There are four types of Bhaktas (devotee) mentioned in Srimad Bhagavad Gita:

  • Arta (आर्त​)
  • Artharthi (अर्थार्थी)
  • Jijnashu (जिज्ञासु)
  • Jnani (ज्ञानी)

चतुर्विधा भजन्ते मां जनाः सुकृतिनोऽर्जुन।
आर्तो जिज्ञासुरर्थार्थी ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ।।7.16।।

Four types of devotees of noble deeds worship Me, Arjuna, the seeker after worldly possessions, the afflicted, the seeker for knowledge, and the man of wisdom, O best of Bharatas.(16)

Here Arta and Artharthi are obviously sounds bit selfish (i.e it looks like they actually not interested in knowing or realizing Brahman, rather they just want their material satisfaction) but Jijnashu and Jnani are inherently want to know and realize Brahman only (i.e not want to fulfill any material purpose)

And Jnani is said to be best among these four:

तेषां ज्ञानी नित्ययुक्त एकभक्तिर्विशिष्यते।
प्रियो हि ज्ञानिनोऽत्यर्थमहं स च मम प्रियः।।7.17।।

Of these, the best is the man of wisdom, ever established in identity with Me and possessed of exclusive devotion. For, I am extremely dear to the wise man who knows Me in reality, and he is extremely dear to Me. (17)

Now, what I interpret them is, Jijnashu doesn't know the Brahman and seeking for Brahman (may be beginner and curious) whereas Jnani may knows Brahman or at-least on the way to realize Brahman and (expert who can calmly meditate on Brahman). So, I think Jijnashu should eventually become Jnani. (help me to correctly interpret).

Thus, I want to know/elaborate the difference between Jinjnashu and Jnani to understand why Krishna appreciated Jnani and not Jijnashu. So, who are termed as Jijnashu and Jnani and what's the difference between them?

Note: Jijnashu is translated as "seeker of knowledge" and Jnani is termed as "man of knowledge/wisdom" in various English translation to these verses.

  • Jinjnasus don't want salvation, they just want to satisfy their intellectual itching. Apr 25, 2018 at 9:49
  • @Rohit. ok. Can you elaborate bit as an answer?
    – Pandya
    Apr 25, 2018 at 9:49
  • 2
    I, in a sense, disagree with Jijnasa being just an intellectual itch. If so, Sri Badarayana would not create the Brahma Sutra to satisfy someone's itch (starting with Athatho Brahma Jinasa). On another hand, i believe, Jnani is only one who has a Saakshatkara Jnana (knowledge born out of direct witness or evidential understanding) and not just theoretical one. So, even one fully aware of theology and philosophy is still not a complete Jnani. Jnana bestows constant and unalloyed devotion to Bhagavan (BG 13.-12) and so its very much special. Apr 25, 2018 at 9:56
  • Yes I could have but I didn't .. It's all destiny.. @Pandya
    – Rickross
    Apr 25, 2018 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


According to Adi Sankaracharya commentary on this verse, Jijnashu is one who wants to know the reality of the lord and Jnani is one who already have intellectual knowledge and aspires of liberation.

7.16 Again, O Arjuna, foremost of the Bharata dynasty, caturvidhah, four classes; of janah, people; who are eminent among human beings and are pious in actions, and are sukrtinah, of virtuous deeds; bhajante, adore; mam, Me; artah, the afflicted-one who is overcome by sorrow, who is in distress, ['One who, being in distress and seeking to be saved from it, takes refuge (in Me).'] being over-whelmed by thieves, tigers, disease, etc.; jijnasuh, the seeker of Knowledge, who wants to know the reality of the Lord; artharthi, the seeker of wealth; and jnani, the man of Knowledge, [i.e. one who, already having intellectual knowledge, aspires for Liberation.] who knows the reality of Visnu.

The given link also provides the commentaries of Shri Ramanuja and Shri Abhinavagupta.

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