In the next verse, Lord Krishna explains further, ‘Chatur-vidha bhajante mam janah sukrtino 'rjuna. Arto jijnasur artharthi jnani cha bharata-rsabha’. (7.16)
It has never happened that
someone who has done wrong
has not suffered for it. Misery
is the fruit one has to bear for
doing wrong deeds. And when
one experiences misery, it
makes them go inward and
they are transformed.
In the earlier verse, Lord Krishna spoke about people who do wicked deeds. But there is no person in the world that keeps doing only wicked deeds all the time. And there is no person in the world who does not have any good qualities at all.
So there are four types of people with good deeds that seek the refuge of the Lord.
First one is Artah, means the ones who are depressed. When an ignorant person becomes miserable, know that his transformation has begun. He will start moving away from his demonic qualities.
Nature has made it in such a way, that the people who do wrong deeds reap misery as a result of their action. One should understand this also as the grace of God. Why? Because when one becomes miserable, they turn inwards and return to the Self as no one likes being miserable. No one likes to suffer.
No living creature can bear to be miserable. If someone likes being miserable, then that is a disease. They experience a certain joy even from misery, which is why they indulge in being miserable.
There are some of these college-going students who like to watch tragic movies in which everyone dies in the end, including the hero and the heroine (laughter). They seem to like it very much. This is actually a distortion of misery.
In America, there are advertisements in the newspaper that say, ‘I want a wife who is beautiful and who beats me with a chain everyday’.
There are people who find joy in getting beaten by others. It’s true! (Laughter) I was shocked when I read this for the first time. I happened to come across this. Someone pointed it out to me when I was there. There are some advertisements that say, ‘I want a partner who hits me with a shoe everyday’.
It is said that these people have such feelings because as children they were beaten a lot, which is why they enjoy this even now. They want someone to beat them because it gives them pleasure.
Even psychologists approve of this behaviour and say that not wrong. They say that such people have a preference for this kind of behaviour, which is why they get joy out it. Misery is that which gives us pain. It is that which we do not like (to experience).
It has never happened that someone who has done wrong has not suffered for it. Misery is the fruit one has to bear for doing wrong deeds. And when one experiences misery, it makes them go inward and they are transformed.
Lord Krishna says, ‘Four types of people who do good deeds worship and remember Me. First are those who are miserable. Misery makes people turn towards spirituality. When one is miserable, he often thinks, ‘Oh, I should just leave everything. Drop it all.’ The second kind of people who worship me are those who desire something in life. They know that they cannot achieve what they desire by their efforts alone and that they need the grace of God, or the Guru to achieve it. Such people who seek certain desires also worship Me’.
Those whose karmas are good
have this firm belief,
‘God is with me at all times.
My Gurudev is with me,
and I have all the
inner strength that I need’
You will see an example of this during exam time. During exam time there will be a long queue of students at the temple (laughter). The sale of sweets suddenly increases during that time (for offering to the deity in the temple).
People who have certain desires, go to the temple on specific days, like Tuesdays, etc., which they consider as auspicious.
When someone has a job interview coming up, they bow down to God daily and offer prayers. Isn’t it so? At least on the day of the interview, surely they do all this, and even say, ‘Jai Gurudev’.
So Lord Krishna says, ‘The second kind of people who worship and remember Me are those who have some personal desire they want fulfilled. Such people are also noble and do good deeds. They are intelligent enough to realize that they cannot achieve what they want without the grace of God’. These people are aware that they cannot achieve what they desire by their intelligence and efforts alone. They believe that luck or destiny plays an important role as well. Such people, who seek God’s grace to achieve their desires also take the refuge of the Divine. Lord Krishna says, ‘Those who desire material comforts and happiness from life also come to Me. These are also good people, and they have done some good deeds.’
Then there are those who desire something in life, yet they do not believe in God, and they remain full of worries. Such people have some bad karma.
This is the problem with atheists. People who consider themselves as atheists, end up having a lot of fear inside. Whenever they have to complete some big task, they display strong conviction on the outside but inside they are weak and are always in doubt about what will happen in the future. They have nothing to rely upon for support, and feel that they have to do everything on their own.
Everything appears uncertain to them. The world seems like a dark place and they become very shaky and unstable from inside. How can you consider such a person’s karma to be good? Those whose karmas are good have this firm belief, ‘God is with me at all times. My Gurudev is with me, and I have all the inner strength that I need’.
Those who have faith in God, Guru and the Self do not fear anything at all. They are able to sleep peacefully. They will engage themselves completely in whatever they do (without any doubt). This is because they have faith (in their abilities) and they know that they have the support of the Divine in everything that they do. Life cannot progress without this faith. Having faith in oneself, faith in the society, and faith in that invisible power which is present everywhere, is important. And all these three faiths are one, they are not separate from each other.
Lord Krishna says, ‘The third kind of people who seek refuge in Me are the ones who want to know, ‘Who am I? What is this world? What is meaning of life?’ People who have a genuine thirst for knowledge also come to Me (Jigyasu). The fourth kind of people who come to Me are the wise and knowledgeable (jnani). They are those who know (the truth) and have faith in Me. One who knows the truth will definitely have faith in Me. How can one who knows the Self not have faith?’
‘So these four kinds of people seek refuge in Me: the miserable; the one who seeks material fulfilment; the inquisitive and the wise. And all these four kinds of people have very good karma’, Lord Krishna says.
Now you should turn back and reflect on those times of your life when you were depressed and you turned to the Divine; the times you wanted some desires to be fulfilled; the times when you had thirst for knowledge, and the times when you turned to the Divine as a wise person.
So these four kinds of
People seek refuge in Me:
the miserable; the one
who seeks material
fulfilment; the inquisitive
and the wise. And all
these four kinds of people
have very good karma
Wise (jnani) are those who see the transformation in their lives and with a feeling of gratitude surrender everything to the Divine. They feel, ‘I have received everything from the Divine in abundance. I do not need anything’. Those who surrender to the Divine with a feeling of contentment and with a deep sense of gratitude are the wise (jnani) ones. Such people do not feel the need for anything. They feel that even before they could ask, they received everything. Even before they could feel thirst, water was given.
A wise person is one who feels that he has received much more than what he deserves. When this realization dawns in a person, he is filled with love, gratitude and contentment, and spontaneously seeks refuge in the Divine.
There can be no contentment without knowledge. Without knowledge there can be no gratitude. Those who are not content keep on demanding something or the other.
So there are four types of people who take refuge in the Divine.
It is also possible that all these four types may exist in the one person. At first, one may be miserable and take refuge in the Divine. Then they may turn to the Divine because they want something from life. Then out of the thirst for knowledge, and then as wise person. All these four stages can happen to a person at different times in his life.
It is not that you will always stay fixed at one stage forever. It is not that whenever you turn towards God, it is out of misery. That is not necessary!