O Partha [Arjuna]! I am reached easily by that yogi of single heart [the heart’s feeling focused and uplifted] who keeps Me in his consciousness daily, continuously, focused wholly on me.
-The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, by Swami Kriyananda
In his book, The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, Swami Kriyananda relates the teachings of the great Indian Master, Paramhansa Yogananda on The Bhagavad Gita. Yogananda would turn his eyes up to the spiritual eye for guidance before dictating each stanza to his secretary. Swami Kriyananda, although very young, was asked to help edit the teachings. The book is beautifully written, overflowing with wisdom, both practical and profound.
The Bhagavad Gita, also called the Hindu Bible, is the beloved sacred scripture of India. The scripture is allegory for the quest of the devotee to overcome negative tendencies and move his energy upwards towards superconscious. The Gita answers many questions for all levels of life. Arjuna and his brothers are the Pandavas, representing positive qualities. Their cousins, the Kauravas, represent negative attributes and downward tendencies. The epic begins with Arjuna refusing to fight his cousins who are familiar and dear to him. Krishna [God] counsels him on why he must fight and so the spiritual allegory for the battle of life begins.
There is a beautiful story that relates how Krishna became Arjuna’s charioteer. Duryodhana is the head of the Kauravas and represents King Material Desire. Arjuna and Duryodhana both decide to go to Krishna to request his aid in the upcoming battle. Krishna is asleep so they respectfully await his awakening. Duryodhana chooses to stand at Krishana’s head while Arjuna, being humble, stands at Krishna’s feet.
Krishna wakes and sees Arjuna first. Krishna offers Arjuna either his entire army or Krishna himself who would give advice but not fight. Arjuna immediately chooses Krishna. Duryodhana is overjoyed at receiving the army. Krishna becomes Arjuna’s charioteer. Symbolically, the chariot represents the body, and the horses, the five senses. Arjuna invited the Lord to guide the chariot of his life, holding the reins of his senses and steering his course through the upcoming battle. This choice represents the wisdom of choosing God over all material things. Victory is assured!
Namaste, Darlene & Jamey