The four kinds cover all worshipers. There are first those who do the appointed task because doing it will bring good fortune, they are the doers of selfish action. There are, then, men who devote themselves to God because they wish to be liberated from grief. Yet other devotees long to have a direct perception of God. And, lastly, there are the wise men, the realized sages, who attained to the stage of reaching the supreme goal.
Lord Krishn sings in Bhagavad Gita:
“Four kinds of devotees, O the best of Bharat, worship me:
the ones who desire material rewards, the distressed,
those who aspire to know me
and men of knowledge.”
Material wealth is the means that sustains the body as well as all its relations. So riches and satisfaction of desires are first provided by God. Lord Krishn says that he is the provider of means, but his words suggest more than this.
The really lasting wealth is made up of spiritual acquisition. This is the real treasure.
While a worshiper is busy toiling for material gains, God prompts him on towards spiritual achievements, because he knows that spiritual merits are man’s real wealth and that his worshiper will not always be contented with material acquisitions alone. So he also begins to bestow spiritual riches on him.
Granting profit in the mortal world and support in the next world are both God’s burden. Under no circumstance does he leave the worshiper uncompensated.
There are, then, worshipers with grief-laden hearts. There are also among worshipers of God men who wish to know him fully. Men who have attained knowledge of God by perception also worship him. Thus, according to Lord Krishn, four kinds of men are his devoted adorers. But of all of them the worshiper with the wisdom that comes from perception is the most superior. The significant point is, however,that this sagacious man is a devotee,too.
Lord Krishn adds:
“To the wise man of knowledge who worships me,
the one God, with steady love and devotion,
I am the dearest, and so is he to me.”
Of all worshipers, they love God most who have been enlightened by perception and who therefore abide in him with single-minded devotion. This feeling is reciprocated, for God also loves this worshiper more than anyone else. This wise man corresponds to God.
“Although they are all generous
because they worship me with devotion,
the wise man of realization is-I believe-identical with me, his supreme goal.”
All the four kinds of worshipers are portrayed as generous. But what charity have they shown? Does God benefit by a worshiper’s devotion? Do they give him something he does not have?
Obviously, the answer to all these questions is a clear “no”.
It is really God alone who is magnanimous. He is ever ready to save Souls from degradation. So generosity is also a quality of those who wish that their Souls are not debased. We have thus a case here of mutual charity. They are all, both God and his worshipers, generous.
But, according to Lord Krishn, the worshiper endowed with knowledge is identical with him because that discriminating worshiper dwells in him with the faith that he is his sublime goal. In other words, he is God-he is within him. There is no separation between God and him. The same idea is re-emphasized in the next verse.
“That great Soul is indeed most rare
who worships me with the knowledge,
acquired at the end of many births,
that I (Vasudev) am the only reality.”
The enlightened sage, who is at last blessed with perception after meditating for many births, undertakes divine adoration with the conviction that Lord Krishn is everything.
Such a sage is the most rare. He does not worship any external entity called Vasudev, but rather feels the presence of God within his own Self. This is the man with knowledge whom Lord Krishn also describes as a seer.
Only such realized sages can instruct the human society that is outside them. These seers, who have directly perceived reality, are according to Lord Krishn the most rare.
So all men should worship God because he is the giver of spiritual glory as well as pleasure.
~Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadannd Jee Paramhans~