Bhagavad Gita 1.24 Explained: The Divine Charioteer’s Guidance

संजय उवाच
एवमुक्तो हृषीकेशो गुडाकेशेन भारत।
सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये स्थापयित्वा रथोत्तमम्।।

श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता 1.24

Sanjaya Uvacha
Evamukto Hrishikeso Gudakeshena Bharata
Senayorubhayormadhye Sthapayitva Rathottamam

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita 1.24

Sanjaya said: “Having listened to the request of Arjuna, Lord Shri Krishna drew up His bright chariot exactly in the midst between the two armies,

English Translation of BG 1.24

This verse marks a pivotal moment in the Bhagavad Gita, setting the stage for the profound dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna. As Sanjaya narrates to Dhritarashtra, Krishna, addressed as Hrishikesha, positions their chariot at a neutral spot between the two confronting armies, upon Arjuna’s request.

Insights into BG 1.24: Reflecting on Swami Ramsukhdas Ji’s Divine Commentary

The Divine Charioteer’s Compliance

Krishna’s act of positioning the chariot as per Arjuna’s request demonstrates the Supreme Lord’s responsiveness to the devotee’s call. Despite being the omniscient creator of the universe, Krishna willingly serves as a charioteer, symbolizing that divine love and grace are ever ready to guide and support the seeker. This act underlines the humility of the divine and the personal relationship that God shares with each devotee, emphasizing the concept of God not as a distant overseer but as an intimate companion in our life’s journey.

The Names Hrishikesha and Gudakesha

The names Hrishikesha (Lord of the senses) and Gudakesha (Conqueror of sleep, or one who has mastery over sleep) are significant. Hrishikesha symbolizes Krishna’s mastery over the senses and the mind, representing the universal controller. Gudakesha, referring to Arjuna, indicates his prowess and control over sleep and ignorance, signifying a preparedness and alertness crucial for spiritual awakening. Together, they signify the union of divine guidance and human readiness to face life’s challenges, illuminating the path towards overcoming ignorance and achieving spiritual wisdom.

The Strategic Positioning of the Chariot

By stationing the chariot in the middle of the two armies, Krishna provides Arjuna with a clear perspective of the impending battle, including friends, family, and teachers on both sides. This act is not merely strategic but deeply symbolic, representing life’s battlefield where one must confront internal and external conflicts. It illustrates the moment of choice every individual faces, between right and wrong, duty and desire, spirituality and materialism.

The Prelude to the Gita’s Teachings

This verse is a prelude to the profound philosophical discourse that follows. It highlights the importance of facing one’s duties and responsibilities, even when they involve difficult decisions and moral dilemmas. Krishna’s readiness to fulfill Arjuna’s request shows the importance of divine guidance in navigating life’s battles and the necessity of confronting our own dilemmas with courage and clarity.


Verse 1.24 of the Bhagavad Gita not only sets the physical stage for the epic dialogue but also metaphorically positions the reader at the cusp of profound spiritual insights. It teaches us about the responsiveness of the divine to the seeker’s needs, the importance of self-mastery, the inevitability of confronting life’s dilemmas, and the critical role of divine guidance in overcoming them. This verse invites us to reflect on our own lives, encouraging us to seek a balance between our duties and our spiritual growth, with the divine as our guide and charioteer.