Four kinds of devotees

दक्षयज्ञानुसन्धानवर्णनं नाम त्रिचत्वारिंशोऽध्यायः

Daksha sacrifice continuation description Chapter 43

महादेव उवाच |

The great God said (to Daksha)

चतुर्विधा भजन्ते मां जनाः सुकृतिनः सदा |
उत्तरोत्तरतः श्रेष्ठास्तेषां दक्ष प्रजापते || 4 ||
आर्तो जिज्ञासुरर्थार्थी ज्ञानी चैव चतुर्थकः |
पूर्वे त्रयश्च सामान्याश्चतुर्थो हि विशिष्यते || 5 ||
तत्र ज्ञानी प्रियतरो मम रुपश्च स स्मृतः |
तस्मात्प्रियतरो नान्यः सत्यं सत्यं वदाम्यहम् || 6 ||
ज्ञानगम्योऽहमात्मज्ञो वेदान्तश्रुतिपरगैः |
विना ज्ञानेन मां प्राप्तुं यतन्ते चाल्पबुद्धयः || 7 ||

People who do good always worship/praise me in four ways. Father of the people Daksha, among them (the following) are consecutively the best.
One in sorrow, one who wants to know (God), one who wants something materialistic and the knowledgeable (one who knows God) are the group of four. The former three are ordinary, but the fourth one is special.
There the knowledgeable is more favourite of mine, and is said to be of my form. Nobody else is more dear. Verily, I am telling the truth.
I am attainable by knowledge to the experts of Vedanta and Shrutis, a knower of the self. Without knowledge, only people with a small intelligence try to attain me.

Chapter 23 of Rudra Samhita, Sati block, shloka 38 says that there is no path as comfortable as the path of devotion in the three worlds, particularly in Kaliyuga.

त्रैलोक्ये भक्तिसदृशः पन्था नास्ति सुखावहः |
चतुर्युगेषु देवेशि कलौ तु सुविशेषतः || 38 ||

Chapter 3 of Vidyeshwar Samhita, shloka 12 is

एष देवो महादेवः सर्वज्ञो जगदीश्वरः |
अयं तु परया भक्त्या दृश्यते नाऽन्यथा क्वचित् || 12 ||

This says that only by devotion can one see the great God, the omniscient God of the world, which might seem in conflict with the shloka 7 here. However, there is no conflict. Shloka 7 refers to the fourth kind of devotees. In other words, devotion cannot be circumvented; devotion is an absolute must.

Compare shloka 16 of chapter 7 of Bhagvad Gita

चतुर्विधा भजन्ते मां जनाः सुकृतिनोऽर्जुन |
आर्तो जिज्ञासुरर्थार्थी ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ || 16 ||

The message is the same.

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