Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Oath,Pleadge and Vow.

Oath, Pledge and Vow

Oath is a ‘solemn undertaking to do something’. It is administered in a ceremony held for a specified purpose. The relevant text of oath is read aloud by an elderly person who is senior in experience and position, which is repeated by the person who swears in to the chosen field of profession and /or service. A minister or a doctor is an example. Oath taking is an important ceremony which validates a given vow to pursue the course of chosen action in the society. The Oath empowers the novice/ apprentice to sign in with responsibility and also avail the privileges.

Oath is a mode of intergenerational culture transfer. The text of Oath is traditionally inherited, be it of secular context or of spiritual content. It is perpetuated by the authentic members of the elder generation either by convention or by statutory injunction. Hence it is the collective responsibility of the torch bearers in every field of professional walk of life to emphatically assert oath taking as a mandatory ceremony. As the custom prevails, an oath is sworn in the holy name of God, upon any holy scripture preferred by faith. It makes one feel responsible, accept the morally binding undertaking, and this in effect awakens one’s conscience.

An oath registers a vow along with it. While vow is silent resolve, oath is verbally expressed resolve. Abidance to its requirements makes one an avowed person. Depending upon the intention, an avowed person can be criminal or a teetotaler. The oath acts as the key to self assertion through uncompromising observance of the vow. Therefore, every human being ought to know the significance of Oath and its place in one’s private and public life. Without an oath any personal resolution does not get registered in the mind with desired impact. No impact, no impression; no impression, no stamp of identity. To be unidentified thus denies uniqueness which is the hallmark of every human being. Each individual has to choose what ought to be one’s Oath for various occasions, based on one’s vision and mission in life, rooted in tradition and faith.

An Oath obviously begins always with ‘I’, whereas a pledge can begin with ‘I’ or ‘We’. Oath is more ceremonial and official than pledge. The former requires a platform and the latter can be taken on the ground. Oath is an undertaking to do something. Pledge is an agreement upon understanding. One demands doing mode and the other, being mode. Both are vows indeed.

Oath and pledge help man to be more and more human, an avowed human. They can provide the panacea for the modern disease of moral indifference. They can open the eyes and ears of the soul to gain the vision of life and listen to the mission of EXISTENCE. Let us resolve to live in 'thousand bonds of delight' and do it. So be it, so be it, so be it.

Dr.S.Ramakrishnan. M.A., Ph.D. (Eng.Lit.), Ph.D. (Sanskrit.)
Director, CSRD. (Spiritual Resources Development)

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