I have witnessed many people who try to escape always by keeping God Swear, Mother swear in tough situations. This is not just once, it is their habit of keeping it and has no value/worth on it. They all are happy and have not faced any punishments as far as I have seen.

So promises are not worth in Kaliyuga? Do we need written agreements only?

What could happen for those people, anything specified for them in Bhagwadgeetha or Puranas? This is set as a very bad example and their kids do follow the same and loyalty is lost.

I know all these things are specified in Garuda Purana, But i wanted a crisp answer on this.


2 Answers 2


Lying / false promise is a sin.

The God, Mother, Father and the Guru are considered equivalent. As per some verses, Mother is the greatest. So fake oaths in reference to any of the above is sinful.

In any case, the results of false promise, and breaking vows are considered sinful and results in a torture in hell after death, and low-specie birth on Earth.

In reference to making fake religious oaths or promises, the results are quite grave. For instance -

Chapter 26 - The Importance of Keeping Promise, Brahma-khaṇḍa, Padma Purāṇa

O brāhmaṇa, the merit in (i.e. due to) keeping a promise is a crore times greater than the fruit which a man obtains by giving a hundred cows. There is no doubt that a fool by breaking his promise goes to a terrible hell and is roasted there for a hundred periods of Manu. Then due to his own deeds he obtains birth (i.e. is born) on the earth in the house of a poor person, and bereft of food and garments he is afflicted. One should take an oath truthfully in the vicinity of a deity, fire, or one’s preceptor. Till that time the body is burnt; but the family of Viṣṇu is not lost (i.e. continues). O brāhmaṇa, what should I now say about a false oath? O brāhmaṇa, a man (lives) in hell for a hundred periods of Manu due to a false promise.

O best sage, he who touches the flowers taken off after Viṣṇu’s worship and takes a truthful oath (but does not keep it), is roasted, taking with him seven members (of his family), in hell for a long time. If by chance he gets a birth, then in every existence (he becomes) a leper. This would never happen due to truthful promise. What can be said about (what would happen) due to a false oath? The man who offer his right hand (to give a promise) and keeps it, would obtain Kṛṣṇa.

I am telling the truth, (and) the truth (only). The dead ancestors of him who, having offered his hand (to make a promise), does not keep it, are tormented in hell; and undoubtedly the dead one (i.e. he, after death) goes to a terrible hell, and is emancipated by crores of men (of his family, i.e. after a very long time).


There are certain circumstances when falsehood might be admissible, but some lies are always inadmissible.

Manusmṛti Verse 8.112

कामिनीषु विवाहेषु गवां भक्ष्ये तथेन्धने । ब्राह्मणाभ्युपपत्तौ च शपथे नास्ति पातकम् ॥ ११२ ॥

There is no serious offence in swearing to women, or in connection with marriages, fodder for cows, or fuel, or for the sake of a Brāhmaṇa.

Gautama Smriti (23.29-31).—

‘Some declare that an untruth spoken in marriage, during dalliance, in jest, or while one is in severe pain, is not reprehensible. But that is certainly not the case when the untruth concerns the guru; for if one lies even in his heart to his guru, regarding even small matters, he destroys himself, his seven descendants and seven ancestors.’

Read more at -

Circumstances sanctioning falsehoods

Finally, in the Mahabharata, Yuddhishthira comments as follows -

Section CIX, Rajadharmanusasana Parva, Shanti Parva

Sometimes men (robbers), desirous of obtaining the wealth of some one, make enquiries (for facilitating the act of plunder). One should never answer such enquiries. That is a settled duty. If by maintaining silence, one succeeds in escaping, one should remain silent. If, on the other hand, one’s silence at a time when one must speak rouses suspicion, it would be better on such an occasion to say what is untrue than what is true. This is a settled conclusion. If one can escape from sinful men by even a (false) oath, one may take it without incurring sin. One should not, even if one be able, giveaway his wealth to sinful men.

To conclude -

  • Lying or false oaths/promises in reference to one's Guru, Parents and the God are unacceptable. They are sinful and results in hell and other karmic punishmenta.

  • Under some circumstances, especially in reference to protecting the Dharma, or in emergencies (āpaddharma), lying maybe permissible, and sometimes even meritorious.


Now if anybody makes a false promise or swears falsely, taking the Tûlasî leaf in his hands, if anybody makes a false promise, taking the Ganges water, S’âlagrâma stone, or any other images of God in his hand; if anybody swears falsely, placing his right palm on the palm of another; if anybody swears falsely, being in a temple or touching a Brâhmana or a cow; if anybody acts against his friends or others, if he be treacherous or if he gives a false evidence; then all these persons go to Jvâlâ Mukha hell, and remain there for fourteen Indra’s life periods, chastised and beaten by My (Yama) messengers and feeling pain as if one’s body is being burnt by red hot coal. One who gives a false evidence, with the Tûlasî (holy basil) in his hand becomes a Chândâla for seven births; one who makes a false promise with the Ganges water in his hand, becomes a Mlechcha for five births; one who swears falsely while touching the S’âlagrâma stone, becomes a worm of the faeces for seven births; one who swears falsely, touching the image of the God, becomes a worm in a Brâhmin’s house for seven births; one who gives a false evidence touching with the right hand, becomes a serpent for seven births; then he becomes born as a Brâhmin, void of the knowledge of the Vedas, when he becomes freed. One who speaks falsely, while in a temple, is born as a Devala for seven births. If one swears falsely, touching a Brâhmana, one becomes a tiger. Then he becomes dumb for three births, then for three births he becomes deaf, without wife, without friends, and his family becomes extinct. Then he becomes pure. Those that rebel against their friends, become mongoose; the treacherous persons become rhinoceroses; the hypocrite and treacherous persons become tigers and those who give false evidences become frogs. So much so, that their seven generations above and seven generations below go to hell. [Devi Bhagavata Purana:9:35]

  • The whole answer shouldn't be just a block quote .. The answer should be there in your words too and then as a supportive reference the block quote needs to be there.
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 6:48

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