Allegorical meaning behind the Gita

Here's an important point about the Gita. The entire dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, and the war itself can be seen as allegory. The historic Kurukshetra battlefield is symbolic of the human frame. Life centered in the body is a kind of warfare. The Pandavas and Kauravas are parallel to the good and bad human tendencies. The bad tendencies are the Kauravas—naturally in the majority. And why are they considered bad? Because they're born of a "blind" father, which is ignorance. You may remember that Dhritarashtra was blind, while his brother Pandu is said to be white-skinned. This isn't a reference to his race. The word pandu means white, which represents sattva, purity and tranquility. The five sons of Pandu are the products of tranquility and represent the virtuous human qualities.

There is a constant struggle between the good and bad, but both must get their energy from the supreme God or the Atman, the inner consciousness. Without the Atman or Self, even the bad qualities couldn't do anything. Lord Krishna represents the Atman. The good qualities always seek the guidance of the inner consciousness, the Atman, or Krishna; whereas other tendencies seek the help of the senses and physical forces—Krishna's army.

So this Kurukshetra battle didn't happen just once some thousands of years ago. It's constantly happening. It's within each of us. If the good tendencies will allow their conscience to guide them, they can have the grace and friendship of the Lord, and they can win the battle of life.

On yet another level, the war chariot is the body; the five beautiful horses are the five senses; and the reins that control the horses are the buddhi or intellect. If that intellect, the discriminative faculty, is in the hands of the conscience, which is God in you, then your chariot runs well.

If the soul or the desirous mind sits behind and simply follows what the conscience says, it will always be successful. That’s the allegorical meaning behind the Gita.

Sri Swami Satchidananda, Yogaville