Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.12.28 ~
Maitreya said, “We’ve heard that self-born Brahmā created a daughter, Vāk (the power of speech), whose beauty captivated his mind. Although she had no desire for him, he greatly desired her.”
“We’ve heard” indicates two things. (1) “It has to be said, for the sake of instruction, but I don’t want to say it myself, so I will just tell you what others have said.” (2) We haven’t seen, we’ve only heard, because it occurred in a previous kalpa.
There are two improprieties here: (1) The girl is his daughter. (2) She does not consent to the relationship.
Brahmā is the father of Veda, and the daughter is the power of speech so naturally he would be infatuated with her. Also, it is not possible for him to be attracted to any woman who is not his daughter, because he is the forefather of all beings.
When Brahmā’s sons noticed that their father’s heart had developed this immoral inclination, Sage Marīci spoke for them, very respectfully restoring Brahmā’s intelligence.
This is an important lesson. When a person in a position of leadership has a problem, we who are junior, inferior, etc. are not to ignore it and pretend that we are not qualified to judge. We must correct even our superiors when they err. But the manner we should use in doing so is also illustrated here — with sufficient respect.
“Powerful Lord,” Marīci submitted, “Never before have you been pushed by uncontrolled sexual desire towards your own daughter. And never again should you, or anyone else, behave in this way.
Now the point that no one is not Brahmā’s daughter would become an issue, so Marīci will admit that Brahmā is in a unique position, but has to set the proper example. Although marriage with his daughter is exemptible for the forefather of all beings, union with an unconsenting partner is not excusable for anyone, therefore Marīci insists that Brahmā must stop and never again behave in this way.
“Certainly you are in a unique position. As the forefather of everyone, no woman is not your ‘daughter.’ But still, it is your duty as the guru of the world to set the example of good behavior, for your behavior sets the example that all others will embrace and consider proper and correct. Thus you must not push yourself sexually upon an unconsenting partner.
Now, Marīci will invoke a blessing of the Supreme to help his father correct himself.
“Let us offer our respects to the All-Attractive, who is self-causing and whose beautiful luster reflects in all attractive entities. May he kindly protect the morality of our father.”
Marīci excellently reminded Brahmā to direct his desire for happiness towards the All-Attractive, for the origin of all attraction, including the attractiveness of Vāk, is in All-Attractive Bhagavān.
Hearing his sons speaking like this, the Forefather Brahmā regained his former clear sight. Out of embarrassment and shame, he cast off the body which had fathered all these children. The directions of space took it, and it became known as the terrifying fog of darkness.
According to this, the “reason” why space is dark is that it has accepted the blame for Brahmā’s immoral conduct. The dark fog that envelops the directions of space is the remnant of the body of Brahmā which he gave up.
This demonstrates that, as in Japanese culture, suicide is a proper atonement for some types of crimes. Brahmā could not fully commit suicide, for the universe would collapse, but he gave up the body that had fathered the children so far, and then manifest a new body.
This may be why Vāk later could tolerate the affections of Brahmā enough to accept a distant marriage with him. (He is no longer the same body that fathered her, so her disgust may have been somewhat mitigated).
The important lesson from this section is that even great people have problems, and the lesser people are supposed to help correct them, although they should do so respectfully.
– Vraja Kishor das