Riding towards responsibility – The charioteers from our Puranas

When one gets ready for the preservation of Dharma, it is very important that they are steered in in the right direction to achieve success. This duty was aptly fulfilled by the great charioteers from our Puranas who given us an insight as to how equal is the duty of a charioteer in guiding his master to success in his mission for Dharma.


Mataali – Maatali was the charioteer of Devraj Indr. He knew how to manage the horses in a skilful way so that the horses always responded to his thoughts. Mataali‘s birth story is quite interesting. When Devraj Indr was fighting the demon Andhaka, he was in a great need of a good charioteer. At the same time, Rishi Samika and Mata Tapasvini, one of the pious sage couple was expecting a baby. It was prophesised that when her child was placed on the earth, he would multiply into two. When the child was born, he was placed on the ground and he multiplied into two. The second child got up and started walking towards Devraj Indr. Indr was pleased by this and named the child Maatali and taught him the skills of charioteering and made Maatali his charioteer.

Maatali was an adept charioteer and was known for his dexterity in riding the horses. Hence, when Shri Ram was fighting the battle with Ravan on land, Brahma Ji orders Devraj Indr to send Maatali and his chariot to the support of Shri Ram. Maatali’s skill was so good in countering all the riding strategies of Ravan’s charioteer, that Shri Ram could fight Ravan both on land and air and finally achieve success in the battle.

Arun – The brother of the mighty eagle Garud, Arun is the charioteer of Suryadev who endlessly roams the Universe giving light and energy needed for the existence of life. Arun was the son of Rishi Kashyap and Vinata. Kashyapa two wives Vinata and Kadru wanted to have children. Kadru wanted thousand snakes as sons, while Vinata wanted two eagles as sons who would be equal to the thousand sons of Kadru.. Kashyapa blessed them, and then proceeded for penance. Later, Kadru gave birth to one thousand eggs, while Vinata gave birth to two eggs. They incubated for five hundred years, upon which Kadru broke the eggs open and thousand sons were born to her. Seeing this Vinata becomes impatient and breaks one of her egg and a premature eagle son was born. He rebukes Vinata for bringing him out before he was fully developed and flies in the air to join Suryadev as his charioteer. When Suryadev questions him, whether he could manage his heat, Arun duly obliged and became the charioteer of his seven horses. Arun married Sheyani, and had two sons Sampati and Jatayu who went on to become great powerful vultures and had a significant role to play in the life of Shri Ram.

These charioteers may be less known, but what the insights what they give is priceless, that in the preservance of the world and Dharma, everybody needs to feel responsible and do their duty with dedication towards the same.