Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Srila Gurudev.
In the Bhagavad Gita, the Lord says that four kinds of pious persons renders devotional service unto Him and out of them the jnaani who has correct understanding of the Lord and worships the Lord in exclusive devotion is very dear to Him. Now after reading this we may think, "If only the jnaani is dear to the Lord, then what about the remaining three categories of devotees. Does not He like them?"
To clarify this doubt, the Lord immediately says, in Bhagavad Gita 7.18 says:
udārāḥ sarva evaite jñānī tv ātmaiva me matam
āsthitaḥ sa hi yuktātmā mām evānuttamāṁ gatim
All these devotees are undoubtedly magnanimous souls, but he who is situated in knowledge of Me I consider to be just like My own self. Being engaged in My transcendental service, he is sure to attain Me, the highest and most perfect goal.
The interesting thing to note here is that the first three classes of devotees are approaching the Lord asking for something. One person wants relief from distress, one wants wealth, one wants spiritual knowledge (and consequently freedom from material existence). The Lord calls all of them as "magnanimous souls"(udāra). In Srimad Bhagavatam also, the word, 'udrādhiḥ' is used in this connection. Actually in this world, when we approach somebody to ask for some wealth or help, we have to tell them,"Sir, you're very magnanimous. So please help me". In ancient times, poets use to praise the king as, "You're very magnanimous and broad-minded" and the king would reward them with wealth. When charity is given, the hand of the person receiving the wealth will be lower and the hand of the giver will be higher. There is no situation where the giver glorifies the receiver.
Here we're asking from the Lord and He is the giver. But still, he states that "You're magnanimous". He does not say that, "I'm magnanimous and I reward all of them". This shows the greatest quality of the Lord namely "vātsalya". Vātsalya means even if there is a seeming defect, it is taken as a good quality. Actually asking the Lord for material wealth and relief from distress is a defect in us. The Lord did not put us in samsāra (which is the cause of our distress) and He did not tell us to do bad karma (because of which we get less wealth and poor health). So He is not obliged to help us and accept our service when we pray to Him for material benefits.
However, the Lord never minds all these things. When He sees that we're approaching Him, He takes this attitude as our great qualification and calls us 'magnanimous". Just like a mother who forgets all the offenses of her offspring, the Lord ignores all our shortcomings and accepts our service. By serving the Lord with even material motives one gets purification because the very association of the Lord is purifying. If this is a result of worshipping the Lord with material motives, then one can think of the results the jnāni gets. The Lord states that the "jnāni is like My self and he attains Me who is the Supreme goal". The Lord gives Himself to such a devotee. So aptly Prahalad Maharaj says, "ko vai na seveta mukunda vikramam" (Who would not serve such a master as Mukunda?). Thus the conclusion of all the scriptures is that the Supreme Lord is the most merciful person who is worthy of all worship and service.
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