“Know that all beautiful, glorious, and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 10.41)
यद् यद् विभूतिमत् सत्त्वं
श्रीमद् ऊर्जितम् एव वा
तत् तद् एवावगच्छ त्वं
yad yad vibhūtimat sattvaṁ
śrīmad ūrjitam eva vā
tat tad evāvagaccha tvaṁ
Friend1: It is so interesting that asuras and Rakshasas still worship a higher authority, as documented in Vedic literature.
Friend2: What do you mean by “still”?
Friend1: Oh, because they are known atheists. They deny the existence of God, and yet they still worship.
Friend2: You mean like towards Mahadeva, asking him for powers to destroy the world and the like? Worship in the mode of ignorance.
Friend1: Specific reference to Hiranyakashipu and Ravana. I know there are different variations to the story, since the creation goes through endless cycles of manifestation and destruction, but Ravana worships Brahma for boons.
Friend2: The same with Hiranyakashipu, the leader of the Daityas.
Friend1: They are intelligent enough to approach the right person. They are clever enough to ask for abilities that will assist them in furthering their evil intentions.
Friend2: Hiranyakashipu was more interesting to me. Not able to get blanket immortality, he tried to create the same through accounting for different situations.
Friend1: No human being could kill him. No animal. No weapon. Not at night. Neither during the day. Ravana had a similar protection. No ordinary person would be able to defeat him.
Friend2: They tried to stretch the limits of their knowledge of the creation.
Friend1: Here is something I thought of the other day. Why didn’t Ravana ask for the ability to defeat God? As Brahma, the creator, was in a giving mood, the Rakshasa leader could have protected himself for the future.
Friend2: Why do you think he didn’t make such a request?
Friend1: Maybe he didn’t think of it. Hiranyakashipu had other things on his mind. He wanted to protect himself from different situations.
Friend2: Even if Brahma would have suggested it, the two would never see the need.
Friend1: Why not?
Friend2: Because they don’t believe in God. In their eyes, who is this Vishnu person? They don’t need protection from Him. Their aim is to become like God. They want to be the best. If Vishnu is this worshipable personality, perhaps He got that way from the favor of Brahma.
Friend1: Okay, but that’s just silly.
Friend2: That is one of the symptoms of the fever of delusion in a material existence.
Friend1: I guess maybe they thought the weapons and the creature ranges covered everything.
Friend2: Sure, it is like the Dr. Frog analogy that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada likes to use. The frog in the well has no idea how large the Pacific Ocean is. The only frame of reference they have is the well, which is rather small. Ravana has no idea of the true potency of Vishnu. Even the amazing display from Shri Rama on the battlefield represents but a spark of His splendor.
Friend1: Never thought of it that way. Both Hiranyakashipu and Ravana later saw Vishnu and the potency of the Almighty.
Friend2: And they still didn’t believe. Nothing would convince them. They certainly weren’t going to ask Brahma for help in that regard. If they did, it would be an acknowledgement of a superior entity. That is only possible through full and complete surrender, which is indicative of devotion, such as that shown by Prahlada Maharaja, the best of the Daityas.
Friend1: And Vibhishana, the brother of Ravana.