“Brahma, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.9.33)
अहम् एवासम् एवाग्रे
नान्यद् यत् सद्-असत् परम्
पश्चाद् अहं यद् एतच् च
यो ऽवशिष्येत सो ऽस्म्य् अहम्
aham evāsam evāgre
nānyad yat sad-asat param
paścād ahaṁ yad etac ca
yo ‘vaśiṣyeta so ‘smy aham
“I built this business from the ground up. In the beginning, we were so small. Someone came to visit recently and they remarked on the difference. Only a short ten years ago they saw that we had a single receptionist at the front door. That was it. Now there are corporate offices throughout the country. We are doing well, and I can’t help but look back with great satisfaction. It was not easy.”
In this situation the founder has a reason to feel proud. The success did not occur randomly, after all. It was not as if they simply sat back and waited for the pieces to fall into place. In varying levels of success, larger or smaller than the referenced example, a person could use the fruits of their work as a source of pride.
There is also the case of Lord Brahma. Described in Vedic literature with many names, such as Vidhata and Chaturanana, he has sufficient justification for feeling superior to everyone else.
1. The creator
The Vedas do not give a single book that must be accepted blindly. As the Absolute is infinite in its existence, as time and space know no true boundaries, so the glorification of the Supreme is limitless. There are many such sacred texts passed on for the benefit of mankind, with a certain group categorized as belonging to the mode of goodness.
This refers to the target audience. Those who are sober-minded, dhira, who are not distracted by the pursuit of temporary rewards whose duration is fixed to accompany the temporary existence in the material body, become the ideal audience to hear properly about the original person.
The Bhagavata Purana is one of the principal works in that category, and not surprisingly it contains a description of the creation. This is relative to our present time period; for analysis purposes. We learn that a single person is responsible for everything we see around us.
Lord Brahma takes three main ingredients: goodness, passion and ignorance. Through his effort creation begins. This means that the planets, the sun, the stars, the moon, the mountains, the oceans and the like do not appear randomly. Someone first takes action; there is an instigating agent.
2. No one helping him
Brahma is also known as Svayambhu. This refers to the fact that he has no mother and father in the traditional sense. A person can feel proud of the company they built, but if previous generations within the same family helped to pave the way, then the credit gets shared. We have no say in who our parents will be prior to birth. This means that so much is out of our control.
Vidhata used the three base ingredients and went through the complicated, complex and lengthy task of creation. He has justification for feeling immense pride, for anything that results after the fact is tied to him. The beautiful flower. The amazing sunset. The glacier maintaining form for years. These are all due to Brahma.
3. Amazing output
Brahma does not generate the living beings. He creates the types of bodies they will inhabit. It is amazing that the same living force, chetana, can survive in the water, on land, or in the air. The specification is based on the configuration of the body, for which Brahma is responsible. The Vedas reveal that there are up to 8,400,000 unique forms.
Despite having the most over which to be proud, Brahma remains humble. This is because he understands that the creation did not take place automatically. Though he is self-born, there is the origin known as Vishnu. Brahma emerged from the lotus stem coming from Vishnu’s navel. As Lakshmi Devi, the goddess of fortune, is Vishnu’s wife, Brahma also has a mother.
Moreover, the task of creation first required some instruction. A person does not become a qualified doctor until they first study properly and receive training. They do not become a lawyer unless studying law and then practicing. In the same way, Brahma received guidance on exactly how to create.
For these reasons the actual creator is Vishnu. He is commonly known as the maintainer, as well, but the entire material world is sourced in Him. It is one of His energies, as are the many living entities. The feeling of pride, ahankara, gets purified when there is the acknowledged linkage to the Supreme Lord, who does the work of the world, and without applying much effort. He can just as easily lift the fallen souls out of ignorance back into the Divine light.
Proud of my business empire,
Sufficient funds to retire.
But others the way paving,
Much effort for me saving.
Brahma having justification the most,
Since responsible for variety a host.
But first Vishnu knowledge giving,
Ahankara through His grace forgiving.
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