Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The chariot analogy


 Practical steps to spirituality  section 2  part 88


           The  chariot  analogy  in  the  Katha  Upanishad. :   In  the  Bhagavad  Gita  , Lord  Krishna   gave  the  teachings  of  the  Gita  to  Arjuna  in  the  battle  field.  of  Kurukshetra . . Krishna  was  the  charioteer  for  Arjuna. hence  He   is  called  Parthasarathy. . The  chariot  in  which  Krishna  gave  the  sermon  is  very  significant. . It  is  an  allegory  taken  from  the  Katha  Upanishad.

          The  chariot  stands  for  the  human body. . The  five  horses  which  draw  the  chariot  are  the  five  sense  organs . The  reins  stand  for  the  mind.  and  the  charioteer  stands  for  the   intellect. . The  rider  here  is  the  individual  jiva. . If  the  charioteer  falls  asleep  or  is  not  alert , then  the  reins  which  are  to  be  controlled  by  the  charioteer  will become  loose  and  then  the  horses   will go  out  of  control. . This  then  ends  up in the  destruction  of  the  chariot  and  the  rider.

           It  is  clear  from  this  that  if  the    intellect   (  the  charioteer) loses  its  grip  over  its  mind  ( the  reins ),  the  mind  runs   wherever  it wants   and  allows  the  five  sense  organs(  the  five  horses )   to go wherever they  want  to and  indulge. . Then  this  brings  a  destruction   to man's  personality.

           We  have  seen  how  the  mind  is  impulsive  by  nature. , full of  likes and  dislikes.  and  how  it falls  a  prey to  all kinds  of  emotions. . We  have  seen  how  kama  and  krodha  lead  to  the  fall of  man. . Even  as  it  is  the  duty  of  the  charioteer  to  take  the  chariot  and  its  rider  safely  to his  destination,   similarly  steering  the  jiva  to its  ultimate  destination  that  of  realising  the  Self   is  possible  only  by   a powerful  intellect

to be  concluded.....


  1. If you closely examine the chariot driven by Bhagvan Shree
    Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, it has only four white horses very
    agitated and trying to go in different direction. Yes, the 4 horses are again
    representing the senses. The analogy of the chariot in the Bhagavad Gita as interpreted by my understanding is that one of the sense in most yogis are born with and is a “control sense” which does not need much attention but the four others have to be held to be controlled at all times.
    This depiction is the central philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita that a yogi
    can only become a sanyasi if all senses of the body are in control at all
    times. We are all yogis being the student of the Bhagavad Gita.

    1. Dear Daya ji, Namaskar, In the picture only 4 horses are shown, but our sences are 5, I was searching the pic. With 5, but could not get. I hope you will help me. Surjeet Nagpal, Agra.

    2. The fifth one represents the skin, touch, it encopmposes all. There is no one spot like the eyes, ears, mouth..

  2. As far as self knowledege maps that I have come across: there is the charioteer one which it seems that originates in Vedanta, Gurdjieff talks in the exact same way when he refers to human knowledge. The other two are the chakras which from what I have searched seem to be Tantra's way and the other are the Nafs which are the science of the Sufi.

    From my own experience I can say that they essentially point to the same truth.

  3. A Bhagavad gita that recites it’s shlokas at will. Aadarsh Pvt. Ltd proudly presents you, The World’s first Talking Bhagavad Gita with a reading pen in English and Hindi languages.