Gita : Ch-3. Slo-21.





Srimad Bhagavad-Gita:


Chapter-2. ( Karma-yogam )


Slokam-21. (   Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues. )



Yadyadacarati    sreshthah     tattadevetaro    janah,


Sa    yat    pramanam     kurute    lokastadanuvartate.



sreshthah yat yat acarati = spiritually higher and greater level  person (Sreshtan),   follows/ practices  whatever things;

itarah janah tat tat eva = others too follow and practice the same only;

sah yat pramanam  kurute = that person (Sreshtan) makes whichever document;

lokah tat anuvarttate = the world too obey whatever Sreshtan does.


The great personalities naturally set the example for the common man to follow in the manner in which they speak and in the way in which they act. This is Lord Krishna's meaning.

How the performance of prescribed Vedic actions acts as an incentive to the masses is what Lord Krishna is emphasising here. That line of reasoning that great personalities accept as authoritative people will also follow.

How Lord Krishna performing actions helps the maintenance of the world is explained here. Whatever actions a great personality performs is accepted by the common people as the path to follow due to their looking up to people in positions of leadership, royalty and fame etc. Why should they think this way when it is a known fact that the Vedic scriptures are the authority on all aspects of life? They think this way because they do not rely on the scriptures they depend upon the actions ot the visibly prominent in society to base their judhements. So whatever a prominent member of society postualtes whether it is Vedic or concocted the ignorant not being knowlegeable will undoubtedly follow correct or not.

How Lord Krishna performing actions helps the maintenance of the world is explained here. Whatever actions a great personality performs is accepted by the common people as the path to follow due to their looking up to people in positions of leadership, royalty and fame etc. Why should they think this way when it is a known fact that the Vedic scriptures are the authority on all aspects of life? They think this way because they do not rely on the scriptures they depend upon the actions ot the visibly prominent in society to base their judhements. So whatever a prominent member of society postualtes whether it is Vedic or concocted the ignorant not being knowlegeable will undoubtedly follow correct or not.

People in general always require a leader who can teach the public by practical behavior. A leader cannot teach the public to stop smoking if he himself smokes. Lord Caitanya said that a teacher should behave properly even before he begins teaching. One who teaches in that way is called Acarya, or the ideal teacher. Therefore, a teacher must follow the principles of sastra (scripture) to reach the common man. The teacher cannot manufacture rules against the principles of revealed scriptures. The revealed scriptures, like Manu-samhita and similar others, are considered the standard books to be followed by human society. Thus the leader's teaching should be based on the principles of the standard rules as they are practiced by the great teachers. The Srimad-Bhagavatam also affirms that one should follow in the footsteps of great devotees, and that is the way of progress on the path of spiritual realization. The king or the executive head of a state, the father and the school teacher are all considered to be natural leaders of the innocent people in general. All such natural leaders have a great responsibility to their dependants; therefore they must be conversant with standard books of moral and spiritual codes.

To be continued  ....


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