The sense-horses and the mind-charioteer

(downloaded Nov. 1999)

A modern religious painting from an ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) website:

"The mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krsna."

"Bhagavad-gita 6.34: The chariot of the body. The five horses represent the five senses (tongue, eyes, ears, nose and skin). The reins, the driving instrument, symbolize the mind, the driver is the intelligence, and the passenger is the spirit soul." (--

"Know the self as a rider in a chariot,
and the body, as simply the chariot.
Know the intellect as the charioteer,
and the mind, as simply the reins.
The senses, they say, are the horses,
and sense objects are the paths around them....
When a man lacks understanding,
and his mind is never controlled;
His senses do not obey him,
as bad horses, a charioteer."

--*Upanisads*, trans. Patrick Olivelle (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 238-239. [From the Katha Upanishad.]

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