“In order to convince Brahma that all those cows, calves and boys were not the original ones, the cows, calves, and boys who were playing with Krishna transformed into Vishnu forms. Actually, the original ones were sleeping under the spell of Brahma’s mystic power, but the present ones, seen by Brahma, were all immediate expansions of Krishna, or Vishnu.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 13)
“My young child has been really into watching video depictions of Krishna’s pastimes lately. I know that there is some controversy surrounding the issue, but as a parent there isn’t much choice. We don’t have extended family around to assist in childcare. If I can get my kid to be calm through watching videos of Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I jump at the chance.
“I am familiar with the real-life stories, as I have studied Shrimad Bhagavatam and other Puranas. I must say that despite the cartoon-like nature of the videos, the content is rather true to the original. One episode I have had to play frequently is the stealing of the cows and cowherd boys by Lord Brahma, the creator.
“One thing dawned on me. Why didn’t Brahma play a similar trick on other people, such as Hiranyakashipu? If he felt the need to interfere in Krishna’s pastimes, why didn’t he step into the situation of a powerful asura causing havoc around the world? You see what I am saying, right? Krishna was not bothering anyone in the land of Vrindavana. There was no purpose to interfering. Why not do some good with your efforts, instead?”
1. Nothing to gain through interference
One significant difference is that Hiranyakashipu is not God. There would be no reason to test his abilities, since the ascension to power occurred through Brahma’s favor. The Daitya leader previously wasn’t as strong. He underwent tremendous austerities in order to get the attention of the four-faced creator.
With Shri Krishna, people are always testing His limits. They want to be sure that He is actually God. Brahma wondered how Krishna would react to the situation of His friends going missing. The creator should have known better, but he had a close relationship with the Almighty.
Krishna was not empowered by Brahma, so how great was His ability exactly? By expanding into identical forms of the missing children and animals, Brahma’s plan was foiled. No damage was done. Krishna even showed the identical forms as Vishnu to Brahma, just in case the creator was still unsure.
2. Maya was already playing tricks on Hiranyakashipu
Shri Krishna is the controller of maya. He is never in illusion. Brahma thus indirectly wanted to see if he could succeed in an area where maya could not. As the creator of the species, perhaps Brahma had enough proficiency to baffle someone who is able to enchant the entire universe.
Hiranyakashipu was already under illusion. There was no reason to play an extra trick on him. The Daitya leader either thought there was no God or that the Vishnu person worshiped by the saintly class was actually an enemy to the people.
Hiranyakashipu would not listen to sound logic and reasoning. Prahlada’s teachings were a kind of interference, and they made no impact on the stubborn father. Prahlada already baffled the great atheist by surviving the many attacks made against him. Hiranyakashipu was suffering greatly in illusion, and so intervention by Brahma was not necessary.
3. Vishnu would save the day
Hiranyakashipu was causing problems for the devatas, the demigods administering the material creation. The situation on earth was dire. Yet Vishnu promised to arrive at the appropriate time. He would save the day. Prahlada was the first responder, the clandestine agent highlighting the need for outside intervention.
Vishnu eventually descended as Narasimha, the half-man/half-lion. He baffled the already bewildered Hiranyakashipu by breaking through the boons of protection. What Brahma gifted ended up being worthless when faced against the nails of the transcendental protector of Prahlada Maharaja.
Brahma boons to asura gave,
Why differently with Krishna to behave?
Where with pastimes interfering,
Wrath of Krishna not fearing?
With Hiranyakashipu not necessary to go,
Since already under illusion so.
Never understood God to be,
Thus no reason for limits to see.
Categories: the three