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I took some vows long before I was Hindu that I shouldn’t have made. Are these vows valid since I didn’t have a witness?

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    God is omnipresent.In Hinduism "Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma" -Everything is Brahman. As a atman or soul he is witness of our (Jivatma's)deeds and hence to our vows. So I think in spiritual matters we don't need witness as such. But when we talk in legal terms we need one. – SwiftPushkar Nov 19 at 5:03
  • Vow is making you god looking than its dharma if it is hindrance one can break them without any issue basically it depends on vow you have taken – Prasanna R Nov 19 at 6:55
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No vow can be taken without any witness. There are universal forces, apart from our own soul itself, which are always the witnesses.

See the following verses from Manu Smriti:


8.84. ’The Soul itself is the witness of the Soul, and the Soul is the refuge of the Soul; despise not thy own Soul, the supreme witness of men.

8.85. ’The wicked, indeed, say in their hearts, "Nobody sees us;" but the gods distinctly see them and the male within their own breasts.

8.86. ’The sky, the earth, the waters, (the male in) the heart, the moon, the sun, the fire, Yama and the wind, the night, the two twilights, and justice know the conduct of all corporeal beings.’


So, there are always many witnesses for any such vow which have been taken. And, vows are usually meant to be kept and not broken.

People usually tend to think in the manner like it is mentioned in 8.85 that there are nobody around us, so we (or our certain acts) have gone unnoticed. But that's not the case. In the spiritual realm, there are many witnesses.

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  • "8.85. ’The wicked, indeed, say in their hearts, "Nobody sees us;" but the gods distinctly see them and the male within their own breasts." LOL. स्वस्यैवान्तरपुरुषः which means one's own inner Atman, not "male within their own breasts". This is the ridiculousness that results from blindly relying on western translations. – RamAbloh 2 days ago
  • By male within their own breasts it is referring to the Purusha or Soul within us. @RamAbloh This is not an instance where relying on a particular translation has lead us to disaster. – Rickross 2 days ago
  • I didn't say disaster, I said ridiculousness. And Soul is not the same as Atman. There are Sanskrit words that cannot be translated into English, but using literal meanings is even worse. And the translation used above takes this to ridiculous levels. And you don't seem to have the sensitivity to understand that. It's like being comfortable with accepting a crude Hindi translation of Shakespeare done by someone who has only studied English up to primary school. If this site is supposed to be a global classy reference for Hinduism, then using such crap translations is defeating the mission. – RamAbloh yesterday
  • Stop being rude. You are no one to judge my sensitivity or anything else. I'm not a fan of westerners translations (or Indologist's) of Hindu scriptures neither do I buy those works. But in this case using a particular translation did not lead to a wrong conclusion. @RamAbloh – Rickross yesterday
  • I had strictly made my statements based on what I saw written here. So it's very inappropriate for you to insinuate that I was being "rude" as though it was a personal attack without any reason. Please take feedback in a constructive way instead of being so defensive and standoffish, and offensive in turn. If you're not a fan of western translations, please make an effort to find authentic translations and use them here, so at least you practice what you preach. It becomes a slippery slope, if you keep making concessions, and saying this one instance is ok, then the next one will also be ok. – RamAbloh 14 hours ago

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