Just a note to avoid any confusion. This blog used to be called “Rolling with Vishnu.” Since the change in name and a possible change in appearance/layout, I wouldn’t want to lose connections I have made with regular readers.
I have long felt that “Rolling with Vishnu” was a little bit “cute” actually being a blog about a Hindu with Vaisnav leanings who is also in a wheelchair. Secondly, it suggested a certain degree of duality that I was not comfortable with. Oddly enough, upon discussing the pending change with a very regular reader and a most appreciated critic, it seems the new title, “Rathangapani” suggests even more of the same duality.
Though I am not a Gaudiya, I have always been attracted to the concept of the charioteer as a metaphor for spiritual living. The word “Rathangapani” according to Eknath Easwaran, means “He who guides the wheel of the chariot with his hands.” Being that I am in a wheelchair, this metaphor hits close to home on a gross level, and so I was at first concerned that this title would be taken wrongly. But I am not referring to my body, and I am not referring to an external God.
I remain convinced that the “charioteer” is already there tucked away in each jivan’s consciousness or maybe subconsciousness, but it is there buried for us to find, and consider our GPS as we navigate the cosmic roundabout that is the Wheel of Samsara. It is the Truth, the Self. That is the “He” who “guides the wheel.” All else is Maya, and that is about as close to duality as my little worldview that I am laying out for you here gets. We are always offered by circumstances the way of dharma, or the way of adharma in any situation. And just as in the Gita, the charioteer is the pull toward the way of dharma. I know there is a pull both ways. But Unity in Brahman is the only possible outcome. But for a while, we go round and round. And that is why this weblog is now sub-titled “Life Upon the Wheel.”
As for the two different references to wheels, that of the Cosmic Unity and that of the Jivan/chariot, you’ll just have to dwell on that. They too, may just not be the “two” that they seem to be. That is in fact the beauty of Hinduism. Though we see things in a wide variety of ways, Truth is to be found in all paths.
As for “He who guides the wheel…” as I said, I think that is a choice we make.
May it always be so.
Aum Hara Aum Hara Sadashiva
Aum Hari Aum Hari Narayana
Aum Shanti, Aum Jaya!