It is here that we enter into the real Gītā. It is from here that Bhagavān or God, Nārāyaṇa starts speaking and singing the Gītopaniṣad into the listening of Nara Arjuna, and through Arjuna into the listening of
the whole of humanity. Until now Kṛṣṇa was speaking as a man, as Vāsudeva Kṛṣṇa, in His human form, but it is only from here that Kṛṣṇa sings as Parabrahma Kṛṣṇa, in His divine state as Bhagavān, the universal Kṛṣṇa.
Understand, only an intelligent man will allow the other person to speak. Only a man of completion will provide integrated listening to himself and others. We all speak continuously to each other, but a conversation does not really happen. When the other person speaks we do not listen; we are busy preparing our own reply. We never speak into the listening of others, we just speak into the non-listening of others! We need intelligence, we need integrity to allow the other person to speak into our listening.
Listening is directly connected to your ability to handle reality as it is, without creating your own unconscious ideas and conclusions.
A person was telling his friend that he had not spoken to his wife for a whole week. His friend asked him whether he was angry with her or if he had fought with her. The man replied, ‘No, I am afraid of interrupting her!’ Not speaking does not mean we listen! Same way, just speaking continuously does not mean others listen!
There are no extraordinary speakers; there are only extraordinary listeners! It is extraordinary listeners who are extraordinary speakers. Because Kṛṣṇa is an extraordinary listener, He allows Arjuna to speak into His listening!
We may either speak verbally or mentally, but in any case; we are speaking continuously without giving integrated listening to ourselves and others. We are not speaking into the listening of others. Even when
we keep quiet, we are not listening. But Kṛṣṇa does listen! He is the embodiment of completion. He listens completely to Arjuna’s dilemma from His pure space of listening and only then does He speak into the listening of Arjuna and answers compassionately to enrich him. Of the original 745 verses in the Gītā, as part of the Bhīṣma Purāna of Mahābhārat, He responds in depth to Arjuna’s 57 questions through 620 verses.
In the first chapter, Kṛṣṇa does not say a word to interrupt Arjuna. He allows Arjuna to speak fully into His listening for one whole chapter of Arjunaviśāda Yogaḥ. He keeps quiet, even on seeing the depth of Arjuna’s confusion and depression. He consciously analyzes the root of Arjuna’s thoughts, his root thoughts patterns to determine the platform of powerlessness upon which Arjuna is standing.
Look in! When was the last time you really listened to your own words? We never ever really listen, either to ourselves or to others. When you really start listening to yourself, you will naturally become more aware of the words you give to yourself and others. You will also have the ability to listen to others’ words with integrity.
Listening is directly connected to your ability to handle reality as it is, without creating your own unconscious ideas and conclusions. Please listen, the moment you start talking to somebody, when you don’t have listening, you start coming to your own conclusion even before the information is cognized in you, either by rejecting that person or taking that person as a big threat. Both will lead you to suffering. That is why the very first step of Hindu spiritual practice is Śṛavana, Integrated Listening. It is possible to become a successful businessman just by studying the first few chapters of Gītā. You can reach the peak possibility of your profession and of your life just by learning the art of integrated listening from Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Once you provide your integrated listening to yourself and others, you will automatically be able to speak into the listening of others and thus communicate to enrich yourself and commune to enrich others as well.
When you experience the words you utter to you and to others as the extension of your life, they directly affect you. When the words uttered by you, are not listened to, the completion is disturbed.
I tell you, if the person to whom you are talking to is not in the space of listening, the ideas you want to express will never be delivered. It may lead to an argument, but it may never lead to intelligence transfer. Listen! Information transfer is argument. Intelligence transfer is Listening. In arguments, information can be transferred, but never intelligence. Only in integrated listening can intelligence be transferred.
A devotee once asked me, ‘Swamiji, how is it that you are able to answer so many questions?’ There is only one secret to this. I know how to give my integrated listening to the question, that’s all. If you know the technique of right listening, the reply is immediately ready in your being, ready for the intelligence transfer to others.
source: chapter 2, bhagavadgita decoded