The Bhagavad-gita is the most popular religious work of India. It is a part of the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, which tells the story of a great war between two dynastic families. Bhagavad-gita means “Song of God.” It was composed between the fifth and second centuries B.C. It is written as a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna.
Krishna and Arjuna
Krishna is a divine being, an incarnation of the Godhead, an avatar. In the Bhagavad-gita, he describes himself as “the Lord of all that breathes” and “the Lord who abides within the heart of all beings.” He says:
When goodness grows weak, when evil increases, my Spirit arises on earth. In every age I come back to deliver the holy, to destroy the sin of the sinner, to establish righteousness.
Arjuna is Krishna’s friend and disciple. He is a warrior of the warrior caste. The setting is the eve of a great battle to determine who will rule the kingdom. Krishna is to be the charioteer for Arjuna. Just before the battle begins Arjuna falters because he will have to fight and kill his own kinsmen. Krishna explains to Arjuna that he must enter the battle because it is his dharma, which is his duty or his reason for being. He is a member of the warrior caste and, come what may, he must fight.
The traditional Hindu interpretation of the battle is twofold. First, the battle represents the struggle Arjuna must engage in to fulfill his dharma and to reclaim the kingdom. Second, the battle represents the war he must wage within himself between good and evil forces—his higher and lower natures.
Arjuna represents the soul of man and Krishna the charioteer of the soul. I see Arjuna as the soul and Krishna as his Higher Self. Krishna is Universal Christ consciousness. Krishna teaches Arjuna about the four yogas, or paths of union with God, and says that all the yogas should be practiced.
The person of Krishna
When Krishna reveals his Divine Being to Arjuna, Arjuna beholds the whole universe inside of Krishna. Based on this passage many have concluded that Krishna is the supreme God and the supreme Lord. And of course he is. But just as Lord Jesus never declared himself to be the exclusive Son of God, so Lord Krishna never declared himself to be the exclusive supreme God or supreme Lord.
I believe that Lord Krishna unveiled himself to Arjuna as the incarnation of Vishnu, the Second Person of the Eastern and Western Trinity. Krishna revealed his Godhood so that all of us, as Arjunas, as disciples, could see the goal of our Divinity before us. Truly the one who has attained union with God is become that God. There is no separation.
I see Arjuna as the archetypal soul of each of us and Krishna as the charioteer of our soul. Krishna is one with your Higher Self. Visualize Lord Krishna in his incarnation as Vishnu (the Cosmic Christ) as your Higher Self. See him occupying the position of your Holy Christ Self on the Chart of Your Divine Self as the Mediator between your soul and your I AM Presence, your charioteer for life. He will drive that chariot with you there at his side all the way back to the Central Sun.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, March 14, 1993.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, July 1, 1993.
- Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., The Song of God: The Bhagavad-Gita (New American Library, 1951), p 50.
- Swami Prabhavananda, Yoga in the Bhagavad-Gita, p. 95; Song of God, p 88.
- Song of God, p. 50.