Published on October 31st, 2022 | by Harmonist staff10
The Simultaneous Inherency and Bestowal of Bhakti—Part 17: Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa’s Govinda-Bhāṣya
By Vrindaranya dasi
Additional articles in this series
The end of the Vedānta-sūtra (adhyāya 4, pāda 4) discusses the manifestation of the jīva’s svarūpa. What makes this section so important to our discussion is that it reconciles receiving grace with realizing one’s own true nature. By directly showing the paradox of needing mercy to realize one’s own inherent nature, it very clearly shows simultaneous inherence and bestowal. If this point weren’t addressed so directly, it would be easy to misconstrue that what one attains is something new—something that is not inherent in the soul.
Sūtra 4.4.1 references a passage from Chāndogya Upaniṣad 8.12.3, the same passage that Jīva Gosvāmī quoted in his discussion of śeṣatva:
…in the very same way, this deeply serene one, after he rises up from this body and reaches the highest light, emerges in his own true appearance. He is the highest person. He roams about there, laughing, playing, and enjoying himself… (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 8.12.3)1
In his commentary, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa asks: Does the liberated soul get a body that is a result of sādhana (sādhyena rūpeṇa sambandhaḥ), like the body of a demigod, or is it a result of his own nature (svarūpābhiniṣpattiḥ)?
The siddhānta is established: “The phrase ‘accomplishing one’s own form’ (svena rūpeṇa-abhiniṣpadyate) means manifesting one’s own form because the word svena (his own) is used.”2 Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa comments:
When the soul approaches the Highest Light, through the force of its devotion, accompanied by knowledge and dispassion, then there is release for it from the chain of karma, and there is manifestation in it of the eight-fold superior qualities, which from latency come into manifestation then. It is then said that there has taken place the manifestation of its natural character. This particular condition, characterized by the rise of one’s natural condition to the surface, is called svarūpa abhiniṣpatti (appearance of one’s nature).3
The paradox of simultaneous inherency and bestowal is on full display in this explanation. Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa points out that the soul’s liberation occurs through the force of devotion (having been bestowed by a devotee), and only by this mercy can the soul realize his own nature. Again emphasizing inherency, he notes that the soul’s qualities manifest, rising to the surface. What are these inherent qualities? They include satya-saṅkalpa (one’s will is instantly realized) and satya-kāmaḥ (able to achieve anything desired). In Vedānta-sūtra 4.4.12, Baladeva Prabhu will note that the ātmā’s form comes from the soul’s will, which began to manifest at the beginning of the jīva’s spiritual life. This spiritual will, which gives rise to the spiritual body, is inherent in the jīva and begins to manifest while the jīva is still partially covered by māyā.
The fact that satya-saṅkalpa and satya-kāmaḥ are part of the jīva’s svarūpa—that the jīva has inherent will—is enough to discount the idea that the jīva is merely conscious and free of material suffering, which is the position of those who advocate bestowal-only. A bodiless soul that is merely a unit of contentless consciousness does not have manifest śakti. What we find in the passage under discussion (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 8.12.3), however, is that the soul’s svarūpa and rūpa manifest simultaneously, as evidenced by the fact that this verse says that the soul laughs, plays, and rejoices. One couldn’t do these activities without a form (rūpa).
In this regard, Rāmānujācārya comments, “The words ‘and the rest’ of the sūtra indicate that the soul not only possesses these eight attributes, but that it acts in the way mentioned in the same Upaniṣad [i.e. the soul laughs, plays, and rejoices].” In other words, it is part of the nature of the soul to be a doer, not merely conscious and free of material suffering. Being a knower, doer, and enjoyer are inherent attributes of the soul, as we saw in the twenty-one characteristics of the soul that Jīva Gosvāmī presented in Paramātma Sandarbha. Rāmānujācārya continues, “Nor can it be said that mere cessation of pain constitutes the well-being of the soul which has approached the highest light, and that in this sense manifestation of its own nature may be called release; for scripture clearly teaches that the released soul enjoys an infinity of positive bliss.”4 Again, liberation for the soul is not the mere absence of suffering: it is “an infinity of positive bliss.”
Several of the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas mention that the form the jīva receives is not “adventitious.” This means that the form does not arise by chance but rather from design or inherent nature. The fact that the jīva can choose whether or not to have a form does not make it adventitious. If the soul chooses to not manifest a spiritual form, that form remains unmanifest. The form arises according to the inherent nature of the jīva: the soul’s quality of satya-saṅkalpa. Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa says that it manifests by the soul’s will. However, his prayer at the beginning of this section of Vedānta-sūtra brings us back to simultaneous bestowal: The Lord, “gratified by their devotion, gratifies all their desires.”5 In other words, our will is subject to the approval of the Lord.
Form or Nature?
Some devotees think that Vedānta-sūtra 4.4.1 is not talking about the soul’s form (rūpeṇa) but rather his nature (svarūpa). They insist that it is only the svarūpa (nature) that is inherent and that nature is to be conscious and free of suffering. Everything else that a liberated soul attains, they maintain, is a gift, not an inherent part of the soul’s nature. However, the point turns out to be irrelevant and merely belies a shallow understanding. It is irrelevant because the rūpa is itself a result of the svarūpa. Furthermore, the rūpa is also eternally with the jīva (although it is naturally unmanifest when the jīva is covered by māyā).6 Thus, 4.4.1 is talking about both. Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa explains why the proper understanding is that the liberated soul gets a body that is a result of his own nature:
Because the word svena in the above text requires this explanation. This word is an adjective qualifying the word rūpa (form) in the above. If the soul assumed a new body, then this word would have no force. Because, even without that, it would be clear that the new body belonged to the soul. The other meaning of svena would be “belonging to it” and rūpeṇa would mean “in a form belonging to it.” This would be purely a useless expression, for the body, which the soul takes, must ipso facto belong to it. Moreover, the word niṣpatti does not always mean accomplishment, but manifestation also.7
He goes on to say, “Some say that the jīva, being self-illuminating consciousness alone, on attaining the supreme light, manifests merely a state of destruction of all suffering caused by the superimposition of prakṛti. But that is not so, because śruti states that one attains intense bliss. Rasaṁ hy evāyaṁ labdhvānandī bhavati: the jīva, attaining the Lord who is rasa, becomes blissful (Taittirīya Upaniṣad 2.7).”8 Here Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, quoting the same verse that Śrī Jīva did in his commentary on śeṣatva, adds to his previous point—that the liberated jīva attains his own intrinsic yet previously unmanifest form (svena rūpeṇa) as a servant of Bhagavān—by saying that liberation involves tasting rasa, not merely the destruction of suffering. In other words, he says that upon removing his negative material conditioning, the soul experiences his own positive status in bhakti-rasa.
Does Accomplishment Negate Inherency?
Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa’s point that niṣpatti can mean manifestation rather than accomplishment is worth underscoring because those who advocate bestowal-only often make much of statements that say the spiritual form is attained. Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa says that what is accomplished is the realization or uncovering of one’s own svarūpa. By keeping this point in mind, we will have a broader perspective from which to understand when someone says that bhakti or the siddha-deha is obtained, given, or acquired. Such reasoning is very convincing when one is limited by a binary viewpoint, but Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa makes it clear that the paradoxical nature of simultaneous inherency and bestowal is not bound by the logic of binary thinking.
The Qualities of the Liberated Soul
Vedānta-sūtra 4.4.4-7 is also very relevant to our discussion because it considers whether the soul is consciousness alone—the position of those who say that bhakti is not inherent—or if it has qualities as well.9 The conclusion is that the soul is consciousness and has qualities. The eight qualities of the liberated soul are mentioned, as well as the qualities mentioned in Chāndogya Upaniṣad 8.12.3 (that the soul laughs, plays, and rejoices). Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa also provides several verses that confirm that the qualities of the soul are eternal but covered when the jīva is influenced by māyā:
Just as by washing away dirt, light is not created in a jewel, so by destroying faults knowledge is not created in the jīva.
Just as water is not created by digging a well, an existing thing becomes manifest. How can something not existing appear?
Similarly, by destruction of bad qualities, the obscured qualities, which are eternal in the ātmā, manifest and are not created. (Viṣṇu-dharma)10
Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa thus clearly establishes that the soul’s characteristics—which are eternal but covered when the jīva is conditioned by māyā—are not merely consciousness and freedom from material suffering. The fact that these qualities manifest by bhakti in no way means that they did not exist in an unmanifest form before liberation.
Does the Liberated Soul Have a Body?
Vedānta-sūtra 4.4.9-12 discusses whether the liberated ātmā is controlled by anyone other than the Lord and whether the liberated jīva has a body (vigraha) when he attains the Lord. In this regard, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa confirms simultaneous inherency and bestowal by saying that the soul’s qualities manifest by the mercy of the Lord: “Though the jīva’s nature of satya-saṇkalpa exists within himself (svātma-bhūtam), it manifests because of his worship of the Lord.”11 He also points out: “Since the jīva is an aṁśa of the Lord (dependent on him), his nature of being an agent and enjoyer comes from the Lord alone.”12
In regard to whether the liberated jīva has a body (vigraha) when he attains the Lord, it is established that the liberated jīva can have a body or not, according to his will. As I mentioned previously, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa says that this will began to manifest at the beginning of the jīva’s spiritual life. Some devotees mistakenly think that the fact that Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa says that the soul can either have or not have a spiritual body means that the previous question— does the liberated soul get a body that is a result of sādhana, like the body of a demigod, or is it a result of his own nature—was not referring to body at all, but rather to the soul’s nature. I’ve already pointed out the flaw in this understanding. Vedānta-sūtra 4.4.1 was discussing both the svarūpa (nature) and the rūpa (spiritual body). The Upaniṣadic passage under discussion in sūtra 4.4.1 speaks about the soul “laughing, playing, and rejoicing,” all of which would be impossible without a body or form. The spiritual body was established to have manifested due to the nature of the devotee. The fact that it is possible for a liberated soul to not have a spiritual body in no way negates the fact that 4.4.1 was discussing a situation in which the liberated soul does desire a spiritual body.
Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa explains:
The meaning is this. The liberated jīvas, having destroyed all suffering by Brahma-vidyā, manifest their satya-saṅkalpa nature. Those among them who desire a body, by their will, have a body. Thus śruti says sa ekadhā: he manifests one body. (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 7.26.2) Those liberated jīvas who do not want a body do not manifest a body. Thus, śruti says aśarīram vāva: he is without a body. (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 8.12.1) For those who desire to serve the Lord eternally with a spiritual body, that body made of the cit-śakti manifests. Eternally possessing that body, they serve the Lord.13
Clearly, if the jīva eternally possesses a spiritual body that manifests according to his desire, he still possesses that body even when it is unmanifest. After all, eternity has no beginning or end. In Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism, the soul has a fixed form in Kṛṣṇa līlā and, if he so desires, another in Gaura līlā. In the foundational Gauḍīya literature, there is no mention of having various bodies in Goloka Vṛndāvana with which to serve the Lord. In Vaikuṇṭha, the situation is somewhat different. There, devotees can have various forms according to the necessity of service. However, according to Rāmānujācārya, the consciousness of the ātmā will spread like a lamp to illuminate the different forms, all of which are eternal. Because the jīva is not divisible, even if a jīva occupies several bodies simultaneously, the jīva resides in one of the bodies and simultaneously illuminates the others with consciousness. The jīva does not divide himself into several forms. In this way, Rāmānujācārya still considers that the soul has eka-rūpa (one form). In his commentary on Vedānta-sūtra 4.4.15, he says:
Just as a lamp, although abiding in one place only, enters through the light proceeding from it into connection with many places; so the soul also, although limited to one place, may through its light-like consciousness enter into several bodies.…The released soul… is capable of extending as far as it likes, and thus to make many bodies its own.14
The question of one form or multiple forms aside, one might think that the fact that some jīvas don’t desire a body shows that eka-rūpa (one of the twenty-one characteristics of the jīva) does not mean “one form.” Jīva Gosvāmī answers this doubt in his commentary to Paramātma Sandarbha 35: “When the pure jīva merges into Brahman, the jīva, though capable of acting, is covered by the bliss of Brahman and is no longer connected with action. It is understood that at this time his capacity as a doer remains internal.”15 When Jīva Gosvāmī says that his capacity as a doer remains internal, he means that the capacity (śakti) is unmanifest in the jīva, who is a particle of sac-cid-ānanda. Of course, to manifest one’s capacity as a doer, one needs a form. In his Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā on Bṛhad-Bhāgavatāmṛta, Śrīla Sanātana Goswāmī confirms that souls merged in Brahman have an inherent spiritual form that can manifest by the mercy of the Lord:
Similarly, in the state of liberation, the living beings merge into a distinct part of the effulgent Brahman from which they originated, and therefore it is said that the jīva has become one with Brahman. However, because the living being is limited by his very nature, whereas Brahman is constitutionally unlimited, liberated jīvas cannot obtain the intense, boundless happiness found in the unbounded Brahman. So, the reason the jīvas are nondifferent from Brahman is just that their individuality is not visible in the state of liberation. Because they are finite, they are separate and distinct, even though they are situated as if merged in some portion of Brahman. By the special mercy of Śrī Bhagavān, at a certain point, some liberated living beings, because of their individuality, desire a separate existence to experience the joy of loving devotional service (bhakti-sukha). They are able to attain this in a body that is fit for worshiping the Lord, a sac-cid-ānanda body comprised of eternality, knowledge, and bliss.16
As before, the fact that the soul “attains” the body does not mean that the body is not eternally svena rūpeṇa (his own form). Thus, as we have seen, Vaiṣṇava ācāryas consider that the soul has eka-rūpa (one form) even if the soul is merged in Brahman or if he is one lamp illuminating several forms. Similarly, when a devotee has a form in Gaura līlā and another form in Kṛṣṇa līlā, the two forms are considered nondifferent.
The term eka-rūpa (having one form) is the seventh intrinsic attribute of the soul. Śrī Jīva’s explanation of the term is brief:
Since the jīva reveals itself by its own śakti (not depending on another entity), it has a single form (eka-rūpa-svarūpa-bhāk) as its nature, just as a lamp functions as one unit. In ŚB 11.3.38 already cited, in the phrase upaladbhi-mātram the word mātram indicates that its qualities emanate from its own form only.17
In this description of eka-rūpa (having one form), Jīva Gosvāmī makes the point that by manifesting one’s inherent śakti, one reveals oneself. One’s form is śakti, and one needs śakti to do anything. Here we see that Jīva Gosvāmī says the śakti comes from the jīva, even though this śakti is svarūpa-śakti. He says it is svarūpa-śakti, i.e., the soul’s “own śakti.” As we saw in article 11, the soul’s “own śakti” is indeed Bhagavān’s svarūpa-śakti. Although Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa previously said that the devotee’s spiritual form comes from his nature, we see here that Jīva Gosvāmī comments that the opposite is also true: the soul’s “qualities emanate from its own form only.”
Although the literal translation of eka-rūpa is “one form,” some devotees opine that eka-rūpa here refers to “uniform,” which they then take to mean that there isn’t any difference among jīvas, because the jīva is merely an undifferentiated unit of consciousness. Accordingly, they would disagree with B.K.N Sharma’s explanation of Madhvācārya’s belief that “Sameness or equality of essence does not rule out individual variations…identity [sameness] of consciousness would render the present multiplicity of personalities purposeless.”18 However, the problem with their definition of eka-rūpa is this: if you compare the definition of “uniform” with Śrī Jīva’s description of eka-rūpa, you will see that they do not correlate. A lamp functioning as one unit shows that it has one form, not that it is uniform. The qualities emanate from the form, not from uniformity. As we saw in the last quotation, the soul’s “qualities emanate from its own form only.” Furthermore, “form” is a noun, and “uniform” is an adjective. You can see in Śrī Jīva’s explanation that he is using eka-rūpa as a noun. Thus, their translation of eka-rūpa as “uniform” seems improbable.
In conclusion, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa concurs with the other Vaiṣṇava ācāryas that the svarūpa of the jīva manifests by the mercy of the Lord, and that this svarūpa is not mere consciousness and the absence of suffering. Unlike those who say bhakti is not inherent, the position of Baladeva Prabhu is clearly that of simultaneous inherence and bestowal. Given the fact that Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism became recognized as an independent school of Vaiṣṇava Vedānta through Baladeva Prabhu’s Govinda-bhāṣya commentary,19 it is implausible to think that there would be a difference between Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa and Jīva Gosvāmī on such a fundamental point of siddhānta. Furthermore, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa named his commentary Govinda-bhāṣya because he said that Śrī Govinda himself spoke the commentary to him.
Additional articles in this series: Part 1: The History of a Debate, Part 2: A Road Map, Part 3: The Swan, Part 4: Vaiṣṇava Vedānta, Part 5: The Twenty-One Intrinsic Characteristics of the Jīva, Part 6: The Search for Bliss, Part 7: The Soul is a Servant of Bhagavān Hari, Part 8: A Servant of God (Śeṣatva), Part 9: Unmanifest Qualities of the Soul, Part 10: Intrinsically of the Nature of Knowledge and Bliss, Part 11: Jīva Gosvāmī on Taṭasthā-Śakti, Part 12: Understanding Śakti, Part 13: The Bliss of the Jīva, Part 14: The Soul Is Not Subject to Transformation, Part 15: Identity/Oneness (Tādātmya), Part 16: The Manifestation of Śakti, Part 17: Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa’s Govinda-Bhāṣya, Part 18: Concluding Words.
- Patrick Olivelle, The Early Upanisads: Annotated Text and Translation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 285. [↩]
- Vasu, Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra, The Vedānta-Sūtras of Bādarāyaṇa with the Commentary of Baladeva, 745. I have done minor editing of this sentence for the sake of a smoother translation. The original reads: “The phrase ‘accomplishing one’s own form’ means manifestation of one’s real form, because the word Svena, ‘in its own,’ indicates that.” [↩]
- Vasu, Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra, The Vedānta-Sūtras of Bādarāyaṇa with the Commentary of Baladeva, 745. [↩]
- The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja, Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48. Kindle Edition. [↩]
- Vasu, Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra, The Vedānta-Sūtras of Bādarāyaṇa with the Commentary of Baladeva, 744. [↩]
- “For those who desire to serve the Lord eternally with a spiritual body, that body made of the cit-śakti manifests. Eternally possessing that body, they serve the Lord.” Vidyābhūṣaṇa, Śrīla Baladeva; Swami, HH Bhanu. Brahma Sūtras, 521. [↩]
- Vasu, Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra, The Vedānta-Sūtras of Bādarāyaṇa with the Commentary of Baladeva, 745. [↩]
- Vidyābhūṣaṇa, Śrīla Baladeva; Swami, HH Bhanu. Brahma Sūtras. [↩]
- Some might object that those who say that bhakti is not inherent believe that the jīva has many qualities in potential. However, as I showed in a previous article, according to their understanding, the potential does not actually reside in the jīva. [↩]
- Vidyābhūṣaṇa, Śrīla Baladeva; Swami, HH Bhanu. Brahma Sūtras: With Govinda-bhāṣya commentary of Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa (pp. 515–516). Tattva Cintāmaṇi Publishing. Kindle Edition. [↩]
- Vidyābhūṣaṇa, Śrīla Baladeva; Swami, HH Bhanu. Brahma Sūtras: With Govinda-bhāṣya commentary of Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, 519. [↩]
- Vidyābhūṣaṇa, Śrīla Baladeva; Swami, HH Bhanu. Brahma Sūtras: With Govinda-bhāṣya commentary of Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, 519. [↩]
- Vidyābhūṣaṇa, Śrīla Baladeva; Swami, HH Bhanu. Brahma Sūtras, 521. [↩]
- The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48. Kindle Edition. [↩]
- Swami, HH Bhanu; Gosvāmī, Jīva. Paramātmā Sandarbha. [↩]
- Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja; Srila Sanatana Gosvami. Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrta. [↩]
- Swami, HH Bhanu; Gosvāmī, Jīva. Paramātmā Sandarbha: With commentary of Jīva Gosvāmī (Ṣaṭ-sandarbha Book 3). Tattva Cintāmaṇi Publishing. Kindle Edition. [↩]
- Sharma, B.K.N, The Philosophy of Madhvacarya, 284-86. [↩]
- Joshi, Dr. Rasik Vihari, Preface to The Vaisnava Philosophy According to Baladeva Vidyabhusana by Narang, Dr. Sudesh (Delhi: Nag Publishers, 1984), 4. [↩]
“The released soul… is capable of extending as far as it likes, and thus to make many bodies its own.” ~~ Śrī Rāmānuja
If ātmā can expand its consciousness as far as it likes, wouldn’t that make it All-Pervading like Brahman?
We have to remember that unlike Sankara, who holds that consciousness is all-pervading, Ramanujacarya stresses that the jiva is eternally anu (atomic). For the service of Bhagavan, the soul can expand his consciousness into more than one body without his consciousness being divided. To explain this concept, followers of Ramanujacarya give the example of how even within the material realm a demigod can expand into many deities or the fragrance of a flower can expand to fill a room.
Can a liberated jīva participate in various līlās [in Kṛṣṇa līla or Gaura līla] at the same time in various spiritual bodies, according to Gaudiya View?
The two forms would be considered nondifferent.
Followers of “Bestowal Only” argue that how can Māyā cover the Bhakti [manifestation of Svarūpa Śakti] inherent in the ātmā? Svaūpa Śakti is Superior & more Powerful than Māyā then how it is covered by Avidyā?
It is possible because the śakti is unmanifest. Please refer to articles 9, 10, and 12.
My pranama to you, Vrindaranya, and to all of whom assisted in your research. I have no doubt that in the course of this seva you have been acting (and hopefully experiencing copious spiritual bliss) via the svarup-shakti.
The final paragraph is sublime, but my favorite line is:
“In other words, he says that upon removing his negative material conditioning, the soul experiences his own positive status in bhakti-rasa.”
This takes me back to the opus magni The Joy of Self by Swami Tripurari. ✨⛲️🔥
Dear Ananda Gopal das,
Pranam to you as well! The Joy of Self is a wonderful little book. I’m so glad to hear that paragraph reminded you of it. 🙏
In that sequence Baladeva Vidyabhusana equates all forms of liberation with sajuya mukti. Later on, in sutra 8, there is this mind-boggling passage:
“”If desires to go to Pitrloka, simply by his will he finds the pitas standing before
him. In this way he finds himself glorified by the residents of Pitrloka.”
In this way the Sruti-sastra affirms that he attains his wishes by merely willing
that they be fulfilled. Any other view cannot be accepted here. In the previously
quoted passage of Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (4.5.13), the statement was qualified
by other evidence from the scriptures. In this passage, however, we see not other
statements of scripture that might qualify or change the clear statement of these
words. However, this kind of liberation, where the soul’s own happiness and glory
and power are prominent, is not liked by they who are eager to taste the nectar of
service to the Supreme Lord. They reject it and they speak many words criticizing
So this statement seems to clearly indicate that there is manifested shakti in those form of mukti, which are all similiary unfavourable. So can we say that it is not full expression of svarupa and that it going to be improved? And is this verse from Brahma-vaivarta Purana (Prakriti Khanda, Chap. 26, verses 27-31) showing way how? :
❝ The selfless devotee of Vişņu, after his death, achieves the abode of Vişnu and being selfless, he never comes back from that place. Such of the devotees as adore the two armed lord Krsna, proceed to Goloka after death taking to a divine form. Such of the devotees as meditate upon the four armed Vişnu, taking to divine form, go to Vaikuntha. But the Vaisnavas who adore Vişnu purposefully, have to come back to the land of Bharata, after staying in Vaikuntha and are reborn as Brāhmaṇas. After the passage of time they also get turned into selfless devotees of lord Vişņu because the lord also bestows on them his devotion and spotless wisdom.❞
Thank you for checking it.
Here Baladeva is following some of his predecessor Vaiṣṇava ācāryas in using sāyujya in a different sense than brahma-sāyujya (merging into the Brahman effulgence). Impersonal liberation isn’t accepted by some of the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, so they don’t use sāyujya in the sense of impersonal liberation. For example, Rāmānujācārya means sāyujya in this sense: “As for Om Vishnupad Ramanuja-Acharya and Om Vishnupad Vedanta Deshika Acharya, they both explain ‘Sayujya-Mukti’ as intimate relationship with Bhagavan Shree Narayana.” (http://vishnudut1926.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-concept-of-sayujya-mukti-in-shree.html )
Guru Maharaja (Swami B. V. Tripurari) has a Sanga post that talks about his topic in detail. See the second question in the following post: