The Parable of Chariot

3 min read + 3.5 min for embedded video

The Parable of Chariot – Part 1

The Mahabharata War (55611 / 31622 BCE)
Image Courtesy: Gita Press, Gorakhpur

Looking at the above visual, Bhagavad Gita should come to your mind.  The image of the Chariot needs no introduction.   The concept of Nara & Narayana is precisely the first part of the story.

The Parable of Chariot – Part 2

Source: KathopanishadAdhyaya 01, Valli 3 (Canto III), Mantra 3 & 4

Timeline: unknown

Meaning:

Know the atman as the lord of the chariot, the body as only the chariot, know also intelligence as the driver; know the minds as the reins. (1-3-3)

The senses, they say, are the horses; the objects which they perceive, the way; the atman, the senses and the mind combined, the intelligent call the enjoyer. (1-3-4)

The Parable of Chariot – Part 3

Sources: (1) – Rig VedaMandala 6. Sukta 75. Mantra 6

(2) – This Mantra also appears in 4th Kaanda, 6th Prasna and 6th Anuvaka of Krishna Yajur Veda – Taittireeya Samhita.

Timeline: Earlier to 210001 / 145002 BCE

Meaning:

Smart Charioteer (Susaarathi:) [Driver] standing on the chariot, guides the horses before him, to places, wherever (Yatra Yatra) he desires (Kamayate).  You appreciate the power of horse reins.  It complies with his thinking (Mana:)

Rendition of above Mantra by Shri K Suresh along with his mentors / gurus in Yajur Veda Ghana form can be heard on YouTube (3.5 mins). 

Who cares?

Who cares how Rishis created many ways to recite Vedas?

Why the chronology of ancient scripture matters when there is no relevance to our times, anyway?   

Do we want to go back to the times of animal driven chariots or carts? (‘tongue in cheek emoticon’ to indicate satire)

If that is what you think, apologies for wasting your time.  You do not need to read any further.

Okay, now what?

Have you noticed the relationship in all the three parts of the stories above?

What is the question now?

Just wondering “did Bhagavan Veda Vyasa chose Kurukshetra war setting to gift us this treasure, Bhagavad Gita, only to immortalize the metaphor created by great Rishis (before Vyasa’s period)”?

Do you want to suggest Mahabharata is a myth?

No, no… that is absolutely not the purpose here.  I am one of the many who believe Mahabharata (like Ramayana) is Itihasa and very much part of our true history and heritage and our lives.

So what?

Just excited to find out how cryptic sanatan scriptures are!  Incredible how Rishis made sure that multiple knowledge systems work like moving parts to pass on the ancient wisdom, intact, generation after generation.

Okay, why do you tell me this?

Felt like sharing the ‘WOW!’ moment I had. Never mind if you do not see what is ‘WOW’ moment here.

Are you done now?

I do not want to learn the scriptures now and bother to teach you.  They say, it takes several years to learn one single Veda.  Who has so much time anyway?

…… and the discussion continues.

*Timeline Courtesy: (1) Research works of Nilesh Nilakanth Oak and Rupa Bhati (2) Vedveer Arya available on public domain.