The Kauṣītaki Upaniṣad employs the chariot imagery in the service of a unitary notion of, and perpetual correspondence between, the different particles of being that make up the different dimensions of a person. The particles of intelligence (prajñā) and the breath are all fastened together just as in a chariot the rim is fastened to the spokes and the spokes to the hub.

Śailā puts all of this down to none other than a mass of duḥkha.

The assonances evoked by the reinterpretation of these Vedic and Upaniṣadic themes would have had a powerful effect in the ancient Indian oral culture, where the impact of a visual image invested with sacred meanings such as the chariot imagery would have had a deep resonance for the audience. This background puts into its broader ideological perspective the significance of the early Buddhist use of the chariot simile to illustrate the characteristic of absence of an unchanging and essentialised self in subjective experience, based on the analysis by way of the five-aggregates model.