(Minghui.org) Making and fulfilling a vow was an important aspect of traditional Chinese culture. People were solemn and humble when they made a vow. Sometimes they would hold a twig in their hand and, after making the vow, snap the twig in two. This would imply that if they failed to live up to their vow their life would be like the twig and come to a terrible end.

Another form of making a vow was for a person to kneel down, vow to the divine that they would accept all the consequences if they failed to live up to their vow, such as being struck by lightning.

The vows of Falun Dafa practitioners are different from those made by everyday people. While the promise of a person often refers to something specific, the vow of a Dafa practitioner involves our entire journey of life, our futures, and the people we are responsible for. Master has talked about this many times and we must take this issue seriously.

We made vows in the past to assist Master with the Fa-rectification and saving sentient beings. I used to feel good about myself, thinking that I had made efforts to tell others about Falun Dafa and the persecution, and I had participated in filing a criminal lawsuit against Jiang Zemin for initiating the persecution of Falun Dafa.

I recently gained further understandings on the vows we made. That is, being unable to remain diligent is a form of breaking our vows. I used to assume that if I was doing the three things, I would be fulfilling my vow.

“Vow” is one of the most frequent words Master uses in Hong Yin IV. My understanding is that Master emphasized this because many practitioners have done poorly in their cultivation. This is the Fa-rectification period, and our behavior at any given moment involves the issue of fulfilling our vows. When our minds are not on the Fa, we fail to meet the standard of a cultivator at that moment.

Master had sacrificed tremendously to extend the time for us to cultivate and save people. We truly have to take this opportunity seriously and make the best use of this limited time.

Master said:

“Each life would be made to bear responsibility for each and every one of its actions in history. And this would be especially true for during the time of the universe’s Fa-rectification, where one would be held accountable for everything—be it one’s motives, what one did, or even the little things; and it was set that gods, those who had played both a negative and positive part in the Fa-rectification, as well as demons and even tiny life forms, would all be subjected to judgment. Even those who had a positive effect would be judged just the same, in which case it would be asked how many sentient beings could not be saved on account of your failing to do well in the course of what you were doing? And in the case of a Dafa disciple, it would be asked how many of your vows went unfulfilled? Failing to make good on them would be just one aspect of it, for when you do not do something, or do it well, there are consequences of varying sizes, and you would be held accountable for all of these. Would it work if you weren’t held accountable for the shame that your actions might have caused Dafa or for your having deceived the Lord? I haven’t talked about any of this before. I didn’t want to mention these things. But you really, truly should sober up. Don’t you know what time it is yet?” (“Fa Teaching Given at the NTDTV Meeting”)