Srimad Bhagavatam – 3.12.7
dhiyā nigṛhyamāṇo 'pi
bhruvor madhyāt prajāpateḥ
sadyo 'jāyata tan-manyuḥ
Although he tried to curb his anger, it came out from between his eyebrows, and a child mixed blue and red was immediately generated.
When Brahma’s children, the four Kumaras, refused to carry out his order to create progeny as they didn’t want to get into family life, Brahma got angry. The internal force of anger which he was holding from external expression manifested in the form of giving birth to a child of blue and red which is Rudra. The blue colour represents ignorance and red represents passion and Prabhupada explains that anger is a product of passion and ignorance.
Brahma first created the nescient engagements like self-deception, the sense of death, anger after frustration, all these kind of things. And in this material world the pure mode of goodness will always be mixed with some passion or ignorance. Mode of passion means self is in the forefront. The spiritual world is full of devotional service activity for the benefit of Krishna and His servants. The characteristic of the ego in this material world is – I first, then others. The constitutional principle is the whole will take care of the part. That is why among the six guidelines of surrender, one guideline is to have complete faith in the protection of the Lord. So as a sadhaka if we practice consciously in all our day-to-day activities we will automatically cut down the influence of passion and ignorance. Any self-concept where ‘I am not servant of Krishna’ that is ignorance and passion is any activity for oneself.
Even though Brahma as a servant of the Lord he is creating and at the same time he got frustrated at the obstacle in his service. So this is inevitable, but even though Brahma tried to control anger, it came out. The Bhagavatam is full of lilas of how even in the process of devotional service one loses the foundation and then the mode of passion and ignorance will dilute one’s pure devotional service.
Devotees try to become famous or become important, whereas the spiritual instinct that we are supposed to awaken is that – I am insignificant. Pure devotional service is not simply doing many services; those are all ways to make us humble one day.
We have to remember that when we are engaging in devotional service of the Lord, the mode of passion and ignorance should be kept away. It is a challenge, and sadhana bhakti means to meet this challenge little by little. That is why Prabhupada says, bhakti is cultivated, sadhana bhakti means it has to be practiced.
One has to be very alert about his internal attitude towards other devotees, other living entities. The more one appreciates the significance of Krishna as a person the more one will know how insignificant one is. So definitely one cannot overnight move from mixed devotional service to pure devotional service. He should be moving in that direction, neither should he be stagnant, nor should he move in the opposite direction. Krishna is anxiously waiting for us to become pure. Impure means what? Nothing unconstitutional, that is not your svarupa. To be important means one immediately should understand this is not my soul’s desire, at least according to Krishna conscious philosophy. When I do service, I should do for the pleasure of guru and Krishna. Nowhere Prabhupada has said that – you should become famous among the devotees; that will please me.
Of course in the community of the devotees, as a matter of hierarchy one has to give respect. If one doesn’t respect, then as a matter of duty the person who is expected to receive that respect has to correct the devotee, this is developing the devotional culture. But with the heart one should not demand respect. If somebody is a temple president, somebody is disrespecting then if he ignores it, that is not the place for temple president to practice humility; he will have other areas to practice humility. There he has to instruct the devotee. When you have a duty to teach younger Vaishnavas then you tell them, there is a scope for dialogue. From our heart we should know the fundamental principle is that – I don’t seek any honor for myself, but if I keep quiet now the whole temple will go down, they will stamp me, sit on my head – right? I have my duty to do certain things, so unless there is respect for my words, how will the temple run, how will the service happen? So therefore this has to be handled very sensitively by the devotees.
While correcting devotees who do not give respect, that time we have to be self-restrained. The principle of self-restraint is – till we die we have to have self-restraint, because till we die maya will continue to envelop us with ahankara. Ahankara means passion, false ego. We don’t kill ahankara, I am – aham is there, but we don’t kill it. So we have to remember that when we are practicing mixed devotional service we have to ensure that we are moving in the direction of pure devotional service which means we have to be very careful about all the spiritual obstacles that come in the process of our service, that will feed our anartha and choke our devotional service. Never satisfy yourself by saying, my advancement depends on how much service I have done, you don’t measure, let other Vaishnavas measure that.
One has to engage in devotional service for the pleasure of guru and Krishna. Respect for you means maya; respect for everybody else is Krishna consciousness. Just see how contrasting this is. Don’t hate name and fame, give it to Prabhupada, and glorify him. We are against name and fame for oneself.