caturvidhā bhajante māṁ janāḥ sukṛtino ’rjuna |
ārto jijñāsur arthārthī jñānī ca bharatarṣabha ||16|| (VII)
“There are four kinds of people who turn to Me”: catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ janāḥ sukṛtino; these four kinds of people are ukṛtino, they are ‘noble-actioned people’; sukṛtino, but they are four kinds of people: ārtaḥ, one who is ārta, (ārta means afflicted); jijñāsur, one who is inquisitive; arthārthī, one who is in need of wealth; jñānī ca, and one who knows, a knower.
teṣāṁ jñānī niyayukta ekabhaktir viśiṣyate |
“Among these four, the supreme…jñānī niya-yukta eka-bhaktir, the supreme among these three is one who knows Me and yet who devotes itself fully to Me.” This is the synthesis of Jnana and Bhakti. In the three other ones, this synthesis does not happen: one who is afflicted, one who is only inquisitive and one who is in need of wealth, these three people for them to combine knowledge and devotion is not easy. It is only when they turn into the state of knowledge, it is only when you really come to know the Divine that you become the lover of the Divine: that is the highest condition. There is also the other way round also: if you really come to love the Divine, you will come to know the Divine, this is the inter-relationship between the two: knowledge is the crown of devotion, and devotion is the crown of knowledge.
teṣāṁ jñānī niyayukta ekabhaktir viśiṣyate |
priyo hi jñānino ’tyartham ahaṁ sa ca mama priyaḥ ||17|| (VII)
“It is to jñānī that I am of the highest importance, and it is the jñānī who is to Me the most beloved.” Now, the question is: why ārto, jijñāsur, arthārthī ? Normally these three people, three kinds of people…why are they called as in the next one it is said ‘udārāḥ’? If you open the 18th verse, they are described as ‘udārāḥ’ , they are all noble: one who is arthārthī, ārto, jijñāsur . The jñānī is of course udārāḥ, the jñānī is the one who knows the Supreme, he is already the noble one. But why is it the other 3 are also regarded as udārāḥ? Why are they also noble? Afflicted; jijñāsur, one who is curious; and one who is arthārthī, one who is seeking wealth.
udārāḥ sarva evaite jñānī tv ātmaiva me matam |
“All others are noble, but the jñānī is my verily self; others are may be all noble but if you want to know where I am fully devoted, it is in the one who is a jñānī, and who is turned to Me.”
āsthitaḥ sa hi yuktātmā mām evānuttamāṁ gatim ||18|| (VII)
“One who is seated in Me, it is He who attains to the highest condition of consciousness.”
Now, this question is very often raised: why arthārthī, ārto, jijñāsuḥ? Why they are also udārāḥ? The reason is that it is in affliction you are at most serious and sincere: nobody can pretend pain. To be in pain, you have to be sincerely painful otherwise there is no pain. When somebody really weeps truly, out of great affliction, there is a great sincerity in it; he may be ignorant, he may be crying for nothing, crying for wrong things, but in his consciousness, there is a tremendous sincerity: it is that sincerity which is noble. Therefore ārta is regarded as very noble. And once you cry out in pain, it woos the Divine, even though you may not be crying out for the Divine, but the moment you cry out, this cry, it reaches the Divine, it melts the Divine and brings you forth, He comes nearer you because you are in a state of affliction. Therefore, very often even it is said that you should remain sorrowful because if you have sorrow God is very near you. In fact, one of the important teachings of Christianity is that it is by suffering, it is when you suffer that the Divine is near you; therefore, you participate in the suffering, even when you are not suffering participate in it…
Comment: (laughter)…that is manipulating is it?
…but really be suffering otherwise there is no sincerity, don’t manipulate. But be near the suffering and therefore you really feel suffering, and when you really suffer, the Divine is with you.
Similarly, arthārthī:when you sincerely…even a miser when he wants money, he sincerely wants it, (laughter), therefore arthārthī: also is able to move with the Divine; he sincerely wants it, he sincerely pursues it.
And jijñāsuḥ: you cannot be really jijñāsuḥ unless you are really hankering after knowledge, truly.
Therefore all the three are udārāḥ, all the three are noble and these are all the right ways of approach to God. And even when you reach God…supposing these three even in the beginning you may be doing only for your own purposes, and not for God, but once God comes into your life, you begin to be transformed because God’s presence and you remain the same as before is not possible. And when you attain to God, then you begin to suffer for the sake of God, because others are not in the presence of God. So, that suffering is also noble. When you are in the Divine, and when you see that others are not in the Divine, then, you suffer for them. Therefore, that kind of suffering is also noble; similarly, when you reach knowledge and you find that others are not in the knowledge, then you want all people to be really jijñāsuḥ, you encourage people to know the Divine: that also is noble. When you have reached the Divine, you don’t need any wealth for yourself but for the work of the Divine you want wealth, and you seek wealth: that is also noble. So, before reaching God, these three are noble; after reaching God also these three activities are noble. But one who is jñānī, and one who is seated in knowledge, and one who seeks nothing but the Divine is the most beloved of God.