Often I get a lot of thoughts that tell me to sacrifice something, to do some japa or do some action so it would help a situation that I am worrying about. Some times it is a thought that pops in the head that goes like 'I will do this this this...' Other times it's more like a threat, that if I don't do it something bad will happen. So I want to understand if these voices in my head, sometimes intentional and sometimes unintentional are counted as an vow to god and also what is the right method to make a vow to god.

  • Might be useful for you to see this answer. It gives the method of taking Sankalpa (vow) correctly. The Youtube video in my answer must be helpful.
    – Rickross
    Mar 5, 2021 at 5:37
  • @Rickross, I think a vow when roughly translated in Sanskrit jargon, will result in words like pratijñā (प्रतिज्ञा) or vrata (व्रत), something in line with kaumāravrata (कौमारव्रत - vow of chastity) or brahmacaryavrata (ब्रह्मचर्यव्रत - vow of celibacy) or the Bhīṣma-pratijñā (भीष्म-प्रतिज्ञा), etc. These vows in hindu connotations, maybe defined as internally manifested dharmic obligations. Saṅkalpa (संकल्प) is more of a explicit will. In general, it's observed in external will or resolve and ritualistic based dharmic obligations.
    – Vivikta
    Mar 5, 2021 at 6:24
  • More or less they are the same. For taking Sankalpa there is a definite procedure that's why linked to that post @Vivikta
    – Rickross
    Mar 5, 2021 at 6:26
  • For both you've to take water etc in hand and utter the statement of the vow and then release the water on ground.
    – Rickross
    Mar 5, 2021 at 6:29
  • No, they are not. It's like equating a Rãja - Dharma (राज - धर्म) of king towards his subjects (प्रजा) and putra-dharma (पुत्र - धर्म) of the king, (who is also a son), towards his parents, in unequivocal same setting and conditions. Sankalpa described in the linked question is for any rituals. Vow, being asked in the question is "more or less", on a very personal level.
    – Vivikta
    Mar 5, 2021 at 6:31

1 Answer 1


Satapatha Brahmana verse 1 (Kanda I, adhyaya 1, brahmana 1)

  1. He who is about to enter on the vow, touches water[2] whilst standing between the Āhavanīya and Gārhapatya fires, with his face turned towards east. The reason why he touches water is, that man is (sacrificially) impure on account of his speaking untruth; and because by that act an internal purification (is effected),--for water is indeed (sacrificially) pure. 'After becoming sacrificially pure, I will enter on the vow,' thus (he thinks); for water is indeed purifying. 'Having become purified through the purifying one, I will enter on the vow,' thus (he thinks, and) this is the reason why he touches water.

  2. Looking towards the (Āhavanīya), he enters on the vow, with the text 'O Agni, Lord of Vows! I will keep the vow! may I be equal to it, may I succeed in it!' For Agni is Lord of Vows to the gods, and it is to him therefore that he addresses these words. In the words, 'I will observe the vow; may I be equal to it; may I succeed in it,' there is nothing that requires explanation.

This is the right way to enter an vow to God.

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