7.16 catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ (Original)

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Chapter 7

<< Chapter 7 verse 15


catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ
janāḥ su-kṛtino ’rjuna
ārto jijñāsur arthārthī
jñānī ca bharatarṣabha

‘Four classes of men, of good deeds, O Arjuna, Lion of the Bharata-race!, worship Me: (1) the fortune-wrecked, (3) the soul-seeker, (2) the fortune-seeker, and (4) the God-seeker.[1. Vide, Śāndilya-Sūtra 72: ‘Gauṇam traividhyam.’ Also Read Vish: Pur:, III-8-6: “Bhaumam manoratham svargam, svargi-vandyañchayat padam, prāpnotyārādhite Vishṇau Nirvāṇam api ch-otthamam.”]’

The men of virtuous deeds (sukṛitinaḥ), seek Me as their Asylum, and worship Me alone.

They are of four classes, as distinguished by their several acts of virtue. In the order they are treated of (infra) each class is more superior than the preceding, by virtue of more and more meritorious deeds which they do, by which they are more elevated and exalted. They are:

  1. The ārta[2. Ārta= ‘The impoverished and distressed soul=He who, having been possessed of power and fortune and lost the same, seeks to be re-instated in the same.]=the distressed, or he who has lost fortune etc., which he is earnestly longing to recover.
  2. The arthārthi[3. Arth-ārthī=’The novice in fortune-seeking = He who, having never before tasted the sweets of power and fortune, has come to desire the same. Aspirants of this class, and those coming under the class mentioned in the last preceding note, are, together, included in one generic group, as being alike, seekers of power and fortune (aiśvary-ārthinaḥ)’ ditressed ]=the fortune-seeker, or he who is in quest of fortune which had never been possessed before.
  3. The jijñāsu[4. The seeker of self-knowledge and self-satisfaction,’ prays the Lord, only to enable him to attain such goal by being released from entanglement in material bodies.” (Śrī Yogī Pārthasārathī Aiyangar’s Engl: Trans; of Tatva-traya, p. 64.]=the soul-seeker or the soul-wise person or he who is in quest of ātmā, or who aspires to realize ātmā per se, or in its state as dissociated from matter. Pure self-knowledge distinguishes this class, and hence one belonging to it is called jijñāsu, or he who is ‘anxious to know, or anxious of knowledge (regarding ātmā).’ And,
  4. The jñāni[5. Jñāni=’The seeker of knowledge concerning God, and the sole
    satisfaction of God’= he who, being enlightened (Jñāni), stops not with the merely disembodied soul-essence, but desires to reach the Lord, holding the Lord alone to be his Goal, for, he fully realizes, and thence is ever loyal to, and delights solely in enjoying, the Lord in all His Universal Sovereignty.’ Śrī Yogi Pārthasārathi Aiyangār’s Engl: Trans: of Tatva-traya, p. 65. Vide footnote 4 of Chapter 8 Introduction.]=the sage, or the God-wise person, or he who has the wisdom to know that ātma (soul) is essentially characterized by its being essentially related as liege to Lord, as declared in: (itastv-anyām etc.)=‘but know My other nature, superior than that’ (VII-5). The jñāni therefore does not halt or stop away at the point where he may cognize the mere matter-distinct ātma, but journeys onward to reach the Lord. It is he who thinks the Lord as the fulfilment of the very height of his ambition.

>> Chapter 7 verse 17

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