The epic story of the Mahabharat involves a war between two armies. On one side is the righteous pandavas and the on the other their cousins led by Duryodana who is like the archityal figure of selfishness, evil and the destruction of morality.
Arjuna, one of the Pandavas asks Lord Krsna, the Supreme being to lead his chariot to the middle of the armies. There he had what we would call a mental or emotional break down. He was grief sticken and want to give up his work as a warrior. He wanted to change his career into that of a beggar, something that would have disgraced him as a renouned warrior in society during that time. He didnt want to fight the opposing army because that would mean killing his Guru’s (teachers) and family members who brought him up as a young boy. He was put into a predicament that was only going to lead to pain. If he won the battle he would have lost his dear ones and if he lost, he would died himself and allowed an unrightious person to rule the earth.
We are like Arjuna, that lost soul, finding ourselves in circumstances that are unjust or just too painful. We also want to give up on life. Often giving up, running away or sinking into a deep depressive non existance, feels more worth it then facing what we have to face.
At this point, it is said that Krsna “smiling, in the midst of both armies, spoke the following words to the grief stricken Arjuna”. He then goes on to relay the whole of the Bhagavad-Gita. He goes on to say how the soul is eternal, the body is temporary and that happiness and distress arise from sense perception.
But this image of Krsna, ‘smiling in the midst of the two armies’ is significant. The two armies represent sat and asat; truth and non-truth and good vs evil. We also find ourselves often trapped between duality, two opposing states; sometimes happy and sometimes depressed, our mind sides with the “right thing to do” and often at other times we loose our sanity and all sense of what is good for us.
But when we take a step into transcendance, and we stand in Divinity, with Krsna or what Krsna represents; the position to see beyond the external purview, the observer, the neautral, the meta position. The place that holds higher wisdom above all dualistic details, then we can perhaps also be able to smile, like Krsna, dettached from the chaos that ensews because we are able to find peace in transcendence.