Verse 2.15: O best among men [Arjuna], the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation.
This verse talks about a topic that is pervasive in our society. The concept of eligibility. If you look at the way our world works, everything is about having the right qualifications to be considered eligible. Whether it be for a job, school, right to speak, finding a partner...that's what it really boils down to.
The funny thing is that although we encounter it daily in our lives, we don't talk about it often enough when it comes to spiritual life. It only makes logical sense that even in spiritual life there are eligibilities that one may aspire for, just like one may study certain subjects in high school so that they are eligible to further master them in University.
Of course, the Lord is so merciful that he allows anyone to approach him at any time, no one is refuting that. However, there are numerous things that can help us become eligible for even more of the Lord's mercy and empowerment. It's like this: just by being a son or daughter, we are automatically loved by our parents. But if the child reciprocates and does things for his/her parents, it makes the parents' hearts melt even more and often times even more facilities, opportunities and affection are given to the child.
Two of the most important qualifications to begin and develop in spiritual life are faith and sincerity. Faith allows one to continue on, even when times get rough, and sincerity results one in being honest with themselves and the level they are at in their spiritual advancement. These fundamentals allow for a strong foundation to grow in bhakti.
In this vein, it is important to note that there are different qualifications that make one eligible for further advancement in bhakti and that is what we are hearing about in today's verse. We hear about a person who is equipoised. One who is not disturbed by happiness or distress. Krsna, in fact, not only states this quality but then qualifies it by saying that "They are the best among men" and that "Such a person is certainly eligible for liberation."
I think this is an important point to remind ourselves of. Whether one is just beginning or has been practicing bhakti yoga for many years, just floating or maintaing the status quo is a trap we can easily fall into. It's so easy to just be comfortable. That's why it is important to read such verses where God is telling us exactly what we need in order to achieve something greater (i.e. all steps to re-establishing our relationship with him). In fact, I think we should read such verses and hear about these qualifications everyday. It's so inspiring and positive. What's more, it will give us the impetus to invest more in our relationship with God.