Ride to the destination

Vedanta alone can transform the individual by imparting the Adyatma Vidya by which one understands that immortality is the union of the atma with the Paramatma. It opens the eyes of the individual to probe the atma’s strange experience of mortality and immortality. It drives home the point that the ultimate goal of every jivatma is liberation from the cycle of birth and that human birth ofers a golden chance to reach it, pointed out Sri Goda Venkateswara Sastrigal in a lecture.

To guide a jivatma in the ride to this destination, the

Katopanishad employs the symbol of the chariot, where the

jivatma’s body is seen as a chariot, the Self in each one as the lord of the chariot, the intellect as the charioteer, the mind as the reins, the senses as the horses and the sense objects as the path. Ideally the mind has to be restrained by the Self; else the senses go out of control as restless horses become unmanageable to the charioteer.

The Self that is single-minded to reach the destination will

first instruct the charioteer to be alert and attentive during

the ride to the destination.The path being narrow and diicult, he must be sure of the route as there are many opportunities for him to be misled by wrong signals. Equal attention to take full control of the horses is also mandatory on his part. Even if the path is clear, if the horses are not kept in check, that is, if the intellect is drawn to the worldly attractions and the mind is in conjunction with the senses and sense objects,

the goal can never be reached.

The role of the Self, that remains hidden in all beings and

is seen by those seers alone endowed with sharp and subtle

intelligence, is clearly defined