(Minghui.org) In both Western and Eastern cultures, keeping or breaking a vow bears consequences. There are both good vows and bad vows. Good vows promote something good, such as sticking together in marriage, repaying debts, and doing things based on one's conscience. For such good vows, keeping them will bring good consequences but breaking them will result in bad consequences.

There is another type of vow, which we call bad vows. What is being promoted is something bad, such as committing a crime. For such bad vows, keeping them will bring bad consequences (for instance, being prosecuted for committing a crime), but breaking them will result in good consequences.

Across traditional Chinese culture, it was generally believed that the divine is watching over our every word and action. Western religions believe that God is watching us. A traditional Chinese proverb says, “There are divine beings three feet above one’s head.” Therefore, whatever vows people make, keeping or breaking them will have their respective consequences.

After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took power in 1949, the environment in China changed dramatically due to the regime’s doctrines of brutality, hatred, and lies. Nowadays, many Chinese no longer revere vows. They may make casual remarks such as, “If I don’t do it, may Heaven send five lightning bolts to strike me,” “May I be killed by a car,” or “May I not have any descendants.”

They may have said those things without sincerity, but they do not realize that even these kinds of statements come with a consequence. 

The following is a story of a woman who made a vow with her life and went through a near death experience. Fortunately, she survived.

Congcong (name changed for her safety) was born in a village in the late 1960s. Her parents took her into an unorthodox Taoist practice when she was little. She recalled that when she was four or five years old, several people from the practice set up a small altar with offerings and burned incense in her home. Then they asked her whole family, including herself, to kneel at the altar and make a vow: “If I ever leave the practice, I will turn into pus and blood and die.”

Since then, her family kowtowed to the practice every day. She did the same and also carried on the tradition after she got married.

Congcong fell out of a tree in July 1997 and injured her spine. She became partially paralyzed. Doctors put seven steel plates on her spine. She became incontinent. Her five-year-old daughter helped clean up her waste and her mother washed her every day. Her older brother was so worried that a shock of his hair turned grey overnight. 

Several Taoist practitioners from the family’s school prayed for Congcong, but there was no improvement.

In 1998, Congcong started practicing Falun Dafa, a mind-body discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Gradually, she became healthier. She threw her crutches away. Eventually, she could again take care of all the housework by herself.

More than ten years passed. One day, she accidentally burned the bottom of her left foot. A year later, a large bulge grew on her left ankle. After the bulge subsided, it left a hole there. This open sore connected to the injury on the bottom of her foot. Shortly after, her left leg swelled and the bottom of her left foot started to exude pus with a strong smell.

A hospital diagnosed the condition as osteomyelitis. She had an amputation of her left leg below the calf. The pus and blood flowing from the incision filled half a basin. The doctor even told her husband to prepare funds for a second operation immediately.

As Congcong was being moved from the operation table, she was not fully awake. She vaguely saw a man driving a bus coming toward her.

“Let’s go,” the man said, “I’m driving the bus to take you. You can sit on the front row since you just had surgery.”

“I won’t go,” Congcong replied. “I didn’t cultivate well in Falun Dafa. If I cultivated myself well, my leg wouldn’t be like this.”

The coach disappeared right after her words. She was awake.

Congcong repeated over and over, “Falun Dafa is good” and “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” She felt a force stretching her left leg up and down with great strength. She knew it was Dafa’s Master who was treating her. Her wound healed three days after surgery, with new flesh growing over the wound. Her leg got better day by day, and on the twelfth day, the doctor discharged her from the hospital.

The doctor said he had not seen wounds healed while there was still so much swelling. Most patients would have to stay in the hospital for at least 20 days after the surgery, but she recovered so fast and didn’t even need a second surgery.

She told the doctor that was because she practices Falun Dafa. The doctor then told her husband, “She recovered due to practicing Falun Dafa. Let her continue her cultivation at home. Don’t stop her.”

Congcong suddenly realized that her leg problem was due to the bad vow she made to the unorthodox Taoist practice. She regretted that she didn’t nullify the vow earlier.

From her experience, Congcong realized how serious a vow is. She remembered another deadly vow she made when she was little – to devote her life to the communist regime when she was made to join the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated youth organizations at school. 

Congcong said she hopes that all the Chinese people can take those vows seriously and annul them. Whether they believe it or not, such a vow will not stop functioning unless they are annulled.