चतुर्विधा भजन्ते मां जनाः सुकृतिनोऽर्जुन ।
आर्तो जिज्ञासुरर्थार्थी ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ ॥
There are four types of virtuous men(devotees) who worship God and seek refuge in them. In the preceding verses the Lord talked about those people who do not reach Him, because of Maya that envelops them in various ways. Here he talks about those who are in the path to reach Him.
They are -
(1) artharthi = The seeker of wealth.
Here the Lord is talking about those devotees who want wealth , but only from God. They worship God to get wealth. Their conviction is besides God none else can quench their desire for wealth. Holding this view they recite and chant the Lord's name and worship Him.
One who resorts to worldly means for fulfilling his desire for wealth, but sometimes invokes God for it, is not a devotee to God, he is a devotee of money. But devotees of God seek wealth only from Him. Such a devotee gradually develop inclination for God, and subsequently their desire for wealth diminishes and finally it disappears.
Here by word wealth we must include not just physical wealth but things like "worlds", " kingdoms", "power", "position" and so on.
An example of artharthi in our Scriptures is Dhruva. He meditated on the Lord and finally the Lord bestowed a world for Him as he asked for it. Of course he later repented it, though he started as a artharthi .
(2) Artha = The distressed.
This devotee when in distress prays to God and God alone. They pray to Him to do away with the miseries and misfortunes. Such a distressed devotee was Uttara, because she did not seek refuge from anyone but the Lord. Yet another example is Gajendra the elephant.
There is another dimension of looking at artha. Artha also means distress arising because of separation from God. He or She is in distress like Mira Bhai. If we take this meaning, this type of devotee will come in top.
(3) जिज्ञासु = The seeker of knowledge.
These are the devotees who want to know the nature of God and thereby have exclusive devotion to Him alone. An example of this is Uddhava, to whom the Lord imparted the divine knowledge called "Uddhava Gita".
(4) ज्ञानी = Men of wisdom.
The ज्ञानी is qualified with the word च by the Lord to indicate his superiority with other devotees, which the Lord himself will say in the next Sloka. Devotees who neither have a desire for favorable circumstances, nor are worried about unfavourable ones, nor do they have a desire to know the Self, for they are the Self. They perceive everything as God's lila or sport. Sukhadev Maharaj and the Gopis of Vrindavan are such examples.
Generally one starts as an artha. A person may pray when he is in distress. Then as his faith increases he becomes an artharthi. When his faith further cements he wants to know more about the source of power and about the glory of God. Then he comes a जिज्ञासु. An artha can directly also become a जिज्ञासु, when there is intense desire to know God. Dhruva was first an artharthi, but he then repented and become a जिज्ञासु later.
Now when it is said an artharthi or artha becomes a जिज्ञासु we must not understand it that because God gave him wealth or removed his suffering therefore he became a जिज्ञासु. For God always may not give, but these devotees know that God gives only what is needed and what we deserve. We ask God pressured by our vasanas. But God knows what is best for us and he gives, so they pray to God with this attitude. Therefore they are able to move forward in the spiritual path though they may be initially seekers of wealth or asking to remove distress.
Food for thought : Why does the Lord say that even a seeker of wealth as well as one who is in distress who calls for Him as सुकृत (sukRta)- meaning a well adorned, virtuous devotee?