You may forget the historical battle of Mahabharata, but don't forget the message contained in it. In fact, the battle is still going on every day within us; this is the fight between our demonic and divine qualities. There has always been a struggle between the two. In this conflict between opposing forces, Krishna (Self, Atma, Higher Intellect) is ever on the side of Dharma (Righteousness) the reality which sustains, not the delusion which undermines. If you seek to have the Lord on your side as your guide, equip yourself with the divine nature, the qualities of Dharma. For the Lord is where Dharma is. This chariot is to be driven right to the Destination which is Perfection, Self Realization. Horses may dash down the chariot into a ditch if they are restive, tired, unwilling, and cannot see the road properly and are not under control.
Learn how to drive your chariot:
- Chariot: Sarira (physical body), the instrument through which the Self, intellect, mind, and senses operate.
- Charioteer: Atma (Self, Higher Intellect or Buddhi), is supposed to be the wise giver of instructions to the mind.
- Passenger: Jiva ( Individual Soul, the embodied Atma, the pure centre of consciousness), is always the neutral witness.
- Horses: Indriyas (Senses, such as eyes-vision, ears- hearing, nose-smell, tongue- taste, skintouch), through which we relate to the external world by perception and action.
- Reins: Manas (Mind), through which the senses receive their instructions to act and perceive.
- Roads: The countless objects of senses and desires in the world and our memory.
- Wheels of the Chariot: Right effort.
- Destination: "Perfection" or "Self Realization"
- Kurukshetra Battlefield: it's the inner battlefield, the only place where one can confront, do battle with, and vanquish the inner Demons.
- Two Armies: Kauravas ( Demonic nature) and Pandavas (Divine nature)
- Who's driving your chariot? Mostly we don't let the charioteer on duty. The reins (mind) are flapping around freely without the proper inner guidance and not giving instruction to the horses (senses). Hence they wander freely down any road they feel like in response to their past memories (Chitta). The chariot (body) takes a beating, the horses (senses) get tired, the reins (mind) get worn, and the charioteer (Intelligence) gets lazy. The passenger is completely ignored.
- Put the charioteer back on the job: The solution to the problem is to retrain the charioteer (Intelligence) to pick up the reins (mind) and start giving some direction to the horses (senses). This training is called sadhana (spiritual practice). It means training all of the levels of ourselves so that we might experience the still, silent, eternal center.
- Allow the charioteer to serve the passenger: As the charioteer (Intelligence) becomes more stabilized in being back on the job, there is an ever increasing awareness of the fact the entire purpose of the chariot, horses, reins, and charioteer, are to serve as instruments for the passenger, to the true Self.
"Don't drive the car with your foot on the brake, but use the brakes to control the car when necessary. Must exercise control when there is some danger, such as impure thoughts, impure feelings, impure sights, impure hearing. If you don't have any brakes at all you will surely come to grief. Horses which cannot be brought under control without reins, a car without brakes, a person without sense control, are all extremely dangerous and heading for disaster."