Ratha kalpana – the symbolic chariot in Bhagavad Gita is a very powerful metaphor. The chariot is our body
and our intellect is its driver. Our mind is the rope and the five sense organs are the five horses pulling the chariot in the battlefield. The horses i.e., the sense organs travel through the senses. The sum total of the combination of various experiences involving sound, touch, form, taste and smell constitute life in this world.
For example, the horse of ‘ear’ travels through the path of sound. The path of smell is reserved for the nose. Likewise, each sense organ is associated with its corresponding sense object. In this travel, if we have the intellect as the charioteer, there will be no trouble. But in many a time, the fickle mind will try to take decisions pretending to be the intellect. We must be able to detect this.
Fickle mind is like a monkey, but the intellect is calm and steady like the mighty monkey, Sri. Hanuman. The flag symbol of the chariot of our body should not be a mere monkey (kapi- always moving), but it must be the best among monkeys -Hanuman- himself who is steadfast in his resolves.
The Gita aims at helping fickle minded individuals to develop the power of determination. If the driver loses his goal of destination, the sense organs will not behave well. If the charioteer is awakened as Sri Krishna, he will easily cross the ocean of Samsara (the sea of ephemeral world) to attain VaikunTa, the abode of the Truth.
The world hitherto considered as sorrowful will become conducive to our own nature and attain the state of VaikunTa. Stationed between the two armies, Arjuna critically observes the people with whom he must fight indicating introspection of our own thoughts and actions. We have to identify early which are the emotions in us to be destroyed and for this a mental war is inevitable. Once we win over this internal war, we will not ever have to encounter any external wars.
Lesson from the Bhagvad Gita.