Summary of chapter 9
In the 8th chapter, Saguna Ishvara Upasana was described in detail. This has the ability to give us moksha but only in an indirect manner-Krama Mukthi. By practicing Saguna Ishvara Upasana throughout one's lifetime and not moving on to Nirguna Ishvara Gnanam, takes him only to Brahmaloka after death where he receives ideal conditions to attain Nirguna Ishvara Gnanam,to attain Jeevan Mukthi.lord Krishna does not advocate Krama Mukthi as one does not enjoy liberation in this birth but has to wait for the next. This transition from Saguna Ishvara Upasana to Nirguna Ishvara Gnanam is easy once the mind is prepared. The preparation, however is done through Saguna Ishvara Upasana. Chapter 9 talks about how Saguna Ishvara Upasana can be achieved.
The first three shlokas form the introduction to Paraprakriti Ishvara Gnanam, which remains a secret for the unprepared mind and He reiterates that this Gnanam is the only source of liberation.
The 4th to the 10th shlokas form the central theme where Nirguna Ishvara Swarupam(higher nature of God) is revealed. He talks about various features of the Brahman , namely the all pervading nature of Ishvara,that He is beyond sensory perception, that He forms the substratum of all creation and it is His higher nature that is responsible for all creation,though He creates, the doership and enjoyer ship do not belong to Him and this also keeps Him pure despite the impurities of the world.
In the 11th verse,the Lord addresses the question as to what causes suffering and explains that it is our ignorance of the Nirguna Ishvara and our trying to seek permanence from the lower nature( Apara Prakriti).
In shlokas 12- 19 He gives us the remedy which is Bhakti. This Bhakti is a series of sadhanas culminating in Gnanam. This series of Bhakti has 3 levels :
1st level:Karma yoga where one prepares the mind by performing action as worship to The Lord and submits the results of the action to The Lord as well. Once the mind is prepared ,you reach the 2nd level where you turn your mind inward with meditation. The 3rd level is Gnana yoga where you attain knowledge from the scriptures under the guidance of a guru which finally leads you to the Para Prakriti.
Shlokas 20-29 talks of two forms of Bhakti based on motive.the first form is Sakama Bhakti where the bhaktas of lower intelligence seek ephemeral goals. The second form is Nishkama Bhakti where the goal is only to seek and attain the Para Prakriti Gnanam.this is sought by the more intelligent minds. The first form is difficult to practice due to various tedious nuances but yields only finite results. The second form is easier to practice and yields infinite results.
The concluding shlokas 30-34 glorifies Bhakti. Bhakti has several steps and anybody can start at any step that best suits him. The Lord is very encouraging and goes on to say that Bhakti can make even the gravest sinner into a saint. Everybody, irrespective of differences arising from various circumstances can surely find liberation if they took to Bhakti.