--> Skip to main content

Four Kinds of Worshippers – Bhagavad Gita

Man’s attitude towards God depends on his attitude towards himself and towards the world. According to the Gita, four kinds of people worship God:

(1) the afflicted who pray for a cure;

(2) those after worldly prosperity: wealth, power, position, name, fame
and so on;

(3) jijnasus, seekers of spiritual Knowledge; and

 (4) the jnani, the man of spiritual Knowledge.

While Sri Krishna considers all of them noble, he reserves the pride of place to the jnani and considers him His very Self.

A spiritual aspirant needs to be clear that the first two kinds of worshippers are still worldly, using God for their worldly ends; only their worldliness has a spiritual veneer.

He needs to consciously belong to the third group. To such a seeker of knowledge every problem, every experience, is grist to his mill: he understands the evanescence of the world and uses his experiences to turn to God all the more.

He does not give up his devotion because his prayers remain unanswered, or if some calamity befalls him.

He is persistent like the hereditary farmer in Sri Ramakrishna’s parable who does not give up farming because he does not get any crop in a year of drought. He continues with his spiritual sadhana, irrespective of returns from God. He does not go back to worldly enjoyments because he has not gained in spiritual life.

Once an aspirant is clear about the goal of life — knowing his real divine nature, or knowing God — he does not wait for his desires to subside, so that he could think of God with a clean mind.

He knows that waiting for all worldly cares to subside before calling on God is as foolish as waiting for the waves to subside before plunging into the sea for a bath.

Sri Ramakrishna advocates holding fast to God with one hand and doing one’s duties with the other. When the aspirant gets a respite from his duties, he can cling to God with both hands.

Source Prabuddha Bharata October 2003