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BG Chap 7 - All types of devotees are dear to Kṛṣṇa

The three types of sakāma devotees (karma-miśra) are dear to the Lord. Those who worship the Lord, accepting the things they had desired, are dear to the Lord because they give their affection to Him. But the jñānī does not desire anything, either svarga or mokṣa. Thus he is like the soul of the Lord. He is firmly fixed in attaining the Lord as Śyāmasundara and not His impersonal aspect. This jñānī (jñāna-miśra) is considered by the Lord as His own self.

Does this mean the Lord is non different from the jīva who is a jñānī?
No, this is not so because this is not the goal of worship for this jñānī. There are contrary statements made elsewhere of difference between jīva and the Lord even in the state of liberation. The jñānī is called the Lord’s ātmā only because of the Lord’s extreme affection for him. The word ātmā also means the mind and so this would mean that the Lord’s mind thinks of the jñānī constantly.

But the kevala bhakta is considered by the Lord to be dearer than His very self. Kṛṣṇa confirms in Bhāgavatam (11.14.15) that neither Brahmā, Śiva, Saṅkarṣaṇa or the goddess of fortune or His own self are as dear to Him as His great devotee Uddhava. And Uddhava considered the gopis to be on a higher plane when he desired to get the dust from their feet. And that's why the Lord says He cannot repay the love of the gopis.

The person desiring destruction of suffering and the person desiring attainment of happiness are of two kinds: those interested in short-term solutions and those interested in long-term solutions, If a person wants a long-term solution, a deeper solace from grief or a deeper type of happiness, he will become a jijñāsuḥ, inquiring after truth in pursuit of his relief from suffering or attainment of happiness. The order of persons is reversed in the Gītā – the jijñāsuḥ should be placed after the ārtaḥ and arthārthī. Then there are three types of jñānīs: those with knowledge of the Lord’s powers, those with knowledge of the Lord’s sweetness, and those with knowledge of both.

The sukṛtinaḥ refers to possessing good fortune of gaining faith by association with great devotees, which causes impressions of bhakti. The first three types may or may not have that sukṛti. If they happen to have sukṛti, then they worship the Lord. In the case of jñānī, however, it is certain he has sukṛti, because he can only become knowledgeable of the Lord from such sukṛti. Thus he definitely worships the Lord. (Kṛṣṇa had said that the four types of people are sukṛtinaḥ. But Jīva Gosvāmī is saying that only the jñānī certainly has sukṛti. The reason could be that the other three may have some sukrṭi so that they approach Kṛṣṇa but not the good fortune of the mercy of the devotees. They simply worship the Lord to fulfill their desires – destruction of suffering, attaining happiness and satisfying their curiosity. Even the long term practitioners – the jijñāsuḥ – are only inquiring into the truth about permanent relief from suffering and gaining happiness. And if all these three types get the mercy of devotees, then they really start worshipping the Lord like the jñānīs).

The jñānī worships Kṛṣṇa alone with indifference to varṇāśrama and to knowledge of oneness of jīva and Brahman. Being an uttama-bhakta he is very devoted to Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa is also devoted to Him. The first three types of devotees after many births gains knowledge of the Lord and surrenders unto Him.

Viśvanātha Cakravartī says that Gajendra, being greedy to attain the sweetness of the Lord, gave up his desire to get relief from suffering and then became a pure devotees. The sages headed by Śaunaka gave up their desire to know about Svarga and other topics thru the association with Sūta and became pure devotees. Dhruva, by the mercy of Nārada and the Lord gave up his desire to attain kingdom and became a pure devotee. The Kumāras by the mercy of the Lord gave up the desire for liberation and became pure devotees.