Reason for Maushal Lila

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.63.39-40 - Reason for Maushal Lila (download mp3)
by Radhika Vallabha Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.63.39
yathaiva suryah pihitas chayaya svaya
 chayam ca rupani ca saƱcakasti
evam gunenapihito gunams tvam
 atma-pradipo guninas ca bhuman

O almighty one, just as the sun, though hidden by a cloud, illuminates the cloud and all other visible forms as well, so You, although hidden by the material qualities, remain self-luminous and thus reveal all those qualities, along with the living entities who possess them.

Here Lord Siva further clarifies the idea expressed in the final two lines of the previous verse. The analogy of the clouds and the sun is appropriate. With its energy the sun creates clouds, which cover our vision of the sun. Yet it is the sun that allows us to see the clouds and all other things as well. Similarly, the Lord expands His illusory potency and thus prevents us from directly seeing Him. Yet it is God alone who reveals to us His covering potency — namely, the material world — and thus the Lord is atma-pradipa, “self-luminous.” It is the reality of His existence that makes all things visible.

SB 10.63.40
unmajjanti nimajjanti
 prasakta vrjinarnave

Their intelligence bewildered by Your maya, fully attached to children, wife, home and so on, persons immersed in the ocean of material misery sometimes rise to the surface and sometimes sink down.

Srila Sridhara Svami explains that “rising in the ocean of misery” indicates elevation to higher species, such as demigods, and that “being submerged” refers to degradation to lower species — even to immobile forms of life such as trees. As stated in the Vayu Purana, viparyayas ca bhavati brahmatva-sthavaratvayoh: “The living being rotates between the position of Brahma and that of an unmoving creature.”

Srila Jiva Gosvami points out that Siva, having glorified the Lord, now pursues his original intention of securing the Lord’s grace for Banasura. Thus in this and the following four verses, Lord Siva instructs Bana on his actual position in relation to the Lord. Siva’s appeal to the Lord for compassion toward Bana appears in text 45.