How does Vaishnava theology reconcile Brahman having no desire but desiring to create?

For example, the Vishnu Purana says:

He is all, he knows all, he sees all, he possess all strength, all knowledge, all power, all wealth. He is without fatigue, without lassitude, without fear, without anger, without desire and other such blemishes.

However, many Upanishads, like Taittiriya, say:

so'kAmayata | bahusyAm prajAyeyeti

He desired, let me be many

How to reconcile?

  • What do you mean by Vasihnava theology? This question has been beautifully answered by Sri Shankaracharya in Taittiriya Upanishad Bhashya. Would that be acceptable to you? – Lokesh Jan 3 at 4:28
  • @Lokesh Yes that is acceptable, please post. – Ikshvaku Jan 3 at 14:00

Brahman does have desire, but its a different kind of desire. The desire might not be the correct way to call what Brahman has but that's the closest word we have.

Desire is a wish for an external object which we do not yet possess and after having which we feel satisfied. This cannot be the case with Brahman because Brahman is everything and complete. On the other hand we cannot say Brahman has no wish because that would make Brahman unintelligent.

Therefore Brahman makes wishes but those are different than ours in 2 ways:

  1. Brahman wish is of the same nature as Brahman and doesn't put Brahman in bondage and ignorance because the target object is not something external or distinct from itself. On the other hand our wish controls us and puts us in bondage.
  2. Brahman doesn't have a shelter where he lives, desire objects and then creates universe to fulfil them but rather Brahman's wish is in accordance with the deeds and wishes of living beings which are to be born into that universe.

Following is the excerpt from Taittiriya Upanishad Shankra Bhashya from where I have derived my answer:

Shankracharya's commentary on Taittiriya Upanishad

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