Gitopadesha Scene – Its Significance

The GEETOPADESHA SCENE depicts a divine chariot drawn by five white horses, in the back-drop of the battlefield. The two parties facing each other are the Pandavas and the Kauravas. The chariot is driven by Lord Krishna in the driver’s seat. On the top of the chariot is the flag carrying the symbol of Hanuman. The reins of the horses are in the hands of the charioteer Sri Krishna. Behind Krishna is the master of the chariot, Arjuna. Arjuna has dropped his weapons and with folded hands seeking guidance from Sri Krishna. Krishna with the reins still in His hands is turned sideways, so that the horses as well as Arjuna are in His view. With a loving assurance of His support represented by the right hand in “abhaya” (fearless) mudra, Lord Krishna is smilingly advising His disciple Arjuna.

Vedantic Interpretation: The battlefield represents life’s battle. The Pandavas and the Kauravas represent the positive and the negative aspects of our personality. The chariot represents the human body. The five white horses are the five sense-organs of perception under self-control. The sense-organs are well-reined and held together by the intellect, represented by Sri Krishna. Arjuna represents the individual seeker’s mind which has totally surrendered all activities (represented by dropping the weapons) onto the Higher. Hanuman depicted in the flag represents the grace of the Guru on the spiritual student. The higher-intellect (Krishna) is advising the lower-mind (Arjuna) on the HIGHER WAYS of LIFE. Krishna turned sideways indicates an intellect which is able to contain both the sense-organs (horses) and Arjuna (mind).

The Geeta is a total and exhaustive summary of the philosophy of the Upanishads and though it reads as simple and elementary, in its import and deeper significances, the Divine Song exhausts the entire Knowledge – Swami Chinmayananda

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