|Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized|
matra-sparsas tu kaunteya
tams titikshasva bharata
O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.
In the previous verses Krishna has explained the distinction between the body and the soul. Now in this verse He explains how one can realize this difference. By performing one�s prescribed duties while tolerating inconveniences like happiness and distress brings one to the platform of knowledge, which leads to the understanding of the difference of matter and spirit. Prescribed duties are therefore essential for one who wishes to advance in spiritual life. They detach one from the material conception and allow rising to the platform of knowledge. Srila Prabhupada gives a practical example of how one becomes glorious by executing one's prescribed duties under any circumstances. According to Vedic injunction, one has to take his bath early in the morning even during the month of Magha (January-February). It is very cold at that time, but in spite of that a man who abides by the religious principles does not hesitate to take his bath. Similarly, a woman does not hesitate to cook in the kitchen in the months of May and June, the hottest part of the summer season. One has to execute his duty in spite of climatic inconveniences. Similarly, to fight is the religious principle of the kshatriyas, and although one has to fight with some friend or relative, one should not deviate from his prescribed duty. Krishna addresses Arjuna as Kaunteya, the son of Kunti who comes from the famous dynasty of King Kuntibhoja. Krishna also addresses him as the "scion of Bharata," since he appears in the illustrious dynasty of King Bharata. Through this name play, Krishna is indicating that one who has such illustrious ancestors should act in a way to make them proud.
Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.