What is the Barash Vow in Star Wars?

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The Barash Vows

The Barash Vow is a special vow taken by Jedi to avoid worldly concerns and solely focus on the force.  The Vow has been taken by many Jedi over the years.  The vow is speculated to effect more than the Star Wars comics and may play a part in the film Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

First Mentioned:  Darth Vader #2 (2017)

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Vader and the Barash Vow Takers
Darth Vader is seeking to complete his training as a Sith after the Jedi Purge from Order 66.  Emperor Palpatine has tasked Vader with finding and defeating a worthy Jedi and taking the Kyber crystal from his opponent's lightsaber.  The crystal will then be perverted by the Darkside into one that can be used for his lightsaber.

While not explicitly stated it seems that Vader's quest is a test to prove himself.  It seems that the Empire has plenty of Kyber crystals.  In Vader #2 a group of clone troopers is shown packing away old lightsabers.  It would be very easy for Vader to grab one of them, or a crystal in storage and make it into a lightsaber.  However, this would not be a worthy test of a Sith Lord.  This is the reason why he must locate and battle and take a light saber from a living Jedi.  It is also suggested that Vader is not interested in just any Jedi but wants a Jedi who is highly capable in combat.

Finding and locating a worthy Jedi is very difficult after the Purge as most of the active Jedi were killed or had been forced into deep hiding.  Vader turns to searching through Jedi who have taken the Barash Vow.  He asks a droid to go through the records and find all Jedi who have taken the vow so that he can located a worthy opponent.  The droid responds that over 14 thousand Jedi have taken the vow and asks Vader to be more specific in his request.

The exact vow has not been mentioned however Vader describes it as:

Any Jedi pursing Barash has sworn to refrain from activities related to the order.  Complete disengagement from anything but the force.  It is a type of pennance.  While a Barash-Taker would have felt the purge.  They would not have allowed themselves to respond to it, or take action of any kind.
The fact that Barash is something to be pursued suggests that it is possibly a mental state perhaps similar to the Budhist Nirvana that is associated with spiritual enlightment.  Barash also seems to be a form of cleansing oneself after failing in some way.  Which is highlighted by the description of it being a form of Pennance.  In this way it sounds similar to pilgrimages taken by Catholics as an acts of Pennance or spiritual enlightment.

Vader narrows down his search to a Jedi named Kirak Infil'a who had taken the vow of Barash prior to Vader beginning his Jedi training.  It is Kirak Infil'a who Vader seeks out to defeat and complete his training as a Sith.

Kirak Infil'a is described as a Jedi who never took part in diplomatic missions and was solely used for his warfare skills.  The fact that such a Jedi was tolerated means that he was an extremely able martial combatant and that Vader has found a very worthy opponent.  Kirak Infil'a makes his first appearance in the last pages of Darth Vader #2 (2017) and the fight between himself and Vader occures in Darth Vader #3 (2017).

How many other Barash Takers continue to survive is unknown.  It is also unknown at what point a Barash taker would end his vow.  It seems to be something done very seriousily and may be to the death and/or some form of enlightment occure.

Kirak Infil'a is described as being more powerful than any Jedi that Darth Vader has ever faced.  Presuably, during the Barash Vow a Jedi grows more attuned to the Force and even more powerful.

The first confrontation with Kirak Infil'a does not go well for Vader.

When Darth Vader confronts Kirak Infil'a he quickly destroys a Jedi droid and arms himself.  He finds Kirak waiting for him.  While the two have never met Kirak knows exactly why Vader is there and says:  "I know what you want. I know why you're here. It's not just to kill me.  Yom came here to get something. I can sense it....You came here for my lightsaber."  Kirak is also able to identify Vader as being the reason for so many of the Jedi being killed.  Though when he finds Vader so weak he realizes there is another, a master behind the death of the Jedi.

 In the first meeting Kirak quickly takes down Vader.  Vader attempts to use a Force Choke on Kirak but that is swept away like a toddlers hand.  Kirak simply says "No" and pushes Vader away.  Kirak then tosses Vader off a cliff.  While battered and broken at the base of the cliff Vader is mocked by the Jedi droid he had tossed off the cliff earlier.  Vader uses the force to pull a part the droid and begins using its parts to reassemble himself.

Once reassembled Vader pursues Kirak Infil'a again.  Kirak can sense Vader and knows he is coming.

Has Luke in the Force Awakens taken a Barash Vow?

Why did Luke leave the world and isolate himself on a remote world.  Why did he not respond when he felt the First Order rise and destroy so many planets?

The answer may be that he has taken the Barash Vow.

We do know that Luke attempted to rebuild the Jedi Temple and that it ended horribly when Kylo Ren joined with Snoke and the Knights of Ren.  This seemed to end with the slaughter of Luke's remaining pupils.  After this tradgedy Luke could have taken the vow as a form of pennance.

This seems like a plausible theory for what Luke has done.

It is also possible that the Barash Vow could be applied to Yoda in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.  Yoda is shown to be an extremely powerful force user and warrior but has chosen to isolate himself.  His only meaningful action in the events of the Empire's defeat are the training of Luke Skywalker from his remote home in Dagobah.

A confrontation clause?
The fact that Yoda trained Luke, and that Luke will certainly train Rey lends some evidence that Barash Vow allows the oath taker to train and teach users of the Force that seek them out.  Either that or Yoda and Luke decide to break part of the vow in part to train these pupils.  Kirak Infil'a  is also shown battling Darth Vader so he does not lay down and die.  It is possible that an Oath taker is allowed to interact with the world if the world confronts them.  So Yoda was allowed to train Luke because Luke sought him out.  Likewise Luke is allowed to train Rey because Rey sought him out.  Also in this same vien Kirak Infil'a is allowed to defend himself because Vader sought him out.  This is speculative but also very interesting.  I will update the page with any new information gleaned from Darth Vader #3.

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