How can we reach others with our words?

When we speak with others, how can we make our speech persuasive? By appealing to both their head and their heart.  Such effective communication is demonstrated toward the conclusion of the Bhagavad-gita. 

When concluding his message (18.63), Krishna urges Arjuna to deliberate deeply on the Gita’s message and to then do as he desires. Thereafter, Krishna states that he is speaking out of his affection for Arjuna, desiring his welfare (18.64). He promises that Arjuna will attain the supreme result if he becomes devoted (18.65) and will be protected from any untoward consequences (18.66). 

Gita 18.66 is a direct call for surrender. Does this contradict the earlier call for reasoned deliberation? No, it complements the earlier appeal to the head with an earnest appeal to the heart. It reveals Krishna’s immense love for us and it constitutes a fervent invitation by Krishna to join him for a life of endless love. 

This concluding Gita section (18.63-66) thus calls to both the head and the heart. And it demonstrates  how we can speak words that reach others. We need to speak sound arguments and invite them to logically evaluate those arguments. And we need to have a heart that cares for others and express that care with earnest words. Seeing the reason in our points, the defenses of their head will lower; seeing the concern in our words, the defenses of their heart will lower. When their head and heart are thus opened, they are more likely to give us a fair hearing and to thereafter choose wisely. 

One-sentence summary:

When we speak with both our head and heart, we can reach others better; our reason can reach their head and our concern can reach their heart. 

Think it over:

  • How does the Gita’s conclusion appeal to both the head and the heart?
  • How can we communicate effectively?
  • When you communicate with others, does your emphasis tend toward the head or the heart? How can you balance it?


18.64: Because you are My very dear friend, I am speaking to you My supreme instruction, the most confidential knowledge of all. Hear this from Me, for it is for your benefit.

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  1. Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

    Pranaam! Very aptly presented – on – how we are supposed to communicate to others ……especially the intellectual ones who invite answers at first appealing to their Head & off course eventually satisfying to their hearts ( as almost any solution or explanation other than Krishna Conscious based is definitely not Heart satisfactory ) And ultimately your connection with Lord Krishna’s emphatic call for a well evaluated self-decision perfectly is intact with an individual’s prerogative ….THANKS …..Hare Krishna !!

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  2. Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
    You have most appealingly expounded this conclusive nugget of Gita wisdom. Indeed, it is very reassuring to everyone in the service of Krishna and inspiring to those who wish to seek His grace.
    Sincerest thanks!

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  3. Hare Krishna Prabhuji. Dandavat Pranams.
    Very well written. This ties in nicely with the Austerity of speech that Krsna recommends in 17.15
    Speech that is truthful (make a sound argument) but at the same time pleasing and non-agitating (with a heart that cares).
    Makes me remember your one-liners – “Give others peace of mind, and not a piece of your mind.”
    Thank You!!

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