“Brahma, who is only an assistant in the modes of creation, wanted to remain in his actual position as an instrument of the Lord instead of becoming puffed up by the false prestige of thinking himself the creator. That is the way of becoming dear to the Supreme Lord and receiving His benediction. Foolish men want to take credit for all creations made by them, but intelligent persons know very well that not a blade of grass can move without the will of the Lord; thus all the credit for wonderful creations must go to Him.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3.9.23 Purport)
“I accept this award as the most valuable player, but I must give credit to my teammates. Without them I would be nothing. Notice how in that championship-clinching game, it wasn’t me who scored the winning goal. In fact, in the last minute-plus, we were down by a goal, and suddenly two of our best players came through in the clutch and we were walking home with the trophy. I also feel that my goalie might have gotten snubbed. He played great throughout the season. Without him we wouldn’t be standing here as champions. Therefore I want to recognize so many others for this personal achievement of mine.”
“I gladly accept this award for the best actor, but really I am humbled by it. First off, being nominated itself is a tremendous honor. Especially to be put into the same class as these other wonderful actors, it boggles my mind. I want to share this award with the other nominees, because they have taught me acting since I was very young. And without the writers, our show would be nothing. The entire cast is very supportive; I believe this award is reflective of how great our ensemble is. This award is for them as well.”
“I accept this honor with great happiness, but I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my parents. They are everything to me. Without their influence, I would not be where I am today. They sacrificed so much for my career. They could have easily said ‘No’ many times. I know they couldn’t afford so many things that I asked for, but they made the sacrifice so that I would be happy. And now that I am in a high position, I know that they deserve the credit. I would be nothing without them.”
In this way we see that credit is regularly given to others for personal achievements. It is only natural, for a wise person realizes the difficulty in excelling in anything. Moreover, there is always some fortune involved, where seemingly uncontrollable pieces align in just the right way at just the right time. Extending this attitude out to the furthest possible scope, the devotee daily gives thanks to the Supreme Lord. Even if they have the greatest ability, they have no desire to falsely take complete credit for themselves.
Who would you think has the greatest ability? Someone who is very wealthy? Someone who is very beautiful? Someone who lives for a long time? In Vedic philosophy the greatest person in the material sense is Lord Brahma. To put it plainly, he is the creator. He makes everything. Before him there were no creatures on the earth. Before him there was no earth. No rivers, lakes, ponds, mountains, hills, forests, farms, cows, or human beings – all of that required the hand of a creator. Upon first look, we might be tempted to think that the person we are describing is God. After all, if Brahma created everything, why is he not given full divine status?
Though Brahma created everything, he did so at the direction of the real God. The Supreme Lord has no direct interest in material affairs, or that which is temporary and the source of misery. When there is the need to create, He works through one of His devoted servants. Brahma is very powerful, but he knows that his ability comes from God in His personal form of Vishnu. Though Vishnu is often considered the maintainer and Brahma the creator, it is Brahma who came from Vishnu. Vishnu is the maintainer because he has no desire to create, whereas the ability in others is limited through no choice of their own.
We tend to thank God when there is some material success for ourselves, but actually we can thank God every day for everything that we have. We can think: “Thank you Lord for giving me food every day to eat. I know that You employ Lord Brahma for populating this earth, and because of that kindness food can grow here. With food I am able to eat. Thank You for the sun also. I feel so good when it is a sunny day. I wish I could spend every day in a room that is brightened by the sunlight. Thank You for my friends and family. I don’t really care how I spend my time with them, it’s just nice to have them around. Most importantly, thank You for this life, for with it I can study You, think about You, and serve You. Lord Brahma serves You in such a great way. I am not as great as him, not even close. From his example I learn that You are the person most worthy of service. No matter what happens to me, I will always remember You and think of how You are responsible for everything. To keep You in my mind, I will always chant Your holy names, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”
When award for achievement to accept,
Honoree attention tries to deflect.
Others of deeds so many good,
Their integral contribution well understood.
Same attitude towards skies extend,
That there’s no higher power don’t pretend.
Even Brahma, the creator of the land,
Prays to God with folded hand.