“Lord Brahma said: O son of Kashyapa Muni, please get up, please get up. All good fortune unto you. You are now perfect in the performance of your austerities, and therefore I may give you a benediction. You may now ask from me whatever you desire, and I shall try to fulfill your wish.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.3.17)
उत्तिष्ठोत्तिष्ठ भद्रं ते
तपः-सिद्धो ’सि काश्यप
वरदो ’हम् अनुप्राप्तो
व्रियताम् ईप्सितो वरः
uttiṣṭhottiṣṭha bhadraṁ te
tapaḥ-siddho ’si kāśyapa
varado ’ham anuprāpto
vriyatām īpsito varaḥ
“You see questions about this every now and then. The concern that the people passing judgment on the day of most importance will make a mistake. Acknowledging that there will be an afterlife, that someone indeed is compiling a list of my good and bad deeds, I will face some type of court.
“In the Vedic tradition there is Yamaraja. He is the equivalent of a grim reaper. The god of justice. He is also known as Dharmaraja. If you follow pious behavior there is nothing to worry about. Sort of like with the law-abiding citizens within a society. The sound of police sirens generally does not cause them alarm.
“Whereas the criminals are always on the lookout. And so the grossly sinful worry about being dragged into Yamaraja’s court in the afterlife. What if there is a mistake? What if someone was neglectful in their observance of behavior?
“Then you get a similar concern over the concept of a Dr. Frankenstein. I am not entirely familiar with the story, but I think it is something where a doctor is experimenting with something new in his laboratory. Then there is a terrible mistake, and the byproduct is something that even the doctor cannot control. Similar to a virus getting out of a lab and causing havoc in society.
“Is it possible for God to make such a mistake? Have there been any documented cases of a bad character let loose on society by accident?”
The equivalent is entirely possible with the demigods. The creator, Lord Brahma, has granted boons to some of the most nefarious characters in history. The analogy is not entirely complete, however. This is because Brahma’s favor is not an accident. He did not err when rewarding the people who worshiped him.
This is because the demigods are bound in duty to their role. They do not discriminate. The retail outlet is usually the same way. When putting items into the shopping cart, the website does not run a character assessment. They do not ask how you intend to use the set of knives being purchased. They do not follow up on how the sneakers were being used, for playing sports or for running and chasing an innocent victim in the park.
The demigods give rewards in accordance with proper worship. With Hiranyakashipu, there was extreme austerity and penance. Reading the level of dedication from Shrimad Bhagavatam, it seems too much to believe. That is the extent necessary for catching the attention of someone like Brahma.
Hiranyakashipu attempted to get immortality, and when that wasn’t possible he tried to construct the same through component parts. He had what would be considered ninety-nine percent immortality, but the keen observer notices the defect immediately.
Just one percent mortality invalidates the entire proposal. Brahma gave Hiranyakashipu as much as could be asked for, and though the immediate results were not auspicious for the world, eventually the Supreme Lord descended to deal with the situation.
As Bhagavan is Achyuta, He does not commit mistakes. He is infallible. The material world flows as something like a rollercoaster ride. There are highs and lows. Ups and downs. Times of great prosperity and peace, and times of destitution and war.
Even the supposed mistakes by the demigods get corrected. Mahadeva once granted a boon to a demon who then turned around and tried to chase him; staring a gift-horse in the eyes. As He did with the Narasimha avatara, Narayana arrived on the scene to correct the wrong.
This should elicit confidence in the aspirant that no matter the difficulties otherwise faced, there will be blissful days ahead. The sinful may rise to prominence for a time, but no one escapes the watchful eye of the one who sees everything, who also hears every prayer offered in His direction: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Did Brahma make a mistake?
When Hiranya boons to take.
That now the world to rule,
The creator made a fool.
Not possible since by duty bound,
Correction through Narayana found.
High and low but eventually to end,
Folly not indefinitely to extend.