In the spiritual field there are three main competitors - intellectuals (jinána yogiis), the dexterous workers (karma yogiis) and devotees (bhaktas). Ultimately, the devotees win. The reason is that intellectuals and karma yogiis fight with their strength whereas devotees leave everything to Parama Puruśa who takes up their cause. The devotees thus win without fighting. Intellectuals when confronted, try to solve the problem with the intellect and look into the scriptures for mandates to follow. Ultimately they get tired. Likewise karma yogiis will devote their time to plans and programs but will finally get tired in the process. Devotees however have nothing to do. They know what they are, and what their Parama Puruśa is. Devotees have to love their Parama Puruśa and nothing else. An intellectual or a karmii cannot shake the mind of a devotee by the strength of knowledge or action. But a devotee can shake the mind of the intellectual or the karmii. It has been said about the devotees:
Naeśá tarkena matirápaneyá proktá-nyenaeva sujiṋánáya preśt́hah;
Yáḿtvamápah satya dhritirbatási tvádrun no bhuyánnaciketah praśtá.
Nobody can misguide a devotee by using logic. Why did Parama Puruśa create this world? The intellectuals discuss this question on the strength of their knowledge. Intellectuals think about Prakrti, Puruśa tanmátra and many other such subjects mentioned in the scriptures. But ultimately they come to the conclusion that the correct answer to this question is known to Parama Puruśa alone. This is so because the real answer is known to none except Parama Puruśa and an intellectual fails to reach Him. Had he been capable of reaching Parama Puruśa, our intellectual could have got the answer from Him as to why the universe was created.
Karma yogiis, too, think on the subject in different ways and try to get the answer by scrutinizing action and reaction, cause and effect. They try to know the causes of a particular effect but in the next phase the cause becomes effect. So they again make efforts to know the cause of that. Thus karma yogiis reach nearer to Parama Puruśa but beyond that they also fail to get an answer. Therefore, intellectuals and karmiis are unwise to some extent, but intellectuals are rather more unwise. It is said about a mango orchard that the karma yogii goes there and climbs the trees, the intellectual goes and counts the leaves from morning until evening but the devotee goes and eats the mangoes. So it is said that devotees are wise:
Mathitvá caturo vedán sarvashástráni caeva hi;
Sárantu yogibhih piitaḿ takraḿ pivanti pańd́itáh.
The many Vedas, Vedánta and Shástras (books on knowledge) are like a vast ocean. If you churn curd, you get butter and milk, Likewise after churning the vast ocean of knowledge, butter and buttermilk are found. A devotee eats the butter leaving the buttermilk for the intellectual. The intellectual keeps on pondering and reasoning regarding the taste of the butter milk in the morning and at different hours. Instead of drinking the butter milk they keep on researching and ultimately the sun sets and the butter milk deteriorates. So, devotees are wise people. So we have seen that an intellectual and a dexterous worker fail to answer why this universe was created. But a devotee who loves Parama Puruśa knows what is there in His heart and gives the answer.
Sa vá eśa tadá draśt́á na pashyaddrśt́amekarát;
Me ne santamivátmánaḿ suptashaktirasuptadrk.
Parama Puruśa was all alone in this universe at the dawn of creation. A person who is alone in a town, in a house or in a room feels so lonely. He or she is mad with loneliness. Likewise Parama Puruśa was all alone in this universe and there was nothing else in existence. How painful it was! He had the power to see but there was nothing, no world, to be seen because objects were not created. He had the power to hear, to catch, to taste but there was neither sound, nor any external object to be caught nor any food or drink to be tasted. There were none whom He could chide or punish. When there are devotees in this world and they are found at fault, then He gets an opportunity to chide and punish them. When there is nobody, He is all alone. To remove this loneliness, He created many out of One. He manifested Himself in many objects. Even then He remains One but He manifests in so many objects of the world. This is His liila - His one part is playing with His other part. Seeing all this, intellectuals and karmiis are surprised and express that they are dying of difficulties and troubles in this world. But for Him it is His liilá. A devotee takes it otherwise. He or she says that Parama Puruśa may do whatever He likes with His one part or the other, and feels happy in all circumstances. In this liilá the devotee thinks it to be his or her duty to work for the happiness of Parama Puruśa. In His happiness one finds eternal happiness, bliss (ánanda). Therefore, a devotee is always full of eternal happiness. Intellectuals and karmiis get pleasure but not eternal happiness and always remain surrounded by miseries. So those who are wise should become devotees and those who are less wise may become intellectuals or karmiis.
A.V. Part-05, 19 November 1978, Delhi