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rūpaṁ priyatamaṁ svānāṁ
In the śruti, or veda-mantra, it is said that the Supreme Absolute Truth is sarva-kāmaḥ sarva-gandhaḥ sarva-rasaḥ, or, in other words, He is known as raso vai saḥ, the source of all relishable relationships (rasas). We have various senses — the powers of seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, etc. — and all the propensities of our senses can be satisfied when the senses are engaged in the service of the Lord. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate: “Bhakti means engaging all the senses in the service of the master of the senses, Hṛṣīkeśa.” (Nārada-pañcarātra) These material senses, however, cannot be engaged in the service of the Lord; therefore one has to become free from all designations. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tatparatvena nirmalam: one has to become free from all designation or false egotism and thus become purified. When we engage our senses in the service of the Lord, the desires or the inclinations of the senses can be perfectly fulfilled. Lord Śiva therefore wants to see the Lord in a form which is inconceivable to the Bauddha philosophers, or the Buddhists.
The impersonalists and the voidists also have to see the form of the Absolute. In Buddhist temples there are forms of Lord Buddha in meditation, but these are not worshiped like the forms of the Lord in Vaiṣṇava temples — forms like Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Sītā-Rāma or Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa. Amongst the different sampradāyas (Vaiṣṇava sects) either Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa or Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa is worshiped. Lord Śiva wants to see that form perfectly, just as the devotees want to see it. The words rūpaṁ priyatamaṁ svānām are specifically mentioned here, indicating that Lord Śiva wants to see that form which is very dear to the devotees. The word svānām is especially significant because only the devotees are very, very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The jñānīs, yogīs and karmīs are not particularly dear, for the karmīs simply want to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead as their order supplier, the jñānīs want to see Him to become one with Him, and the yogīs want to see Him partially represented within their heart as Paramātmā. But the bhaktas, or the devotees, want to see Him in His complete perfection. As stated in Brahma-saṁhitā (5.30):
veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is adept at playing on His flute, whose eyes are blooming like lotus petals, whose head is bedecked with peacock feathers, whose beauty is tinged with the hue of blue clouds, and whose unique loveliness charms millions of Cupids.” Thus Lord Śiva’s desire is to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He is described in this way — that is, he wants to see Him as He appears to the bhāgavatas, the devotees. The conclusion is that Lord Śiva wants to see Him in complete perfection and not in the impersonalist or voidist way. Although the Lord is one in His various forms (advaitam acyutam anādim), still His form as the young enjoyer of the gopīs and companion of the cowherd boys (kiśora-mūrti) is the most perfect form. Thus Vaiṣṇavas accept the form of the Lord in His Vṛndāvana pastimes as the chief form.