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174. On Vows Being Essential
December 15, 1973 (Saturday evening)
What we are discussing reminds me of the first group of disciples, three monks and two nuns, who went to Taiwan to receive the precepts; the second group of four monks who went to Taiwan for ordination; and the third group who were ordained right here in Gold Mountain Monastery. All of them have made vows. However, none of the novices who recently entered monastic life and took novice precepts have made vows.
If you wish to make vows, you should let me know first. You have made a commitment to practice the Bodhisattva Path and to become a Buddha. That is very good, but you must first make vows. Actually, all of you in the fourfold assembly at Gold Mountain Monastery should make vows. After making vows, you should practice in accord with those vows. In a few days there will be an appropriate time for making vows, so do not delay. Each of you who wants to make vows has to submit your vows in writing. If you donít know how to write, ask someone to write them for you. Making vows is a golden rule at Gold Mountain Monastery.
(Timely Teachings Ch. 1 Part IV, page 206, following paragraph 1)