Should one fulfill the past vows taken to the demigods after becoming a Krishna devotee?
A Doctor devotee asked like this:
Hare Krishna Prabhu ji. Dandavat pranam. I’m a neophyte doctor (recently done with medical). Like every other student I used to get scared of exams and took shelter of demigods. And I prayed and took vow that I’ll do 101 Parikrama of temple. Not just to one temple, I prayed like this in 4 temples. I was successful in doing 2 temples. But I couldn’t do so in rest of the two temples because of hectic schedule during internship. I was introduced to Krishna consciousness when I was doing internship. now I’m firmly convinced with the philosophy of Krishna consciousness and I’m following it seriously under guidance of devotees. I want to you to answer, whether I should perform parikrama which I left , ?? But I’m no more staying in that place ( college place), now I’m back to my home after completing UG. I’m trying to surrender myself completely to the Supreme Personality of Godhead yet I’m getting scared of these demigods( more than getting scared , this thought is always poking my mind) So please help me Prabhu ji and show me the right way to proceed. ( Please hide my name, my family doesn’t know that I’m following This devotional practice) Hare Krishna Prabhu. Thank you. Will be looking forward for response.
In general, if you have 100% surrendered to Krishna, developing material detachment and you are sure that Krishna is satisfied with your devotion, you need not fulfill the vows taken in front of demigods.
Such a devotees would have crossed the material platform and hence will have no commitments to be fulfilled to anyone. You are not indebted to anyone.
Because, the demigods will be satisfied if Krishna is pleased.
But, if you are a starting level devotee who is still having material attachments, you still have duties and debts to be cleared.
Even the prayers/ vows made to the demigods is also a debt to be cleared by you.
The unfulfilled vows taken with the family gods (Kula devathas) continue in the next birth also and is reflected in his horoscope.
For example, one prays to a demigod that he will pay Rs.10,000 to his temple, if he gets a particular job. He gets the job. But, as assured, he did not pay that amount to that demigod’s temple.
This will reflect in the fifth house of his horoscope in his next birth as the pending prayer.
Because, if you have not yet deserted your material attachments, you will still be under karma’s hold. So, this pending prayer will give a difficult life in the next birth.
Therefore, you have two choices now:
(i) Become a selfless devotee of Krishna and ensure that you have no material attachments and you are working for the pleasure of Krishna only. If you do that, you need not fulfill the vows of visiting the places taken to the demigods.
(iii) If you have doubt in the above level of development in devotion to Krishna, fulfill the vows taken to demigods.
You prayed for your selfish needs to the demigods. You succeeded. So, it is your duty to visit those places and fulfill your vows. Hesitating to fulfill the vows after getting what you wanted from the demigods is a selfish act.
If anyone promises you something and goes back later, how will you feel?
So, forget the terms God – demigod- who is supreme, etc. Atleast as an act of honouring the promise given, you may do what you prayed.
Therefore, visit those places WHENEVER YOU CAN though not immediately, say, within 2-3 years. Just pray to those demigods that you will visit your temple in future whenever I get suitable time and get relieved. Make it as a tour to visit there and honour your vows.
Or, become a selfless devotee and work for Krishna’s pleasure.
Until you develop total detachment from material attachments, you are a growing/ budding devotee, ie, sadhaka. So, you have some duties for others.
Hope you are clear.