Managing the chariot of life

Today’s message was pretty enticing. I liked all of it. I can’t choose a part that I liked best! I’m posting it here again for the discussion. This image came to mind as I read the message. Perhaps you might like to read the message with this in mind. In this case Arjuna is the traveler and his charioteer is Krishna.



I have been inviting you to appreciate the human self, the physical body, and to be able to see its purpose on your journey as a soul.  Now remember, all these things I am saying to you, it is not about somebody else or a general story of humanity.  It is about you.  It is about me.  It is personal.  I have tried to encourage you to see it from that personal point of view; “This is my story.”

The Analogy of the Body as a Chariot


I have been speaking about becoming more body aware and being aware of the true needs of the body, appreciating the body as a human organism.  I want to bring in an analogy of the body as a chariot.  I am doing this to show you that it is important to look at the other aspects of our existence.  The body carries a soul, a precious being, a being of light.  No matter how involved we (the souls) are in the human experience, that precious part of us is untouched.  It continues to remain whole.

In this analogy of the body as a chariot, the traveller in the chariot is that soul inside, the self inside.  That spiritual being is the traveller.  The chariot has horses [and it] has a charioteer who is driving the chariot.  The charioteer is able to drive the chariot or guide the chariot because there are reins holding the horses.  If we look at the analogy closely, who is the charioteer within us if this body is a chariot?  Who is the charioteer? – The intellect, the reasoning part of us; that is the charioteer.  That is an important person or being or entity on the journey.

The Charioteer – in service to the Traveller


The charioteer has been given orders by whom?  He is in service to whom?  The traveller would have given instructions; “This is where you need to go.”  If the charioteer is unclear at any time, the charioteer needs to consult with the traveller.  There needs to be a rapport between the traveller and the charioteer.  That is an important rapport or communication.

The charioteer has the responsibility to guide those horses.  What are the horses in the analogy?  The senses are like the horses that draw us into the human experience. What are the reins that can hold the horses under guidance? The mind, the thoughts.  The intellect needs to use the thoughts, hold the thoughts under control so that the senses will be properly guided.

Where is the charioteer going? – He is in service to the traveller, not the horses. The charioteer has the reins of the horses really under control – tight, firm, under control.  What are the roads on the journey? – The roads are the roads of desire, the maze of desires that draw the senses, the horses.

The Need for Firmness in Driving the Chariot


The reason for this analogy is that all of these need to be working together. If the horses are having their own way, the reins are slack, and the charioteer is half asleep, what is going to happen? You know where that chariot may end up?  In a ditch somewhere because the horses decided that they wanted to do what they wanted.  Do you see sometimes why our bodies become wrecked, damaged, destroyed?  It is because the senses are not under control.  The intellect is not firmly established as the guide.  The mind is loose; loose thoughts, stray thoughts.  For the traveller to have a smooth journey, the charioteer has to be firmly in control.  The reins have to be tight, firm.  The senses (horses) have to be guided, and we have to ensure that we are along the right road, because there are many roads.  We need to ensure that the desires that we are entertaining with the senses, are going to lead us to exactly where the traveller wants to go; where the soul needs to go on the journey to freedom.

Charioteer and Traveller Communication Vital


This means that we need to use the intellect powerfully on the journey.  We need to be certain of where we are headed.  That consultation with our inner being – that traveller in us that is the soul, is important.  We need to follow the soul call, the soul’s instruction.  We need to follow the life purpose. There must be enough consultation between the charioteer, the intellect, and that inner being.  “Where am I heading, where am I going?”  We need to get that soul message, that soul call as to what we pick up.  So there is the need for introspection, for retreating inside, for communication with our inner being.  We need to really feel in touch with our soul, so that the intellect can be comfortable and certain that it is heading in the right direction.  We need to ensure we know that vision for ourselves, that blueprint for our life.

The reins have to be firm, tight.  Management of our mind is important on the journey.  The right thoughts – the thoughts that will uplift us, keep us on the straight road.  The senses have to be managed otherwise they can get wild, eating, drinking, pleasure seeking.  Once the senses get stimulated, we are gone with it.  That is when the horses become wild, the senses become wild.

Keeping Tight Reins


We need all of these working together in harmony and we need to have our chariot in good condition.  That is what I have been saying to you.  Let us keep the chariot in good condition.  Can you imagine if the chariot is not in good condition?  What is going to happen with the horses and the reins and the charioteer?  The chariot needs to be road worthy and disciplined.  Those horses need to be trained.  They need to be trained to work with the chariot, because if they are wild horses, coming from the wild and you put them on the chariot, then we are in for trouble.  They have to be trained to guide the chariot or to work with the charioteer.  The charioteer has to take time to train these horses so they can really work on the journey in harmony.

You need to work with your senses in a way that they are trained well to serve you, the charioteer, in service to the traveller inside.  Then you need to have good reins, firm reins.  The reins cannot be loose, even if the horses are trained.  The reins [intellect] cannot be loose as the horses may see interesting things along the way.  They may see fodder (food) around, and they may become caught.  When the horses seem to want to go their own way, those reins are firm; “Okay, come back, come back, you need to come back.”

The Recipe for Enjoying the Journey


We have a powerful journey when all of these are working together in harmony. Wow, what a ride!  A masterful ride!  Now a traveller can really enjoy looking at the sights.  The ride is not bumpy, and the journey becomes smooth, comfortable.

Let us strive to have all parts of us working in harmony as we make this journey through life.  Let us have every chakra being used powerfully on the journey as far as we can use them.  Most of all, let us use this intellect powerfully; in service to that self within, that spiritual being inside.


4 Responses to Managing the chariot of life

  1. Marlene says:

    Concerning your question about how the ego fits into the story, Henk, in yesterday’s sacred conversation, Guru said the ego is a family – the traveler, the intellect and the mind. And he added that heart seems to be an invisible member of the family too.

    Yesterday morning while sitting in an office my attention was drawn to the following quote amongst a list of quotes on the wall, “You may not have all the answers. Sometimes you have to wait for them to come.” At the time I read it I thought to myself, “I might have to wait for those answers to come from the Divine; my intellect alone may not be able to reason it out and come up with the best answer.” But then I wondered, “How would I know how long to wait? How would I know when to use my intellect and when to wait for Divine guidance through my soul? What do I normally do when faced with wanting answers? Guru addressed that very topic in yesterday’s sacred conversation, saying that soul communication with intellect is important and asked the folks there, “How does the intellect work so that it accommodates intuition? A response came to surrender to the intellect accepting that “I don’t know. I can’t figure it out now.” Guru continued questioning, “Do you think it is important to look at the signals that come when we surrender?” And he continued by saying that we need the ability to see the parts of the story as they come to us, to follow our gut feelings, and that intuition and intellect have to work in harmony. So I see that I need to focus on all of them – the traveler, the charioteer, the chariot, the reins, the horses, and also on the road – which desire I am going to follow.

    • Henk says:

      Thank you for your answer, Marlene. That makes it clear to me.

      And also thank you for your comment, for making the picture of the whole chariot-journey more expansive, more whole.

  2. Henk says:

    As I was reading the messge of day 10 and just having read the message of day 20, it was clearer of me how the involution process would have taken place and what is needed on the different stages.

    “During the last two days I have been speaking about Spiritual Awakening: making the shift, and freeing or liberating the soul from the prison of the human existence. I have also said to you that essentially we are Beings of Consciousness – a Consciousness that is at its very core, desireless, free, beyond time, undifferentiated. This Supreme Consciousness had to employ or use the energy of its Being to create a desire – desire being an expression of energy to create embodiments. That desire brought it into limitation, and then it needed to create tools for itself to use as it became contracted. Everything was created out of this Supreme Energy manifesting from that infinite Source. I know sometimes this is difficult to understand, but bear with me, in time you will understand.

    If I understand correctly, if the Traveller wants to go somewhere, wants to enjoy a journey, it needs a chariot. And for the chariot horses are needed and reigns and a charioteer. It gives me a clearer picture of all apsects of my Being and why I have all these aspects. And I realise the need to have balance in all of these parts if I want a smooth ride.

  3. Henk says:

    I always like this analogy. So clear, such a clear analogy. It makes it easier for me what to do, what step to take on my journey.

    I like the concept of training different parts of my Being to make the ride more comfortable. I can take care of the horses, take care of the chariot, I can train with the reins.

    I had to think about the relationship between the intellect and thoughts and what the intellect actually is, but is clear after contemplation (memory, holding a vision, control of thoughts).

    I was asking myself where the ego is in this analogy. It’s the Traveller? A part of the Soul, the Self?

    All my love, Henk

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