In the famous section of katha Upanishads, “the simile of the chariot,” an analogy of the chariot is used to reveal the nature of atman as I (self). This has been made possible through equation of the chariot to the body; here the body has been depicted as only as a carrier that will need so many other aspect to function well. The body is equated as independent, however, dependent to function, minds have been equated to the reins; in this passage, they depict the minds as the aspects that are on the control. Intellect has been equated to the captain or director of the chariot and the owner of the chariot have been equated to atman (self).
The idea behind the passage is to bring into the fore that atman is very independent of body, mind and intellect. That atman as the controller of the chariot, which is equated to the body though independent, is the owner of the body. The intuition is the mind the reins, the chariot-driver, the senses the horses, and the objects of the senses the paths. It goes ahead and explains that those with undisciplined minds would never reach their goal and end up being reincarnated. Those of disciplined mind will always reach their goals, and will not have to go through the rebirth cycle. In my opinion, this is not a realistic approach to reality, since there is nothing that can be compared to the final reality. There is no analogy in all the ideas that is comparable to what it is understood to be. The scope of these analogies is limited to point it out (Smith p50). Buddhism arose in the 500 B.C in rebellion against Vedantic Hinduism of that time. It advocated for individual effort, explicit language and uncomplicated means. The question of Buddhism is about removing the arrow of suffering came in to context because of the message of the Buddha, which described his message as the Four Noble Truths making up the basic means Buddhism advocated (Smith p117). Life as suffering is one of the four means making up the four noble truths. It starts by explaining life as accompanied by inevitable pain (pain that we must endure as long as we are alive), sickness, decay and death, and when one chooses to live, one has to suffer. Suffering in Buddhism refers not only to physical pain, emotional pain, and unrequited love, but also to the existential sense that life is disjointed permanently. That suffering is a pervasive condition where no one is spared (Smith p120). It also substantiates that suffering is caused by attachment and that nothing is permanent, since everything changes. It also states that everything changes and suffering arises. This means that nothing in the grasp of ordinary human can provide everlasting happiness. In Buddhism, attachment extends beyond the sense of clinging to pride as in Christian tradition. Buddhism perceives freedom from attachment as the cure for suffering as it tries to argue that if we can be freed from attachment, then we can also be freed from suffering. The concept behind attachment is separation, or the isolation from self, which all other attachments are derived fro, and experience other sufferings. Buddhism further teaches a path known as the Eightfold path, which it states as a way through which suffering can be found. The path guides believers away from self-sustained suffering towards a more enlightened and compassionate life. This is attained through the pursuit of wisdom, meditation and morality (Smith p89). History changed when Protestantism arose in the 1500s. This was in rebellion agai