Wednesday, June 12, 2013

think before you speak

Verse 3.26: So as not to disrupt the minds of ignorant men attached to the fruitive results of prescribed duties, a learned person should not induce them to stop work. Rather, by working in the spirit of devotion, he should engage them in all sorts of activities [for the gradual development of Kṛṣṇa consciousness].

Ever get so excited about something that when you get a chance to talk about it with others you just talk their head off? If so, you're not alone!

In some cases though, you may find out that the person you were speaking to got turned off by your rambling because they just couldn't relate to what you were saying.

At some point in time our lives, I think most of us have been both the source of such over-exuberance and the recipient of it! Today's verse speaks to this type of situation by offering some extremely practical advice to the super excited individual who is just bursting at the seams to speak:

Think before you speak.

Communications 101 teaches us that knowing your audience is just as important as how, what and why you're sharing information. The most effective communication occurs when we address the needs, interests and concerns of whoever we are talking to. Also extremely important is the relationship we have with the person we are conversing with.

Here, the Gita is saying that it takes time to understand bhakti. That's why it's important to start at the beginning. If you recall, one of the key topics Krsna speaks to Arjuna about (the first being the importance of the soul), is the necessity of working according to one's nature. Note: Krsna did not advice Arjuna to give up everything and run away to the forest to meditate.

Essentially, Krsna addressed Arjuna's needs, interests and concerns on a very practical level. Now as we continue to journey through the Gita, we'll learn more about the intricate nature of bhakti and how the most advanced bhakti yogis are not obligated work. But....that takes time, knowledge and the practical and steady application of the bhakti process.

Sometimes when we get really excited or inspired, we can overwhelm our listeners. What I love about this verse is that it's so applicable and relevant in our everyday lives. After all...I don't think anyone can argue that it's always best to think before we speak

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