Why we should make Great Vows?
Our willpower gives rise to unexpected strength that can get rid of all the roots of evils. Our aspiration to become a Buddha is also dependent on our willpower, in other words, we should make the vow to be a Buddha. With such a will, one will be motivated to translate intentions into action. A vow links our will to Bodhisattva, allowing us to draw on its energy field and we will find that everything will go smoothly for us.
A saying states that, “the power of karma cannot match the power of one’s will.” When we are faced with large calamities in life such as being diagnosed with cancer, we must rely on our willpower to overcome such difficulties. When one commits many wrongdoings in life or have hefty karmic debts from past lives, having meritorious blessings accrued from reciting Buddhist scriptures alone is not enough. In such times, one’s willpower is very important. Having willpower in itself is meritorious in nature. Hence, it can eliminate a large amount of karmic debts. However, this elimination is only temporary, and will only be permanent after you fulfil your vow. Otherwise, the karmic obstacles remain.
How to Make Great Vows ?
A strong will is of utmost importance to a Dharma cultivator. Making great vows is a way to present ourselves in front of Bodhisattva and quietly ask for protection, blessing and help to resolve difficulties, worries, disasters, or calamities. You may make a vow to:
- Be vegetarian on the 1stand 15th of the lunar month
- Not eat live creatures
- Not perform the act of killing
- Persistently perform good deeds daily
- Perform virtuous deeds, make donations to print Buddhist books, etc.
- Propagate Buddhism to <number> of people, and help them to relieve from suffering within <amount of time> (the power of such a great vow is immeasurable)
Once you have made a great vow, you must keep your vow. Hence, one must be mindful and cautious when making vows. You should act in accordance with karmic conditions, and know your capabilities and limitations.