Transformational teaching conveys not just intellectual meaning but also emotional meaning
The most effective teaching methods touch not just the head but also the heart. When a message is meaningful not just intellectually but also emotionally, it inspires us much more forcefully towards transformational action.
The Bhagavad-gita demonstrates such dynamic integration. Most of the Gita comprises profound philosophical teachings conveyed through sound reasoning. Its devotionally-centered presentation of the multi-level path of yoga is a mine of intellectual fulfillment.
Additionally, the Gita complements and completes its appeal to the head with an appeal to the heart. It (18.63) asks Arjuna to deliberate on its message and then choose his course of action. Lest he find it difficult to figure his way through its multi-layered message, the Gita (18.64) appeals to Arjuna’s heart. Krishna proclaims that he loves Arjuna firmly – and out of love, he will repeat the most confidential message. Thereafter (18.65), he repeats the essential point of an earlier verse (09.34), recommending wholehearted devotional practice. Then (18.66), he speaks the verse widely considered the Gita’s crest-jewel, calling for unhesitant surrender and assuring unfailing protection.
Conveying his eagerness that the Gita’s message be unambiguously understood, Krishna delineates the many rewards that await those who connect with its message, by sharing (18.68-69), studying (18.70) or even just hearing (18.71). Wanting to prevent any incorrect decision or indecision caused by lack of comprehension, Krishna then asks Arjuna whether he has understood (18.72). Gita commentators bring forth the implication: if Arjuna hasn’t understood any part of the Gita, Krishna is ready to repeat that part or even the whole Gita.
Such a forceful call to the head and the heart evokes the clear-headed and whole-hearted response of surrender to the divine from Arjuna (18.73). If we open our head and heart to Krishna’s message, it can similarly enlighten and enliven us too.
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