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Sanjay then describes what Arjuna did after taking Shri Krishna’s refuge: ‘एवमुक्त्वा हृषीकेशं गुडाकेशः परंतप। न योत्स्य इति गोविन्दमुक्त्वा तूष्णी´ बभूव ह॥’‘Evamuktvã Hrusheekesham Gudãkeshaha paramtapa, na yotsya iti Govindamuktvã tooshneem babhoova ha.’ – ‘O King! After saying this to Krishna, Arjuna told Krishna that he would not fight and then became silent.’ (Gitã 2.9)
Arjuna says that he will not fight even after taking the refuge of Shri Krishna! Why? Here, we are given a glimpse of reality. By taking refuge, it does not mean that we are instantly rid of our flaws, or that we instantaneously attain all good qualities. If a patient enters a hospital, meets a doctor, and openly tells him all his problems, he is still not instantaneously cured of his disease. If a student is admitted into the best educational institution and is given the best teacher, he still does not know everything instantaneously.
All of this just forms a base. It is the first step to becoming healthy or attaining knowledge. Mul Aksharmurti Gunatitanand Swami says that a prince can be given the throne in a day, but he does not learn the art of ruling in a day. The same applies here. Arjuna has only just gained admission. The process to cure his disease and attain knowledge will now commence. Indeed, it is true that because he has found a true, experienced doctor, it will not take long.
Thus, we can once again see Arjuna’s openness. He says what was on his mind, ‘My mind is telling me not to fight, now you tell me what you feel.’
Shri Krishna Bhagwan was also pleased. The time was now right. Sanjay describes this moment between guru and disciple in an extraordinary way to Dhritarashtra.
Sanjay said, ‘तमुवाच हृषीकेशः प्रहसन्निव भारत। सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये विषीदन्तमिदं वचः॥’‘Tamuvãcha Hrusheekeshaha prahasanniva Bhãrata, senayorubhayormadhye visheedantamidam vachaha.’ – ‘O Dhritarashtra! Shri Krishna said the following, as if laughing at Arjuna who was in grief between the two armies.’
These words should be considered from a psychological point of view. Joy and tears in the same chariot. From a superficial point of view they are both in the same situation, yet there is a drastic difference in the outcome! Why? Here the Gita shines light on the effects of subtle feelings on the physical body.
The outward situation is not false, yet it is superficial. Krishna and Arjuna are both standing in front of an opposing army. The relatives of both of them are in that army. The Yadavs, Krishna’s relatives, are in the Nãrãyani division of the opposing army. This is the physical situation. But this is not the whole picture. It is when the subtle combines with the physical that emotions of joy and sorrow arise. The subtle is simply an attitude adopted to look at the physical. The magic is in the attitude. The scene is physical but the point of view is subtle. Our emotions are aroused by our attitude. These emotions then affect our physical behaviour and as a result we see scenes of laughter, play, tears and grief.
In today’s world, we see that in financial, family or social problems some people become perplexed, cry, confused or mentally unstable. Some even commit suicide. Whereas, in the same situation, others are able to remain calm and stable; they realize that such waves of joy and grief are a natural part of everyday life and thus remain internally at place.
Here, by showing us both grief and joy in the same shloka, the Gita inspires us to dive into the human mind.
Another meaning of the word ‘prahasan’ is ‘a sarcastic smile’. Arjuna had indeed become quiet, but only after saying that he would not fight! Hearing this, Shri Krishna Bhagwan grinned. There was an immense contradiction between the great warrior Arjuna’s natural instincts and his current behaviour, and on seeing this Shri Krishna could not help but grin.

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