In the Srimad-Bhagavatam we read about the story of Kardama Muni and his marriage with Devahuti.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Vishnu had consented to appear as the son of this saintly couple, in order to teach the science of self-realization. This particular avatara (incarnation) of the Supreme Lord is known as Lord Kapila and his science is famous as sankhya-yoga. Some time before the appearance of the Lord, Brahma comes to the ashrama of Kardama Muni and informs mother Devahuti as follows:
“Your son will be the head of all the perfected souls. He will be approved by the acaryas expert in disseminating real knowledge, and among the people He will be celebrated by the name Kapila. As the son of Devahuti, He will increase your fame.” (Bhagavatam 3.24.19)
I found it curious enough to do some investigation. Why would the Lord appearing as someone’s son increase the fame of that particular devotee? What follows are some observations gleaned from the Vedas. Fame is described in the Vedas as one of the original potencies, or shaktis, of Lord Krishna. His fame is eternal and ever-increasing. His lilas or pastimes enhance his fame furthermore. But there is one outstanding quality in the Lord: He is more happy to see His devotee becoming famous than Himself.
Our first example is of Bhishmadeva. Although it was easily possible for him, Lord Krishna made Bhishmadeva famous by speaking to Yudhisthira Maharaja and relieving him of his distress. Yudhisthira was very much aggrieved due to the slaughter of many millions of soldiers on the battlefield of Kuruksetra. No greater an authority than Srila Vyasadeva tried to instruct him and finally Lord Krishna personally gave him historical evidence that the king was not to be personally blamed for the disaster. The Bhagavad-gita describes Krishna as the Supersoul in the hearts of all living beings. Can’t the Supersoul convince Yudhisthira from within and perform a superhuman act? Well, Krishna performed an even more superhuman act by NOT allowing Yudhisthira to get convinced, because Krishna wanted that Bhishmadeva should get the credit.
Who can convince the Pandava king when he is simply moaning and blaming himself like a madman? The king cried, “O my lot! I am the most sinful man! Just see my heart, which is full of ignorance! This body, which is ultimately meant for others, has killed many, many phalanxes of men. I have killed many boys, brahmanas, well-wishers, friends, parents, preceptors and brothers. I will not be relieved from the hell that awaits me for all these sins, though I live there for millions of years. There is no sin for a king who kills for the right cause, who is engaged in maintaining his citizens. But this injunction is not applicable to me. I have killed many friends of women, and I have thus caused enmity to such an extent that it is not possible to undo it by material welfare work.
As it is not possible to filter muddy water through mud, or purify a wine-stained pot with wine, it is not possible to counteract the killing of men by sacrificing animals.”
Finally, Krishna convinced the king to approach Bhishmadeva who was lying on a bed of arrows in a corner of the battlefield. And when Bhishmadeva instructed the king he was at last fully satisfied.
More recently, Srila Prabhupada was asked as to why didn’t Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who preached all over India, not go outside India? In all humility, Srila Prabhupada replied that such is the nature of great personalities, that they wanted a humble soul like him to get the credit.