padam srestham vidur mama
jñani priyatamo ’to me
jñanenasau bibharti mam
Those who have achieved complete perfection through philosophical and realized knowledge recognize My lotus feet to be the supreme transcendental object. Thus the learned transcendentalist is most dear to Me, and by his perfect knowledge he maintains Me in happiness.
The words padam srestham vidur mama (“they recognize My lotus feet to be supreme”) certainly eliminate the impersonalist philosophers from the category of samsiddhah, or completely perfected philosophers. Lord Krsna here refers to such great transcendental scholars as the four Kumaras, Sukadeva Gosvami, Sri Vyasadeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The Lord similarly states in Bhagavad-gita (7.17-18):
tesam jñani nitya-yukta
priyo hi jñanino ’ty-artham
aham sa ca mama priyah
“Of these, the wise one who is in full knowledge in union with Me through pure devotional service is the best. For I am very dear to him, and he is dear to Me.”
udarah sarva evaite
jñani tv atmaiva me matam
asthitah sa hi yuktatma
mam evanuttamam gatim
“All these devotees are undoubtedly magnanimous souls, but he who is situated in knowledge of Me I consider verily to dwell in Me. Being engaged in My transcendental service, he attains Me.”
Jñana refers to an authorized philosophical and analytic perception of reality, and when such knowledge is clearly realized through the sanctification of consciousness the resultant comprehensive experience is called vijñana. Speculative, impersonal knowledge does not actually purify the heart of the living entity but rather merges him ever deeper into forgetfulness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just as a father is always proud of his son’s education, similarly, Lord Krsna becomes very happy to see the living entities acquiring a sound spiritual education and thus making progress on the way back home, back to Godhead.