4 TYPES OF DEVOTEES (BHAKTAS) – AS DEFINED BY BHAGVAD GITA

The one which is all pervading, eternal and infinite is termed as Brahman also known as GOD. We human beings always look towards Him in our difficult times, thanks Him in happy moments and realize ultimately that we may discriminate our behavior with different people in our vicinity depending on  their position, power and utility but GOD never does such discrimination. He is like a river which gives nourishment to every thing it passes though. It also gives water to every body that approaches it. But you know what even if a river do not differentiate while giving water- the seeker may get different quantity depending on the shape of his vessel.

Similar to this fact GOD also although do not make any differentiation, but different devotees come with different vessels of purpose and hence they get the same from Him accordingly. Therefore Bhagvad Gita has defined four different types of Bhaktas depending on their motives to approach GOD. They are as follows:-

  1. Arta (the distressed):-

    These are the people who are experiencing pain and suffering either at physical level or at mental level. They are very much upset with their lives and have no hope on it. In such a scenario when they are completely broken and shattered with grief from all sides, they still have faith in GOD and He is the only ONE from whose side Hope is yet not gone for them. They approaches GOD to get liberated from their pains and hence are called ‘Arta’  Although Artas are not high level of Bhaktas and their devotion to God is the result of  their pain, It is still to be understood  that in most difficult times of our life , it is not easy to have faith even in GOD. And hence if a person is able to keep his trust and faith in GOD even though in tough times- it is a good sign and the person itself is called as one of the devotees of GOD.

  1. Artharti (Devotees with certain wishes) –

    These devotees approaches GOD with the desires of material wealth, kids, name and fame. Although devotion of such people towards GOD is for wealth and specific desires, they are also termed as a Bhakta as because of any reasons they are associated with Divine.

  1. Jigyasu (Knowledge Seeker)-

    These are the devotees who have faith in God and want to explore more about Him. They are just curious to know more about Divine and are very much inquisitive about BRAHMAN. They read scriptures and other literature from saints and try to figure out ways and means to discover greater depths of infinite GOD.

  1. Jnani (Self Realised)-

    These are the devotees who have finally realized GOD and have true knowledge of Him, His creation and the entire cosmos. They understand Brahman and are liberated from all Karma specific boundations of life.

The shloka below from chapter 7 of Bhagavd Gita explains about all these four types of devotes:-

चतुर्विद्या भजन्ते मम जनः सुकृतिनो अर्जुन

आर्तो जिज्ञासु अर्थार्थी ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ

 chatur-vidhya bhajante mam janah sukritino arjuna

arto jijnasur artharthi jnani cha bharatarsabha”

“Four types of men begin to render devotional service unto Me—the distressed, the inquisitive, the seeker of material wealth, and the one who has already realized knowledge of the Absolute.”

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