Much is spoken of arrogance and about how man is best served when arrogance is given up. What exactly is arrogance and why must it be eschewed? In simple terms, arrogance may be summarized as the false perception of one\u2019s superiority that is combined with the inability to acknowledge quality in others. In a single swoop, the arrogant misjudge their abilities as well as those of the others. Yogic texts pin arrogance down to a single lacuna \u2013 namely the non-identification with the higher self or the Supreme. In other words, when one fails to identify with one\u2019s true self, he or she also fails to recognize that all of creation is but a reflection of the Divine Spark. Running parallel to the non-identification with the Supreme is the identification with the fleeting, which results in man mistaking the ephemeral for the eternal. Arrogance originates from the misconception that man\u2019s possessions are eternal, when in reality they are temporary. Man believes that the knowledge he seemingly possesses, the wealth that is his for the time-being, or the prowess of his limbs are his eternally. He prides himself as unparalleled, and is swept off his feet, little realizing that all he possesses is but fleeting in nature. This ignorance results in arrogance, and translates to cruelty and pettiness in deeds and demeanor. Unless arrogance is quelled, man cannot rise to the summit of perfection, for perfection lies in the recognition of a higher self. Avat\u0101ras descend in order to establish order and to provide man with an exemplar of a perfect life. In their infinite compassion, avat\u0101ras enact l\u012bl\u0101s that explicate to man, how life situations are to be dealt with. Though above attributes and desires, avat\u0101ras adorn them in l\u012bl\u0101s in order to teach man how to rise above them. One such l\u012bl\u0101 described in the \u015aivamah\u0101pur\u0101\u1e47a elaborates how the Supreme Lord extinguishes arrogance and helps identify the essential unity in creation. It must be borne in mind here, that avat\u0101ras enact l\u012bl\u0101s and do not identify with materialistic emotions and desires. At the beginning of creation, Lord Vi\u1e63\u1e47u and Lord Brahm\u0101 found themselves in an argument over who was superior. Lord Brahm\u0101 proclaimed, \u2018The Vedas proclaim me to be the self-born Supreme. I am the essence of the universe and its creator.\u2019 Lord Vi\u1e63\u1e47u countered, \u2018There is no creator, sustainer or annihilator superior to me. I am the supreme light, the all-pervasive Supreme that lies within each atom of creation.\u2019 As they battled on thus for superiority, a li\u1e45gam of blinding brilliance appeared between them. The endless column of light was so spectacular in its appearance, both Lord Brahm\u0101 and Lord Vi\u1e63\u1e47u were struck with wonder. They decided to put the li\u1e45gam to the test. Lord Vi\u1e63\u1e47u assumed the form of a wild boar and set out to find the base of the li\u1e45gam, while Lord Brahm\u0101 assumed the form of a swan and soared up, seeking to identify the end of the li\u1e45gam. Thousands of cosmic years rolled by, and yet neither succeeded in the task they set out to complete. Exhausted and humbled, Lord Brahm\u0101 and Lord Vi\u1e63\u1e47u began glorifying the li\u1e45gam thus, \u2018O Supreme One, we are ignorant of Thy true form. Accept our supplication and reveal Thyself.\u2019 Pleased with the eulogy, the Supreme One made Himself visible to Lord Brahm\u0101 and Lord Vi\u1e63\u1e47u. The two were delighted to behold the sagu\u1e47a (attributes) of the nirgu\u1e47a (attributeless) Brahman. The Supreme One then crafted the four Vedas from His breath and handed them over to Lord Vi\u1e63\u1e47u. He said to Lord Brahm\u0101, \u2018unite with the aspect of Prak\u1e5bti known as Gir\u0101dev\u012b (Goddess of speech) and engage in creation.\u2019 Turning to Lord Vi\u1e63\u1e47u said the Lord, \u2018Take the aspect of Prak\u1e5bti called Lak\u1e63m\u012b as your consort and sustain the universe. I, as Rudra, shall resort to the aspect of Prak\u1e5bti called K\u0101l\u012b and shall attend to the noble deed of annihilation. It is I who am known by the names of Brahm\u0101, Vi\u1e63\u1e47u and Rudra owing to the three kinds of actions I engage in during creation, sustenance and annihilation. The wise recognize that (I am like) a single sheet of gold that produces various ornaments, but is essentially the same. A single lump of clay produces various pots. Celestials endowed with superior intellect as yourselves must recognize the underlying reality of all creation.\u2019 \u092f\u0926\u0948\u0915\u0938\u094d\u092f\u093e \u092e\u0943\u0926\u094b \u092d\u0947\u0926\u0947 \u0928\u093e\u0928\u093e\u092a\u093e\u0924\u094d\u0930\u093e\u0923\u093f \u0935\u0938\u094d\u0924\u0941\u0924\u0903\u0964 \u0915\u093e\u0930\u0923\u0938\u094d\u092f\u0948\u0935 \u0915\u093e\u0930\u094d\u092f\u0947 \u091a \u0938\u0928\u094d\u0928\u093f\u0927\u093e\u0928\u0902 \u0928\u093f\u0926\u0930\u094d\u0936\u0928\u092e\u094d\u0965 yadaikasy\u0101 m\u1e5bdo bhede n\u0101n\u0101p\u0101tr\u0101\u1e47i vastuta\u1e25| k\u0101ra\u1e47asyaiva k\u0101rye ca sannidh\u0101na\u1e41 nidar\u015banam|| \u015aivamah\u0101pur\u0101\u1e47am, S\u1e5b\u1e63\u1e6di-kha\u1e47\u1e0da, 9.36 \u091c\u094d\u091e\u093e\u0924\u0935\u094d\u092f\u0902 \u092c\u0941\u0927\u0935\u0930\u094d\u092f\u0948\u0936\u094d\u091a \u0928\u093f\u0930\u094d\u092e\u0932\u091c\u094d\u091e\u093e\u0928\u093f\u092d\u093f\u0903 \u0938\u0941\u0930\u0948\u0903\u0964 \u090f\u0935\u0902 \u091c\u094d\u091e\u093e\u0924\u094d\u0935\u093e \u092d\u0935\u0926\u094d\u092d\u094d\u092f\u093e\u0902 \u0924\u0941 \u0928 \u0926\u0943\u0936\u094d\u092f\u0902 \u092d\u0947\u0926 \u0915\u093e\u0930\u0923\u092e\u094d\u0965 j\u00f1\u0101tavya\u1e41 budhavaryai\u015bca nirmalaj\u00f1\u0101nibhi\u1e25 surai\u1e25| eva\u1e41 j\u00f1\u0101tv\u0101 bhavadbhy\u0101\u1e41 tu na d\u1e5b\u015bya\u1e41 bheda k\u0101ra\u1e47am|| \u015aivamah\u0101pur\u0101\u1e47am, S\u1e5b\u1e63\u1e6di-kha\u1e47\u1e0da, 9.37 With these words, the Supreme One rendered himself invisible. Lord Brahm\u0101 and Lord Vi\u1e63\u1e47u recognized their folly in giving in to pride and arguing who was superior. They recognized themselves to be but a reflection of the Supreme, created by His sheer will, and resorted to their respective realms with humility and wisdom.