Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 3: Chapter 16: Verses 1-12
Brahma continued : The Lord who has His abode in Vaikuntha joyfully received the foregoing words of those sages-who had taken a vow of devotion (to Sri Hari) and extolled Him (in the aforesaid manner)-and spoke the following words (in reply). The Lord said : These attendants of Mine, Jaya and Vijaya by name, have committed a qreat offence against you, ignoring Me (at the same time). The punishment that has been meted out to them by you, who are so devoted to Me, is approved of by Me, O good sages, inasmuch as the offence against you constitutes an affront to Me. The Brahmana is My highest deity and the disrespect that has been shown to you by My own people, I take it as an offence committed by Myself; hence I crave your forgiveness for the same on this occasion. On a servant doing a wrong the world (generally) blames his master (for the same) and the disrepute thus brought to him tarnishes his fair name even as white leprosy disfigures the skin. (You know) the whole world down to the pariah (who cooks and lives by the flesh of a dog) is immediately purified by a dip taken through the ear into the nectar of My unsullied glory. But it is from you (the Brahmanas) that I have derived this highly sanctifying renown. Therefore, irresistible as I am, I will not hesitate to lop off My own arm if its conduct is found hostile to you. Because of My services to you the dust of My lotus-feet has become so sacred that it immediately wipes out all sin and I have acquired a disposition on account of which Sri (the goddess of fortune) leaves Me not, even though I have no attachment to Her, while others (including the highest gods such as Brahma and so on) observe sacred vows for securing even a sidelong glance from Her. I do not enjoy the oblations offered by the sacrificer in a sacrifice through the sacrificial fire, which is one of My own mouths, with the same relish as I eat the delicacies overflowing with ghee through the mouth of the Brahmana who, having dedicated the consequences of his actions to Me, is ever satisfied (with his lot) and relishes every morsel he takes. The power of My Yogamaya (wonderful divine energy) is infinite and unobstructed, and the water in which My feet have been washed (viz., the holy Ganga) quickly sanctifies all the three worlds along with Lord Siva (who bears her on His head). Yet even I bear on My crown the holy dust of the Brahmanas' feet I Who would not, under the circumstances, bear with them ? The Brahmanas, the cows (that yield materials for sacrificial offerings) and defenceless creatures are My own bodies. The vulture-like messengers of Yama, the god of punishment appointed by Me, who are furious as serpents, angrily tear with their bills those who look upon these (My bodies) as distinct from Me, their faculty of judgment having been impaired by that sin. On the other hand, they captivate My heart, who with a gladdened heart and with their lotus face enlivened by a nectar-like smile respect the Brahmanas-even though they utter harsh words-looking upon them as My own selves, and pacify them by praising them in loving words even as' a son would appease an angry father or as I am pacifying you. These servants of Mine thus trespassed against you without knowing the mind of their master (Myself). I shall, therefore, deem it a favour done to Me if you so ordain that, reaping the fruit of their transgression they may return to My presence soon-that the term of their exile from My abode may expire before long.