BG Chap 12 - Arjuna's question on the best knowers of yoga

Arjuna, wanting to end the set of six chapters describing bhakti (7-12), to conclude with Kṛṣṇa discussing bhakti, asks Him a question. To help us avoid mistaking the universal form—impersonalism within matter, or the impersonal Brahman – impersonalism within spirit - as the supreme aspect of the Absolute Truth, and to ensure that all recognize the superiority of bhakti (devotional work to attain the loving service of Kṛṣṇa) over jñāna (the renunciation of work to attain impersonal realization), Arjuna now questions Kṛṣṇa.

Arjuna asks who are the best knowers of yoga – those devotees who worship Kṛṣṇa as Śyāmasundara with a desire to constantly associate with Him, or those who worship the unmanifest Brahman. Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa interprets akṣaraṁ as the jīva instead of Brahman. He says one process is to attain the Lord by first realizing ātmā and then meditating on the Lord. Since the jīva is the source of bondage, by realizing ātmā one becomes free of obstacles, and can then attain the Lord. The other process is exclusive bhakti to the Lord, which quickly destroys all obstacles and yields realization of the Lord. So Baladeva says Arjuna is asking who is better – devotees or those who first worship the ātmā.