//A Promise is forever

A Promise is forever

Promises are often made and broken at various levels for various reasons and in various circumstances without much thought put into it.  People at times have been guilty of promising something but not being able to keep it up later for whatever reason or have been a victim of a broken promise by others. They could be harmless promises that when broken not result in any impact or they may bring a major storm in other person’s life (who was expecting to receive the benefit of fulfillment of that promise).  Broken promise due to ill-health, situations beyond one’s control or dire consequences are not the focus of this article.

As a matter of fact is it necessary at all to think deeply before making a promise?  Be it a promise to one’s own self, family, loved ones or society, it will be much beneficial to take into account all the limits and consequences of not being able to fulfill the same.  Here we are not concerned about promises to society at large like a bank loan, because if those are not fulfilled local laws will hold one accountable and make one face its consequences.  Rather we are more focused on the consequences of the promises that people make daily to themselves, their loved ones and those around them.

No promise is big or small; it varies in its intensity and influence depending on who the object and subject is.  A simple promise made to a child to get candy or a toy may seem small and irrelevant to an adult but for the child it is a major thing.

At times fulfillment of promises get swayed on the advice of others.  Advice from others on issues that one is not aware of or help in situations beyond the control of the person may be proper.  But swaying from fulfilling a promise because someone gave a differing perception is inappropriate.  Then why was a promise made in the first place.  It should have been made after deliberation and advice from others.

A promise made to Shri Sai that one would do something for Him or serve Him for life if we get our prayers answered is more serious.  Such a promise made in emotion or thoughtlessness may still be excusable but such a promise made repeatedly in one’s life should be done with more caution.  

Sat Charita [1] documents stories where Shri Sai himself talked about this once when asked why he took Dakshina only from a few.  He remarked “People make promises to God and forget.  I try to relieve them of their promise by accepting Dakshina from them and cut their Karma.  I accept only from those to whom God directs me.”

What about Shri Sainath?  He also made several promises to his devotees.  The very fact that millions queue up to His Samadhi Mandir and Temples worldwide is in itself a testimony that none of the promises he made to his devotees were in vain.  Regardless of the pain he bore or inconvenience he underwent he honored his promises to his last day on earth and continues to do so today to millions who throng to his abode in Shirdi, his temples or to Him worldwide.

[1] N. V. Gunaji, Shri Sai Satcharitra, Shree Sai Baba Sansthan, 1970.
. [Bibtex]
title = "Shri Sai Satcharitra",
author = "N. V. Gunaji",
publisher = "Shree Sai Baba Sansthan",
note = "Refers to garden",
year = 1970