स्वकार्थानामिव रज:सत्त्वाभ्यां स्रष्टृपालका: ॥ ५० ॥
svakārthānām iva rajaḥ-
candrikā-viśada-smeraiḥ — by pure smiling like the full, increasing moonlight; sa-aruṇa-apāṅga-vīkṣitaiḥ — by the clear glances of Their reddish eyes; svaka-arthānām — of the desires of His own devotees; iva — just as; rajaḥ-sattvābhyām — by the modes of passion and goodness; sraṣṭṛ-pālakāḥ — were creators and protectors.
Those Viṣṇu forms, by Their pure smiling, which resembled the increasing light of the moon, and by the sidelong glances of Their reddish eyes, created and protected the desires of Their own devotees, as if by the modes of passion and goodness.
Those Viṣṇu forms blessed the devotees with Their clear glances and smiles, which resembled the increasingly full light of the moon (śreyaḥ-kairava-candrikā-vitaraṇam). As maintainers, They glanced upon Their devotees, embracing them and protecting them by smiling. Their smiles resembled the mode of goodness, protecting all the desires of the devotees, and the glancing of Their eyes resembled the mode of passion. Actually, in this verse the word rajaḥ means not “passion” but “affection.” In the material world, rajo-guṇa is passion, but in the spiritual world it is affection. In the material world, affection is contaminated by rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa, but in the śuddha-sattva the affection that maintains the devotees is transcendental.
The word svakārthānām refers to great desires. As mentioned in this verse, the glance of Lord Viṣṇu creates the desires of the devotees. A pure devotee, however, has no desires. Therefore Sanātana Gosvāmī comments that because the desires of devotees whose attention is fixed on Kṛṣṇa have already been fulfilled, the Lord’s sidelong glances create variegated desires in relation to Kṛṣṇa and devotional service. In the material world, desire is a product of rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa, but desire in the spiritual world gives rise to a variety of everlasting transcendental service. Thus the word svakārthānām refers to eagerness to serve Kṛṣṇa.
In Vṛndāvana there is a place where there was no temple, but a devotee desired, “Let there be a temple and sevā, devotional service.” Therefore, what was once an empty corner has now become a place of pilgrimage. Such are the desires of a devotee.