - that he will kill anyone who kills Yudhistira. so now he is going to do agni-pravesh (suicide). Krishna, sighing heavily, tells Arjuna to praise himself, because boasting is equivalent to killing oneself. Arjuna starts boasting - his name is Kiriti, he did Khandava-dhahan, he killed Kalak.Nivat. etc., thus he has killed himself but he is not dead.
    – ram
    Mar 30, 2017 at 12:18
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I have to say, sorry I am not quoting any sources here. So consider this as just my own thoughts.

Short answer - Depends.

Let's not talk about morals here, forget about recitals. This is a thought experiment.

What is your identity and the scope of your vow?

That will decide if you are taking the right decision - be it taking back or sticking to it.

These are different identities you can take

  • Yourself
  • Family
  • Caste/Group
  • Country
  • Beyond

Place yourself in one of those, now think about this, how does stepping back vs keeping your vow affects your identity and the scope of your vow?

Example - If you took a vow that's scoped to your family (assuming it's beneficial to your family) and your identity is "Yourself", then probably keeping it will be right choice, if you so surely want to take it back :)

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    Welcome to Hinduism SE! Thanks for answering the question. We recommend you to provide Sources in your answer for quality purposes.
    – The Destroyer
    Apr 1, 2017 at 4:16

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