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BG 03.21 yad yad acarati sresthas... cited

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Expressions researched:
"The mass of people follow the example of a leader" |"Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow" |"Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow" |"Yad yad acarati sresthah" |"lokas tad anuvartate" |"sa yat pramanam kurute" |"tat tad evetaro janah" |"whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues" |"yad yad acarati sresthas"

Notes from the compiler: VedaBase query: "3.21" or "Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow" or "lokas tad anuvartate" or "sa yat pramanam kurute" or "tat tad evetaro janah" or "whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues" or "yad yad acarati sresthas" or "The mass of people follow the example of a leader"

Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Chapters 1 - 6

BG 3.21, Translation and Purport:

Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

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 before he begins teaching. One who teaches in that way is called ācārya, or the ideal teacher. Therefore, a teacher must follow the principles of śāstra (scripture) to teach the common man. The teacher cannot manufacture rules against the principles of revealed scriptures. The revealed scriptures, like Manu-saṁhitā 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 such standard śāstras. One who desires to improve himself must follow the standard rules as they are practiced by the great teachers. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 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 dependents; therefore they must be conversant with standard books of moral and spiritual codes.

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

SB 1.14.8, Purport:

As we have discussed many times, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa has many plenary expansions, and each and every one of them, although equally powerful, executes different functions. In Bhagavad-gītā there are different statements by the Lord, and each of these statements is meant for different plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions. For example, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Lord, says in Bhagavad-gītā:

"Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself." (BG 4.7)

"To deliver the faithful, to annihilate the miscreants and also to reestablish the principles of occupational duty, I appear in every age." (BG 4.8)

"If I should cease to work, then all humanity would be misdirected. I would also be the cause of creating unwanted population, and I would thereby destroy the peace of all sentient beings." (BG 3.24)

"Whatever action a great man performs, common men will follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues." (BG 3.21)

All the above statements by the Lord apply to different plenary portions of the Lord, namely His expansions such as Saṅkarṣaṇa, Vāsudeva, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Nārāyaṇa.

SB Canto 4

SB 4.19.36, Translation and Purport:

Just see how Indra, the King of heaven, was creating a disturbance in the midst of the sacrifice by stealing the sacrificial horse. These attractive sinful activities he has introduced will be carried out by the people in general.

As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (3.21):

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tad tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate

"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."

For his own sense gratification, King Indra thought to defeat Mahārāja Pṛthu in the performance of one hundred horse sacrifices. Consequently he stole the horse and hid himself amid so many irreligious personalities, taking on the false guise of a sannyāsī. Such activities are attractive to the people in general; therefore they are dangerous. Lord Brahmā thought that instead of allowing Indra to further introduce such irreligious systems, it would be better to stop the sacrifice.

SB 4.21.38, Purport:

When Sudāmā Vipra came to His house, Lord Kṛṣṇa personally washed his feet and gave him a seat on His personal bed. Although He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa offered His respects to Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira and Kuntī. The Lord's exemplary behavior is to teach us. We should learn from His personal behavior how to give protection to the cow, how to cultivate brahminical qualities and how to respect the brāhmaṇas and the Vaiṣṇavas. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (3.21), yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ: "If the leading personalities behave in a certain manner, others follow them automatically." Who can be more of a leading personality than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and whose behavior could be more exemplary? It is not that He needed to do all these things to acquire material gain, but all of these acts were performed just to teach us how to behave in this material world.

SB Canto 5

SB 5.4.15, Translation and Purport:

Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow.

A similar verse is also found in Bhagavad-gītā (3.21). It is essential for human society to have a section of men perfectly trained as qualified brāhmaṇas according to the instructions of Vedic knowledge. Those below the brahminical qualification—administrators, merchants and workers—should take instructions from those ideal people who are considered to be intellectuals. In this way, everyone can be elevated to the highest transcendental position and be freed from material attachment. The material world is described by Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself as duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15), a temporary place of misery. No one can stay here, even if he makes a compromise with misery. One has to give up this body and accept another, which may not even be a human body. As soon as one gets a material body, he becomes deha-bhṛt, or dehī. In other words, he is subjected to all the material conditions. The leaders of society must be so ideal that by following them one can be relieved from the clutches of material existence.

SB Canto 6

SB 6.2.4, Translation and Purport:

The mass of people follow the example of a leader in society and imitate his behavior. They accept as evidence whatever the leader accepts.

Although Ajāmila was not punishable, the Yamadūtas were insisting on taking him away to Yamarāja for punishment. This was adharma, contrary to religious principles. The Viṣṇudūtas feared that if such irreligious acts were allowed, the management of human society would be spoiled. In modern times, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to introduce the right principles of management for human society, but unfortunately the governments of Kali-yuga do not properly support the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement because they do not appreciate its valuable service. The Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is the right movement for ameliorating the fallen condition of human society, and therefore governments and public leaders in every part of the world should support this movement to completely rectify humanity's sinful condition.

SB 6.17.9, Translation and Purport:

Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: My dear King, after hearing Citraketu's statement, Lord Śiva, the most powerful personality, whose knowledge is fathomless, simply smiled and remained silent, and all the members of the assembly followed the lord by not saying anything.

Citraketu's purpose in criticizing Lord Śiva is somewhat mysterious and cannot be understood by a common man. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, however, has made the following observations. Lord Śiva, being the most exalted Vaiṣṇava and one of the most powerful demigods, is able to do anything he desires. Although he was externally exhibiting the behavior of a common man and not following etiquette, such actions cannot diminish his exalted position. The difficulty is that a common man, seeing Lord Śiva's behavior, might follow his example. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (3.21):

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate

"Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues." A common man might also criticize Lord Śiva, like Dakṣa, who suffered the consequences for his criticism. King Citraketu desired that Lord Śiva cease this external behavior so that others might be saved from criticizing him and thus becoming offenders. If one thinks that Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the only perfect personality whereas the demigods, even such demigods as Lord Śiva, are inclined to improper social affairs, he is an offender. Considering all this, King Citraketu was somewhat harsh in his behavior with Lord Śiva.

SB Canto 7

SB 7.10.23, Purport:

One who has fully surrendered to the lotus feet of the Lord is no longer a debtor to his forefathers, the great sages, human society, the common man or any living entity.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead nonetheless advised Prahlāda Mahārāja to follow the regulative principles, for since he was going to be the king, others would follow his example. Thus Lord Nṛsiṁha-deva advised Prahlāda Mahārāja to engage in his political duties so that people would become the Lord's devotees.

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tad tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate

"Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues." (BG 3.21) One should not be attached to any materialistic activities, but a devotee may perform such activities as an example to show the common man that one should not deviate from the Vedic injunctions.

SB Canto 9

SB 9.10.55, Purport:

As Lord Rāmacandra is the ideal husband (eka-patnī-vrata), mother Sītā is the ideal wife. Such a combination makes family life very happy. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ: whatever example a great man sets, common people follow. If the kings, the leaders, and the brāhmaṇas, the teachers, would set forth the examples we receive from Vedic literature, the entire world would be heaven; indeed, there would no longer be hellish conditions within this material world.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi-lila

CC Adi 3.25, Translation:

“"Whatever actions a great man performs, common people follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues."

CC Madhya-lila

CC Madhya 5.152, Translation and Purport:

After hearing the story about how His staff had been broken, the Lord expressed a little sadness and, displaying a bit of anger, began to speak as follows.

Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu considered Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu's acceptance of sannyāsa to be useless. He therefore relieved the Lord of the trouble of carrying the staff. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu expressed anger because He wanted to teach all other sannyāsīs that they should not give up the staff before attaining the platform of paramahaṁsa. Seeing that the regulative principles could be slackened by such action, Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to carry the staff personally. However, Nityānanda broke it. For this reason Caitanya Mahāprabhu displayed a little anger. It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā (3.21), yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ: Whatever great people do, others follow. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to follow the Vedic principles strictly in order to save inexperienced neophytes who try to imitate paramahaṁsas.

CC Madhya 17.178, Translation and Purport:

"Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues."

This is a quotation from the Bhagavad-gītā (3.21).

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Renunciation Through Wisdom

Renunciation Through Wisdom 1.6:

The law of God is such that it punishes the killers of both man and animals; both acts of murder are penalized. The atheists deny the existence of God because in this way they think they can commit sins unhindered. But all the revealed, authorized scriptures say that by killing innocent creatures, the householders commit many sins willingly or unwillingly while performing their normal daily activities. To get release from these sins, the householders are enjoined to perform certain sacrifices. Foremost of these is to eat and honor the remnants of food offered to Lord Viṣṇu. As for those selfish householders who cook food only for their own sensual pleasure and not for the service of Lord Viṣṇu, they have to suffer all the sinful reactions incurred while cooking and eating. This is the law of providence. Therefore, to get rid of these sins, the followers of the Vedic religion dedicate their household activities to Lord Viṣṇu's service.

The leaders of society are therefore advised to perform devotional service for Lord Viṣṇu's satisfaction—both for their own benefit and for the benefit of those they lead. As Lord Kṛṣṇa says to Śrī Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gītā (3.21), "Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues." Because everyone follows their example, the leaders are required to carefully study the process of devotional service to Lord Viṣṇu. This is their duty. Thus for the benefit of human society, there is a great need to construct universities that will impart knowledge of devotional service.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Lecture on BG 1.41-42 -- London, July 29, 1973:

So Arjuna said that patanti pitaro hy eṣāṁ lupta-piṇḍodaka-kriyāḥ (BG 1.41). Piṇḍodaka. In Calcutta, there was a big scientist. His name was Sarpisirat. He was speaking in a, he was atheist number one, he was speaking that: "This piṇḍodaka, by offering piṇḍa, prasāda and water, it will go to my forefather. So just give me to eat downstairs whether I can eat upstairs?" This reasoning. But he does not know that how much there are different types of eating. They do not know there is eating in the subtle body also. The ghosts also, they eat. But the method is different. So even a big scientist speak like that, then how the ordinary people...? Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ, lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). If the so-called advanced in education they speak so irresponsibly, naturally, others will follow. Therefore, at the present moment, the whole generation is covered with ignorance and darkness. No clear knowledge. And without clear knowledge, whatever we do... Just like in darkness, whatever we act, that is simply embezzlement. That's all. It is not very correctly understood. Therefore we have no correct knowledge, no correct activities, and, and the result is narakayaiva.

Lecture on BG 2.17 -- Hyderabad, November 22, 1972:

When everyone will understand that Kṛṣṇa is the central point, Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor, Kṛṣṇa is the enjoyer, when perfectly we come to that Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there will be peace and prosperity. Otherwise it is not possible. Therefore our... Of course, it is not possible that because the number of fools are greater.

But still, as it is suggested in the Bhagavad-gītā: yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad eva itaraḥ janaḥ (BG 3.21). If the so-called leaders, they become Kṛṣṇa conscious, they understand the philosophy, then others will follow. As, at the present moment, because the leaders are foolish, blind, they have no spiritual knowledge, all the population of the world becomes godless. Therefore our appeal is to the leading personalities to understand this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Try to understand its philosophy, apply in life, and try to distribute this knowledge. Automatically others will accept. Sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute lokas tad anuvartate. If Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is accepted by the leading personalities... Why they shall not accept unless they are ignorant and less intelligent? Everything is there. The Bhagavad-gītā is left for this purpose. It was instructed not to Arjuna, but to the whole world, in the midst of Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. So the whole world is a battlefield now. They should learn the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā and thus become happy within this world.

Lecture on BG 3.18-30 -- Los Angeles, December 30, 1968:

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Twenty-one: "Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men will follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues (BG 3.21)."

Prabhupāda: This is very important. Therefore leaders must be very ideal men. Then automatically the country or the society becomes nicely situated. Because if the leader of the society is perfect... Therefore formerly, monarchy, monarchy was current, and the king was educated very highly, how to administer state. Just like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, ideal king. Lord Rāmacandra, ideal king. Somebody came to Lord Rāmacandra and made Him responsible that "How Your kingdom is going that my son in the presence of his father has died?" You see, king was responsible for that. If there is severe cold, the king is responsible for that. If there is severe heat, the king is responsible for that.

Lecture on BG 3.21-25 -- New York, May 30, 1966:

Śva-paca. Śva means dog, and pacaḥ... Pacaḥ means one who eats dogs. In India the dog-eaters are considered to be the lowest class of men, dog-eaters. So śva-pacaḥ. śva-pacaḥ means the dog-eaters. So even the dog-eaters, even if he is a dog-eater, it doesn't matter. If he can chant the holy name of Lord, then he becomes glorious. Aho bata śva-paco 'to garīyān yaj-jihvāgre nāma tubhyam. So this Hare Kṛṣṇa chanting is glorious, and anyone who chants this, he becomes glorious.

So Lord Kṛṣṇa says that
yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

Yad yad: "Whatever is practiced by the principal or the superiors..." In every society, in every country, there are certain class of men who are considered the leaders or the superior men. So Lord Kṛṣṇa says that whatever is practiced by the top list men, that is followed by the ordinary class of men. Sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute. And the top list man, whatever he adopts or whatever scripture or whatever instruction he admits, lokas tad anuvartate. Ordinary class of men, they generally follow. The whole idea is that Kṛṣṇa wants Arjuna to become an ideal person, ideal person, so that ordinary men can follow. And generally the practice is also the same. Any leader, if the leader of the people, they are ideal, he is ideal... A leader of the man, if he is ideal, the followers also become ideal. And if the leader of the society or country is not an ideal man, then the followers or the countrymen or the members of the society, they are also of the same type.

Lecture on BG 3.21-25 -- New York, May 30, 1966:

So, because if we do not follow the right person, mahājana—mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186)—then however I may be great in the estimation of the innocent public, that is wrong path. That is wrong path. Therefore the right thing is to follow the succession. Now, we have to follow the principle which Kṛṣṇa sets. Kṛṣṇa is not advocating, I mean to say, nonviolence. You cannot eradicate violence from this world. That is not possible because Kṛṣṇa Himself is on the battlefield and He is trying to induce Arjuna. Arjuna is declining and He is inducing, "No, you must fight." Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). So we have to follow the footprints of great personalities. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. Mahājana. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam you will find that it has been advised that religious principles should be followed by taking the life examples of great personalities.

Lecture on BG 3.21-25 -- New York, May 30, 1966:

And so far philosophers are concerned, one philosopher tries to defeat another philosopher. That is the philosophical way. So nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam, dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. Therefore this truth of religion is very confidential. Nihitaṁ guhāyām. Guhāyām means it is very confidential.

Now, how to know it? Now, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: (CC Madhya 17.186) "You just try to find out great men, great men of religious life, and you just try to follow." Now, you may have in your own ideal some great men. No. They are also checked. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam twelve different personalities have been described that "These persons are great men." So we have to follow their principle and, or their, in the principle in their disciplic succession. Then we can fulfill. The same thing is here also described. Yad yad ācarati śresthas lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). And Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself... Undoubtedly Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the greatest personality in those days and still now also. Still, in all, not only in India, in all parts of the world, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the greatest leader of philosophical presentation of this Bhagavad-gītā. Every nation, every country reads it very minutely. So undoubtedly He is a great leader. Now, if we follow Kṛṣṇa, not only we are chanting

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

But we have to follow the principles laid down in the Bhagavad-gītā. That will make our life successful. Practically we have to apply this, have to apply the principle. Otherwise the whole attempt will be failure.

Lecture on BG 7.1 -- Hyderabad, April 27, 1974:

So in Bhagavad-gītā we'll find all the solutions of the human problems, all the solutions. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). Unless you divide the whole human society into four divisions, the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra... You must have to divide. You cannot say "classless society." That is useless society. Classless society means useless society. There must be an intelligent high class, ideal class of men to see the "Here is human civilization." That is brāhmaṇa. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma... (BG 4.13). Unless people see the ideal men, how they will follow? Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ, lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). The brāhmaṇa is compared with the brain of the body. Unless there is brain, what is the use of these hands and legs? If one's brain is cracked, madman, he cannot do anything.

Lecture on BG 7.1 -- Bombay, December 20, 1975:

So Kṛṣṇa is personally instructing Bhagavad-gītā to understand Him, so we should take advantage of this, otherwise we are missing this opportunity of this human form of life. Kṛṣṇa is not teaching Bhagavad-gītā to some cats and dogs. He is teaching to the most influential person, imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ. So Bhagavad-gītā is meant for the rājarṣi, very rich, opulent, at the same time saintly person. Formerly all the kings were rājarṣi. Rāja and ṛṣi combined together. So the Bhagavad-gītā is not meant for the loafer class. It is to be understood by the heads of the society: yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). So those who are claiming to be the leaders of the society, they must learn Bhagavad-gītā, how to become practical and actual leader, and then the society will be benefited. And if we follow the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā and Kṛṣṇa, then all problems will be solved. It is not a sectarian religious sentiment or fanaticism. It is not that. It is a science—social science, political science, cultural science. Everything is there.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 1.2.16 -- Vrndavana, October 27, 1972:

Don't think that Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is simply dugdughi.(?) Not dugdughi. It includes everything, all-pervasive. Kṛṣṇa is ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ (BG 10.8), Kṛṣṇa is the root of everything. Therefore anything you conceive of, politics, sociology, philosophy, religion, anything, there is adjustment if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). Therefore we want some leading personalities to become Kṛṣṇa conscious so that others will follow. So that others will follow. But if we go some leading personality, minister or prime minister, "Oḥ, we are secular. We have rejected Kṛṣṇa." That's all. Nonsense. What is your value, rejecting your Kṛṣṇa? Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ. You are rejected. You have no good qualification. You have rejected Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we reject you. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ. Anyone who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, he has no value. We don't give any value, however he may pose himself as a very great man. No. We say, harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ. Mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ. "Because you are not Kṛṣṇa conscious, you are hovering on the mental plane. Therefore you must fall down." This is the conclusion of śāstra.

Lecture on SB 1.2.20 -- Vrndavana, October 31, 1972:

We don't expect that cent percent people will be Kṛṣṇa conscious, but simply a few percent, say five per cent. If the people of the whole population, they become Kṛṣṇa conscious, then the face of the world will change-īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1)—because if the leaders, they understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness and act accordingly, the others will follow. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). Itaraḥ janaḥ, common men, follows the leaders.

Lecture on SB 1.5.33 -- Vrndavana, August 14, 1974:

So at the present moment, people are becoming more and more poor, and they are simply educated to gratify senses. So the whole world becoming chaotic, diseased condition. Even in the topmost level, the President of United States, he was also caught dealing very unfavorably, and he was forced to resign. And what to speak of others? He is not a poor man, he is not uneducated, the topmost man, elected President of USA, but there is cheating even there, just see. And what to speak of others? Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21), in the Bhagavad-gītā it is, tat tad eva itaraḥ janaḥ, sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute lokas tad anuvartate. If a person, president, cheats his countrymen somehow or other, and why not others? They will also do that. "Oh, president does it. What I am? What can I know?" In this way, the more we are inclined to sense gratification, the more we are becoming sinful. And more we are becoming sinful, the more we must suffer. That is the law of nature. Āmayo yaś ca bhūtānāṁ jāyate yena suvrata.

Lecture on SB 1.15.37 -- Los Angeles, December 15, 1973:

But the king was so responsible that now he wanted to retire. There is no other way. As far as possible, he controlled. That is king's business. The government's business is to control these things, and citizen must be happy in every way. Even Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira's time, there was no excessive heat or cold; neither there was prominence of disease or pestilence, famine. These things were absent. Because Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja himself was very pious, and he conducted his government in such a way that people were also pious. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). If the leaders are perfect, then the citizens will be perfect. If the leaders are rascals... Just like in your country, now your president is caught up. Just see. Such an exalted post is occupied by a person who is subjected to so many criticisms. Why? "The Caesar's wife must be above suspicion." There is a... The king or the president, why he should be under suspicion? And if he is under suspicion, then immediately he should resign, "Oh, people are now suspecting." But this these rascals will not resign. You see? Just see how much our leaders are polluted. He has been charged with so many things. Why he? Everyone is. He is weak; therefore he has been caught up. That's all. He is not so perfect diplomat. Otherwise he would have not been caught up.

Lecture on SB 1.15.38 -- Los Angeles, December 16, 1973:

So unless one is qualified, highly qualified, how he can be installed as the head of the executive of the state or the world? And this has been given charge to a third-class voters who have no character. So how you can expect the elected persons to be perfect? That is not possible. This is not the system. This is the system. The head of the state should be perfect and the next head should be selected by this perfect head of the state, not by the rascal voters. This is perfection. If the head of the state is perfect, then naturally the citizens will be perfect. Because all the laws are there. If the head of the state says, "No more meat-eating," all slaughterhouses will be closed. If the head of the state says, "No more intoxication," then all the cigarette factories and liquor factories will be closed. Is it not? Because... So therefore the head must be perfect. Then yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that "What the chief man beḥaves, others will follow." Therefore it is called leader, leader.

Lecture on SB 1.15.39 -- Los Angeles, December 17, 1973:

I wrote a personal letter to Gandhi that "Mahatma Gandhi, you are recognized all over the world as a very pious man, and you are supposed to be very devotee of Bhagavad-gītā. Now you have got your independence. You fought for independence. Now you have got your independence. So I request you to take the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā to preach all over the world." That was my request. Because I was thinking of preaching this Bhagavad-gītā. So I thought that "Gandhi's position is better. If he takes up this job, preaching of Bhagavad-gītā, many people will give attention. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). He is a recognized good man, so people will follow." But he did not do so. He stuck up to the politics. And unless he was killed by another opponent party, he did not give it up. Similarly, I have seen other politicians also, Jawaharlal Nehru, Panth,(?) they would not give up. Panth(?) was so weak, I have seen. He could not stand even. He was doing like this, always. Still he would not give up. Similarly, Jawaharlal Nehru, he was paralyzed. Unless he was dead, he could not give up.

Lecture on SB 1.15.42 -- Los Angeles, December 20, 1973:

So this is meant for the brāhmaṇa. Therefore we offer second initiation, sacred thread, that one should become brāhmaṇa, not a kṛpaṇa, miser, no. One should be thoroughly learned what is God and teach others how to trust Him. That is brāhmaṇa. Simply slogan, "We Trust In God," and all rascals and fools, that is not good. Now we should take up this point, that "You write, 'In God We trust.' What is God? Do you know what is God?" Ask the President Nixon rascal. He will not be able to. Then who will know? If the president does not know, how the people will know? Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). Śreṣṭha, the chief man, the leader Just like I am leading this society, so what I shall do, naturally it will be followed: "Prabhupāda does it." So that is applicable everywhere. So if the president knows what is God, how to trust Him... Why shall I trust unless I know you properly? It is natural. If somebody says, "Trust this man," so my next question, "I must first of all know this man; then I shall trust." Similarly, if you do not know what is God, what is the meaning of your trust? It is all childish, slogan. Therefore the condition is so deteriorated. Everywhere, not only here, they have no knowledge of God. We can challenge anyone, any so-called scientist, philosopher, politician, big, big men. They know only wine, women, meat-eating. That's all. This much their knowledge. But who knows God? Nobody. Ultimately, the rascal says, "I am God." Failing to know God, he become himself God.

Lecture on SB 5.5.1 -- Johannesburg, October 20, 1975:

This is a verse, verse number one, Fifth Canto, Fifth Chapter, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. We are publishing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, twelve cantos in sixty volumes, and this is the latest volume, just received today. Therefore I am taking advantage of this volume and reciting one verse. This is in connection with Ṛṣabhadeva's instruction to His sons. Ṛṣabhadeva was a king, and He had one hundred sons. Of all of them, the eldest was Mahārāja Bharata, under whose name India is called Bhāratavarṣa since the time of Mahārāja Bharata. So the instruction was being discussed amongst the royal family members. Formerly all Vedic instructions were discussed amongst the very topmost class of men. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). That is the instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā. If the higher level class of men accepts something as truth, then the ordinary, common man follows that.

Lecture on SB 6.1.40 -- Surat, December 22, 1970:

Mālatī: (break) ...that Lord Buddha, he adopted a new type of religion, but those who were strict followers of Vedas, they would not accept him. Does that mean that there were still people who were following those beliefs, scriptures, at his time, or did he convert all of India?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Lord Buddha was patronized by the then emperor, Ashoka. And anything patronized by the state, it becomes very popular. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). So Lord Buddha converted Ashoka, Emperor Ashoka, to this religion. Therefore whole India became Buddhist. And later on, when Buddhism was driven out of India, the Jainism and similar other religious principles became visible. Ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ. Lord Buddha... Ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ is also Vedic religion, but they stressed especially on ahiṁsā. In the Bhagavad-gītā you will find: amānitvam adambhitvam ahiṁsā kṣāntir ārjavam (BG 13.8). These are the different steps of progressing in knowledge and religion. The first thing is amānitvam. Amānitvam means very humble.

Lecture on SB 6.1.40 -- Surat, December 22, 1970:

Prabhupāda: No, no. Lord Buddha, of course, did not come to convert... Ashoka liked it, that's all.

Revatīnandana: But because of that, that gave impetus to the spreading of Buddhism.

Prabhupāda: That is natural. If the state is after some religion... Just like Christian religion spread in India because there was Christian government. The Muhammadan religion spread because there was Muhammadan government. That is natural. If the state is following a certain type of religion, then naturally... And that is said in the Bhagavad-gītā: yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). Just like in India, at least in Bengal, we have got the history that educated persons, they saw that "In Christian religion one can drink, one can eat meat. So why not become Christian?" So the drunkards and meat-eaters, they became Christians. Similarly the Muhammadans also, they thought a clue to deviate from the Vedic principles, and they turned themselves.

Lecture on SB 6.1.40 -- Surat, December 22, 1970:

Prabhupāda: Just like Aurangzeb enacted the lidia(?) tax, that all the Hindus will have to pay this tax. So the untouchables... Because Hindus made these untouchables, so untouchables, they thought that "Why shall I pay the tax? Better become Muhammadan." So so many people, they became converted into Muhammadans. So a state controls anything, if the state... Now the state is secular, atheist. The people are becoming atheist. They are teaching that "Throw away these scriptures. You eat everything. What is the wrong in eating flesh, eating meat, eating chickens?" They are advertising, "Eggs are available here." When the state supports, so people follow.

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

This is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā.

Revatīnandana: The Emperor Constantine in Rome, when he became a Christian, that was the real beginning of the Christian era.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because the whole Europe was under Roman Empire.

Lecture on SB 6.2.1-5 -- Calcutta, January 6, 1971:

Due to this rascal government people will be so much embarrassed that ācchinna-dāra-draviṇāḥ: they will be separated from their wife, children, and money, and they will go to the forest. This will happen. They will go to the forest. Nobody wants to leave the company of wife, children, and property, but people will be forced. Just like we have seen already in the time of partition, the Muslims and Hindus. The Hindus were going away, and the Muslims were also going away. Nobody was happy, but the partition was made, and this was accepted as India's independence. This is called māyā. They are going to be more dependent, more and more, and still, it was accepted as independence.

yad yad ācarati śreyān
itaras tat tad īhate
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate

If the head..., the heads of the society, whatever they do, general people follow them. Yad yad ācarati śreyān. Śreyān means the leading personality. Yad yad ācarati śreyān itaras tat tad īhate. And the general public, they follow them. Sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute. What the leaders accept as good, the general public they also accept so. Sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute lokas tad anuvartate. Pitaraḥ. Pitṛ iva pālakaḥ. Now, here the government or the king is compared with the father. That is the position of father. Just like a father will never tolerate the killing of his child before him. He will give his own life. He will try to attack that person who has killed his child and give his own life: "I do not like to live." That is the position of government. But they are silent. They're silent. This is Kali-yuga. Sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute lokas tad anuvartate.

yasyāṅke śira ādhāya
lokaḥ svapiti nirvṛtaḥ
svayaṁ dharmam adharmaṁ vā
na hi veda yathā paśuḥ

Just like if you put your head on some friend's lap and you sleep very nicely without any care, but the man on whose lap you are putting your head, if he is ungrateful—he is not faithful; he wants to cut your throat—then what is your position? This is going on.

Lecture on SB 6.2.4 -- Vrndavana, September 8, 1975:

Prabhupāda:

yad yad ācarati śreyān
itaras tat tad īhate
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
(SB 6.2.4)

Very important verse. Ideal class of men therefore needed in the society. Therefore Vedic society is divided—ideal men: the brāhmaṇas. Brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. The brāhmaṇa, the saintly person, the sannyāsī, the rājarṣi. This is required. Imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2).

Lecture on SB 6.2.4 -- Vrndavana, September 8, 1975:

So we have taken this Bhāgavatam. We should be very, very careful to become first-class men so that others will follow. Sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute. If you become a first-class man, sa yat pramāṇam, whatever you will do, lokas tad anuvartate, people will follow, naturally. Lokas tad anuvartate. Unfortunately nowadays first-class man means kill Kṛṣṇa. This is first-class man. All these so-called rascal scholars of Bhagavad-gītā, their only business is how to kill Kṛṣṇa, pounce Him, (Kamsa?), as Kamsa was planning how to kill Kṛṣṇa.

Lecture on SB 6.2.4 -- Vrndavana, September 8, 1975:

So the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is so strong, and indirectly, directly, or some way or other, if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, you become benefited. It is so. So if you neglectfully chant Hare Kṛṣṇa you become so benefited, then how much you will be benefited if you carefully chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That should be the ideal. Therefore, sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute lokas tad anuvartate. Unfortunately, those decrying this Kṛṣṇa movement or Kṛṣṇa... They directly making propaganda. When Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru, the so-called scholars, they say, "It is not to Kṛṣṇa." They're misleading. Lokas tad anuvartate. The people are becoming against Kṛṣṇa: "Why Kṛṣṇa should be God? I have got another God, manufactured. Here is God." Kṛṣṇa was so beautiful, and I am God, so ugly God? No. There are so many ugly Gods nowadays that ferocious face and he is God. We worship God, so nice face, people come and become enchanted, and they bring a God, a ferocious head, and he becomes God. This is going on. The whole propaganda is like that. Even big, big political leaders, they'll say, "We don't believe in Kṛṣṇa, there was a person as Kṛṣṇa living ever." So people are being misled. Lokas tad anuvartate. He has taken the position of śreyān, big leader, big scholar, and he is decrying Kṛṣṇa. So what people will do? They are helpless. They will give, "Oh, Mr. such and such said it is fiction. Kṛṣṇa is imagination." This is going on. In Vṛndāvana you'll find so many big, big Māyāvādīs. They're explaining that this Kṛṣṇa concept is an imagination, and people are thronged together to hear him, in Vṛndāvana, and what to speak of other places. So this is the position of the world, and they are suffering and they will continue to suffer. Nature will punish them. Yamarāja will take them. That is their next life. So you try to save them. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Lecture on SB 7.5.31 -- Mauritius, October 4, 1975:

General public, they are blind, and the leaders are also blind. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). Why they are blind? Now, because they do not know what is the aim of life. Na te viduḥ. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatim. Everyone is self-interested. That's very good. You are self-interested; I am self-interested. So that is... But you do not know what is your self-interest. Therefore you are blind. That is described here, that "These blind leaders, they do not know." They are especially mentioned, andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ. The leaders, they lead others. So, yad yad ācarati śreṣṭha tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). Leaders are responsible because yad yad ācarati śreṣṭha: "Those who are leaders, whatever they do, they perform, common men follow that." Therefore they must be very perfect. Common men follow the leaders. If the leaders are themselves imperfect, then what will be the position of the common men?

Lecture on SB 7.6.4 -- Toronto, June 20, 1976:

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to create at least one section first-class men so that people may see, "Oh, here are ideal men." Therefore my request to persons who have joined this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, they should very carefully keep them as first-class men. People will appreciate and they will try to follow. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). If there is a class of men first class, then people will appreciate. At least, they will try to follow, even though are unable to become first class. They will try to follow. Tat tad eva, sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute lokas tad anuvartate. So that is first-class man required. If he acts, then others will follow. If a teacher does not smoke, the students also will stop smoking naturally. But if the teacher is smoking, how the students...? They are also smoking in the class. I have seen in New York. At least in India this is not yet begun. It will begin. Because they are also making progress. (laughter) These rascals are making progress, going to hell.

Lecture on SB Lecture -- Melbourne, May 19, 1975:

Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). The human society, by the will of God there are four classes of men. The first-class is the brāhmaṇa; the second-class, the kṣatriya; the third-class, the vaiśyas; and all others, fourth-class, śūdras. So at the present moment, practically there is no brāhmaṇa, no kṣatriya, no vaiśya, only śūdras, fourth-class men. So you cannot expect any happiness guided by the fourth-class men. That is not possible. Therefore throughout the whole world there is chaotic condition. Nobody is happy. So this is essential that the human society must be divided into four divisions. The brāhmaṇa class means the first-class ideal men, so that by the seeing their character, their behavior, others will try to follow. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means we are trying to create some first-class men. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, this movement. So therefore we have got these rules and regulation: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling. This is the preliminary qualification of a first-class man. So we are trying our bit to make some men ideal first-class men.

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, November 8, 1972:

So yad yad ācarati śreṣṭha lokas tad anuvartate, tat tat eva itaraḥ janaḥ (BG 3.21). According to this formula, if the leaders of the society takes this movement little seriously... They should take, because this is the only movement which can bring in peace and prosperity and happiness to the whole human society.

The Nectar of Devotion -- Calcutta, January 27, 1973:

Vāsudeva Datta proposed, "My dear Lord, You have come. You take all the sinful persons from this world. Let them be delivered, as You have personally come. So if You think they're so sinful, they cannot be taken back to home, back to Godhead, then I take all their sins. You take them only." That was his offer. Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava thinks like that, that he may remain in the hell, but by Kṛṣṇa consciousness everyone may be delivered. That is real Vaiṣṇava. Para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. Vaiṣṇava is unhappy by seeing others unhappy. Para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied that "Suppose I take all the living entities of this universe, and still there are so many other universes. This universe is just like one mustard seed in the bag of mustard seeds." So you do not think that everyone will become Kṛṣṇa conscious. You don't be, I mean to say, agitated with this thought: "The prison house will be closed." No. It will go on. The business will go on. It is not so easy that everyone should... But if some percentage of people take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, leading men, then it will be... You, you... They'll follow. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). You, you do not think that the bad habits of people, non-Kṛṣṇa conscious, will stop altogether. No. That is not possible. One hasn't got to think over this. It will go on, side by side. Because this is material world. Māyā. Māyā is very strong. Daivī hi eṣā guṇamayī. But those who are taken shelter of Kṛṣṇa, for them, there is no unhappiness. Viśvaṁ pūrṇaṁ sukhāyate. For them, the whole world becomes happy. There is no question of distress.

Arrival Addresses and Talks

Arrival Talk -- Aligarh, October 9, 1976:

Prabhupāda: No. Apart from government, the first thing is... Sometimes we say, "Rāma-rājya." The Rāma-rājya means... There is a verse in Bhāgavatam that when Lord Rāmacandra took charge of the, after coming back from the forest, His brother Bhārata surrendered and He took charge of the kingdom. So the residents, the subjects, are described as a varṇāśrama guṇanvita (?).

Indian man (3): Varnāśrama...?

Prabhupāda: Gunanavita. So Rāma-rājya can be established. And it is said there that Lord Rāmacandra was maintaining the kingdom, taking the citizens as His own son. Pitṛvat rāma. It is said there. Pitṛvat. As the father of the family takes charge of the children very nicely, so it is the government's duty to become the sensible father of the citizens. And the citizens will be qualified following the institution of varṇāśrama. Then there will be Rāma-rājya.

Indian man (3): That's the most scientific understanding...

Indian man (2): No. Prabhupāda rightly said in one of the meetings in Delhi that you people try to follow people who are in power. If Indira Gandhi were to do mālā just like this, I'm sure millions of people in India would be doing mālā like this. So she's doing that.

Indian man (3): Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tad tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21).

Indian man (2): But you will not follow me because I have no political power; therefore you have not mālā japa. (Hindi)

Indian man (1): He is my eldest grandson. Here is another man, Subhoda.

Prabhupāda: He is subhoda and abodha. (laughter)

Indian man (1): Yes, subodha, suvrata.

Prabhupāda: Subhoda (Hindi) avatāra.

Initiation Lectures

Initiation Lecture -- Los Angeles, July 13, 1971:

So Dr. Rao, your spiritual name is Rāmānanda. Yes. This Rāmānanda, he was also Rāya, Rāmānanda Rāya, a great devotee of Lord Caitanya and governor of Madras. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu picked up a very important persons, the Six Gosvāmīs, Rāmānanda Rāya, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, like that, eight or ten direct disciples. And later on, they preached the whole thing. In the Bhagavad-gītā there is a verse, yad yad ācarati śreṣṭha itaras tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). If a śreṣṭha, if an important man, acts in some way, others follow. That is natural. So by the grace of Lord Caitanya we are meeting and you have got great responsibility, because you came here to take your doctorate degree. That's very nice. When one of my Godbrothers went to England during my Guru Mahārāja's time, so Lady Wellington,

General Lectures

Engagement Lecture -- Buffalo, April 23, 1969:

You are all educated students and girls and boys. I request you, try to understand what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and take it very seriously. You will be happy, and because people of other countries, they are following your progress, so if you take this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement seriously and rightly, the whole face of the world will be changed. It will be turned into spiritual world. Of course, we do not expect that everyone will accept this philosophy, but even one percent population of the whole world accepts this... Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭha lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). The Bhagavad-gītā explains that if some principal man accepts some theory and some philosophy, others follow. So we have got our center here. I request you all student to try to understand this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and purify yourself. And the purificatory process is very simple. We are simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. So my request, my fervent request to you all, that you are very nicely placed. Please try to understand this philosophy. Make your life very happy in this life or in the next life so that people of the world will be happy by following your example.

Rotary Club Lecture -- Hyderabad, November 29, 1972:

Rotarians and Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kindly inviting me in this important meeting of very respectable gentlemen of the city. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said,

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad eva itare janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ. There are leading men in every society—in government post and educational institution, in business, and so many other fields. In every field of activity, there are leading men. That is natural. And in the Vedas we understand the supreme leading person is God. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). Leaders must be accepted. Just like father is necessary, similarly, leader is also necessary. Guru is also necessary. So according to Vedic verse, Vedic version, we can understand that the supreme leader is Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, God, a person. The conception of Absolute Truth, as given in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate: (SB 1.2.11) "The Absolute Truth is realized from three angles of vision—as the impersonal Brahman, the localized Paramātmā and the Supreme Personality of Godhead." The, this Bhagavān, this word, is used at the end in the matter of describing the nature of Absolute Truth.

Lecture at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan -- Bombay, October 18, 1973:

So I shall request that there is great need of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement all over the world. It is only one man's attempt. If persons like Nandajī and others, living persons... Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). Nandajī is one of the śreṣṭha-vekti of India. He was minister in the Central government. Now he is out of office. But the man is the same. I was very glad when I received the literature. I thought, "At least one man in India is thinking that India is so much downfallen." So I was very much encouraged. Otherwise I was very much discouraged that there is no human being in India, because they have forgotten Kṛṣṇa, forgotten God. Now I see there are still.

Speech -- Vrndavana, April 20, 1975:

We are constructing one big temple in Hyderabad, and we are getting good response. So it is our request to the leaders of the society and to the people of India that they may take this Kṛṣṇa conscious movement, Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, very seriously. It will be good for everyone and the whole world will become peaceful. We do not expect that throughout the whole world everyone will take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But even five percent, two percent, three percent people takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there will be great example. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21).

Philosophy Discussions

Philosophy Discussion on Henri Bergson:

Hayagrīva: But how are they going to change in order to bring about a profound spiritual transformation?

Prabhupāda: This is spiritual following. Just like we are doing. We are also not neglecting the bodily necessities of life, but our main business is how to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So this is not supported by the state or the leaders of the society. They think they are unnecessary because they are animals. So that is the... If the leaders, yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tad tad eva itaraḥ janaḥ (BG 3.21), that is, every leading man accept that this is necessary. Just like we say "No illicit sex." So if the state helps, it can stop immediately. "No meat-eating": the state can immediately do it, "No slaughterhouse." If somebody says that it is enforcement for a person who wants to eat meat and the state has stopped, no. State at least can do this, that state is not going to maintain slaughterhouse. If you want to eat meat, you can kill an animal at your own house, but state is not going to commit these sinful activities, statewise. That is changed in every respect. No more breweries. State cannot maintain the manufacturing of liquor. If anyone individual wants, he can prepare for himself, but he cannot sell, he cannot induce others to take. He can for his personal (indistinct), he can take. In that case, state is giving liberty, "If you want eating meat, so do." But that is not encouragement; that is discouragement. That is Vedic injunction. Vedic injunction is that yes, you can have sex, but get yourself married properly like gentlemen and ladies do. But sex will not be allowed unrestricted intermingling of men and women and prostitution, brothels. That state has to stop. In this way whole thing can be revolutionized, and the society will be completely in human civilization and God consciousness. That is wanted.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1969 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation With John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and George Harrison -- September 11, 1969, London, At Tittenhurst:

Prabhupāda: Would you like to record or not?

George Harrison: Don't mind.

Prabhupāda: Give this garland.

Śyāmasundara: Haribol.

George Harrison: Thank you. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: This Kṛṣṇa's blessings.

George Harrison: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Yes. There is a verse in Bhagavad-gītā,

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
itaras tad anuvartate
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

The idea is that anything which is, I mean to say, accepted by the leading persons, ordinary persons follow them. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas. Śreṣṭhas means leading persons. Ācarati, acts. Whatever leading persons act, people in general follow them. Sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute. If the leading person says, "It is nice. It is all right," the others also accept it. So by the grace of God, Kṛṣṇa, you are leaders. Thousands of young men follow you. They like you. So if you give them something actually nice, the face of the world will change.

1971 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- April 6, 1971, Bombay:

Guest: What can I say? Then only when sādhus are attacked, then only...?

Prabhupāda: No, no. You quoted from Bhagavad-gītā; I am replying from Bhagavad-gītā. You quoted from Bhagavad-gītā, so your answer should be given from the Bhagavad-gītā. You told me that Kṛṣṇa or God comes when there is such and such adharma, so what is adharma, what is dharma, who is sādhu—these things should be understood. But generally, this movement is to create sādhus. So you have to give time. You have to cooperate. This incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa and nāma, Kṛṣṇa's name, is the same. Abhinnatvaṁ nāma-naminoḥ: "There is no difference between Kṛṣṇa's name and Kṛṣṇa." So you encourage this movement. You will see that there will be no more fighting. Kṛṣṇa has come. Welcome Kṛṣṇa. But if you noncooperate with Kṛṣṇa, then how you'll get happiness? Kṛṣṇa has already come by this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. You receive Him. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭha (BG 3.21). You are all respectable gentlemen. You accept it. Then others will follow. Tat tad evetaro janaḥ. And if leading personalities of the society, they reject it, then how Kṛṣṇa is welcome? How can you expect? (Hindi) Everyone should welcome this movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Then actually there will be dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya, paritrāṇāya sādhūnām. Everything will be done.

Room Conversation with Dr. Karan Singh, -- November 25, 1971, Delhi:

Prabhupāda: (indistinct) All of them work for this movement.

Dr. Singh: It is your power working through all of them, I am sure.

Śyāmasundara: In the beginning of this chapter (indistinct) you talked about men who lead (indistinct).

Dr. Singh: Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). That is (indistinct).

Prabhupāda: That is scientific. Our (indistinct) has gone to hell. How the people will come to (indistinct). They don't care for God, godless existence. (indistinct)

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- February 15, 1972, Madras:

Prabhupāda: ...all the educated men. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). If the, who is called, elite society appreciate, then ordinary people will also appreciate. Before my Guru Maharaja, I mean, Bhaktisiddhānta's..., Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Lord Caitanya's cult was considered by the higher class as it is the business of the low-class men. Even Vivekananda remarked that "It is the religion of sex," because they saw that the sahajiyās, they discussed this rāsa-līlā and have illicit connection with woman. So therefore they took it as the religion of sex. Vivekananda.

Interview -- July 5, 1972, New York:

Guest (1): That is part of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, isn't it?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guest (1): What's the future of that in..., in India today?

Prabhupāda: That, not only in India. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not meant for India or America. Of course, I am deputed by my Guru Mahārāja to spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in the Western world. That is his grace. He wanted that Western people, who are intelligent, they should learn what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So my mission is for the Western country, but it is not meant for any particular country, nation. It is meant for every living entity. Now, there are many unfortunate living entities and there are many fortunate living entities. So we are preaching this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in America or Western country, only the fortunate persons they are coming. But if few of them come and understand, then by their example and behavior, the whole population will be benefited. It is not expected that cent percent population will be able to understand this philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but by the examples of the few, yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). Just like you'll find in our temple it is always crowded to the fullest extent. We require a more spacious home. But not all of them our initiated students. Out of them say ten percent may be our initiated students. But still people are coming to see. They are following. Gradually they will also become student.

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- April 29, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: So if they admit they have no perfect knowledge, how they can say there is no God, or there is God? They cannot say.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: They are very doubtful.

Prabhupāda: Doubtful. That means not perfect knowledge. So how they can say that there is no God. They can say: "Yes, there may be or may not be. We do not know." That is a gentleman. How they can say there is no God? And people are misled. "Oh, such and such scientist has said there is no God. Therefore there is no God." He does not know that he's a perfectly foolish. His statement has no value. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21), because he has posed himself as a very big man, people follow him blindly and they're misled.

Room Conversation with Lord Brockway -- July 23, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: So my only appeal is that those who are leading men... Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ... Find this verse.

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

Leading men, whatever they do, ordinary men, they'll be followed. Find out.

Pradyumna: "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."

Prabhupāda: Yes. So therefore we are trying to make men like you interested. (Prabhupāda laughs)

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- March 27, 1974, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Only the... People everywhere, all over the world, they are all good. Only the leaders make them bad. That's all. That is my opinion. Misleaders. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). The so-called śreṣṭha, leaders, they... Just like in India. When Gandhi was there it was prohibition, and now there is wine shop every step. It is due to the leaders. People, people, what the innocent people, what they'll do?

Dr. Patel: You are talking of this, but I am the knower of the private character of so many businessman.

Prabhupāda: Why you know? Everyone knows.

Dr. Patel: They have got so many women outside, and some of them want every day new one. All sorts of rascals they are. (break) Raja should rule, and not these...

Prabhupāda: Asaṁskṛtāḥ kriyā-hīnāḥ.

Dr. Patel: (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: Everyone, all people, not only the ministers.

Dr. Patel: But yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad itaro janaḥ (BG 3.21).

Prabhupāda: Yes. And they have become śreṣṭha. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). Blind men have become the leader of the blind men. That is the difficulty. And if you want to open their eyes, they will say, "No sanction for temple. Get out." Murkhāyopadeśo hi prakopayati na śamyati (?). This is the position.

Press Conference -- April 18, 1974, Hyderabad:

Prabhupāda: There are three guṇas, and the sattva-guṇa, brāhmaṇa, a class of ideal men, must be there in the society so that people can follow them. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). If there is no ideal men in the society, how they can be of good character? Therefore the brahminical class of men, I mean to say, in quality, satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjava, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42).

Room Conversation with Richard Webster, chairman, Societa Filosofica Italiana -- May 24, 1974, Rome:

Prabhupāda: At least the church people, the priests, they must follow strictly the rules.

Richard Webster: Yes. But I mean the difference seems to be with the Christian...

Prabhupāda: Common man may not follow or cannot, but those who are teachers or the priest or the leaders or the executive head, they must follow. Otherwise they cannot remain pure and they cannot take the position of teacher or head. Head must be clean. Other parts may be unclean, but the head must be clean; otherwise the whole business will be spoiled. Therefore, the strictures, rules and regulation, must be followed by four persons. One person is the executive head like the president or the king. And the other person is the religious preacher, priest. And the other person is the public leader. So at least these three, four heads of the men's human society, they must be of ideal character. Otherwise the whole society will be spoiled. People will follow the heads.

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

Just like in America, the president Nixon is charged with so many offenses. So... This is not good. He is the head of the state, and he has been charged with so many pollutions. Then how people will follow exemplary character?

Room Conversation with Biochemist, Dr. Sallaz -- June 4, 1974, Geneva:

Yogeśvara: He says first of all, so far as cooperation is concerned, he is just one man. He is the president, although he is the president, still, he is only one man, and he can only speak in terms of cooperating with the spiritual movement among the more enlightened members of his group.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is required, because if the enlightened men of the society does something, others will follow. It is not that the general mass of people has to be educated. They will be automatically educated. They will follow. If the enlightened man is living in such a way that he is going to be transferred to the spiritual world, then others will follow. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). At least, there must be a class of men, ideal men, that they are preparing themselves for transferring to the spiritual world. Then people will see that "Here is the ideal man," and they will try to follow. (French) But if people see that "He is also like us. He is also drinking, he is also eating meat, and he is also having illicit sex," then where is the ideal man? Everyone is implicated with these things, sinful life.

Room Conversation with Mr. Tran-van-Kha, and President & Members of the Society of Buddhists in France -- June 15, 1974, Paris:

Prabhupāda: He was Hindu in the beginning. Come on. He was Prince, then He become renounced and He was known as Lord Buddha. So Lord Buddha also started His system for stopping animal killing. Lord Jesus also said, "Thou shall not kill." Unfortunately the animal killing is not stopped. We are therefore teaching our followers: no meat-eating, so that if people stop meat-eating, automatically animal killing will be stopped. According to Vedic system, there are four pillars of sinful life, just like this table is on the four pillars. So one pillar is illicit sex, another meat-eating, another intoxication, and another gambling. So at least the brāhmaṇas, the priestly heads of religion, the king and the public leader, they should stop these four sinful activities. The leaders of the society they must be sinless. Then the human society will make nice progress. In the Bhagavad gītā it is stated: yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas.

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

Pṛthu Putra: (French)

Prabhupāda: Ācarati.

Pṛthu Putra: (French)

Yogeśvara: What is second line?

Prabhupāda: Sa yat pramāṇam kurute. In the 'yad' you did not find?

Yogeśvara: Y-a-d?

Prabhupāda: Yes, y-a-d. Yad yad.

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas.

Prabhupāda: Mmm.

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa:

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

Translation, "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."

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with Director of Research of the Dept. of Social Welfare -- May 21, 1975, Melbourne:

Prabhupāda: You cannot make, but it is possible if they are ideal men.

Director: I know what you're saying, but a person would ask you, you're just a man like me, how, you know... it's not just as a star... that your opinion, just like...

Prabhupāda: No, if you approve this method you can cooperate in so many ways. First of all you have to see what is this method, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. That we are prepared to serve you, to convince you, the first-class nature of this movement. Now if you are convinced, try to cooperate. And induce other leaders. You are also one of the leaders. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). If the leaders of the society become compassionate with this movement, others will automatically follow, "Oh, our leaders, our minister is supporting this. Our..."

Director: Our minister regards himself as a servant of the people, who can be kicked out...

Prabhupāda: That is the defect. The people are rascals and they have elected another rascal. (laughter) That is the defect.

Room Conversation with Yogi Bhajan -- June 7, 1975, Honolulu:

Yogi Bhajan: Well, they are coming about lot of people, and they would like to understand and..., what this Kṛṣṇa movement...

Prabhupāda: No. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). If you carry this message... It is not my message; it is the message of Kṛṣṇa. I have not manufactured this message. I am imperfect. But I am presenting the perfect message. That is my business. I don't say I am perfect. I am simply carrier, peon. When a peon delivers a money order, thousand dollars, it is not his money. He simply carries. So my business is to carry Kṛṣṇa's message. That's all.

Morning Walk -- June 21, 1975, Los Angeles:

Jayatīrtha: Oh, yes. He gives them cards and tells them to come and visit the temple. (break) ...publish some book about us. (break)

Prabhupāda: They should come forward and cooperate. It is such a nice thing. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). They are leading men. If they understand, the others will accept it. It is a good thing. They must accept it.

Garden Conversation with Dr. Gerson and devotees -- June 22, 1975, Los Angeles:

Dr. Gerson: So I would like to inject into this system Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Prabhupāda: Oh, that is very good. If the scientists, philosophers, they take up seriously then it will be good for the general mass of people. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). You are recognized leaders, so if you help them to accept, that will be great service.

Morning Walk -- July 8, 1975, Chicago:

Prabhupāda: Well, I am not going to imitate Caitanya Mahāprabhu. (laughs) I have come to New York, not to the jungle. (laughter)

Sudāmā: New York is worse than jungle.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It is called an asphalt jungle.

Prabhupāda: After all, they are human being. Therefore we have collected some nice souls. (break) If you can go to the jungle, that is no hindrance, but let us take the opportunity of the civilized nations, preach them. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). They are leading the whole civilization. If they are convinced, it will be great benefit to the human race. (break) Also my Guru Mahārāja said that "You go to the western country." If he had said that "You go to the jungle," I would have gone. (break) ...preacher, either the jungle or the city is the same. Nārāyaṇa-paraḥ na kutaścana bibhayati. One who is devotee of the Lord, he does not make any discrimination that "This is jungle and this is city."

Morning Walk -- September 27, 1975, Ahmedabad:

Kartikeya: Is it because the leaders are not following? Therefore the population is not following?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Kartikeya: The wrong example is given.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). The leaders are rascals, therefore they are rascals. The father is rascal; the son is rascal. Therefore Bhāgavata says that "If you are a rascal, don't become a father." Pit na sa syāt, na mocayed ya samupeta-mṛtyum. "If you are a rascal, don't become a mother." Stop population. They have therefore invented, "Yes, we shall become 'bachelor father,' 'bachelor daddy,' " not actual father but "bachelor father." Here woman at least think nowadays that she must have a husband. In Western countries they don't think. "No, there is no need of husband." Am I right?

Girirāja: Yes.

Prabhupāda: They don't think there is need of husband. Eh? But they feel. That I know. I have seen one girl. She saw another friend, "Oh, she has got a husband," whispering. So I can understand that everyone aspires after husband, but there is no hope. Hopelessness. This is the position. Every woman wants a good husband, good home, good children, little ornaments, nice food. That is the ambition of every woman, but they are hopeless. Although they are well qualified, European, American girls, they are hopeless, not to get any husband, not to get any home. This is their position. I have studied thoroughly. Is it not?

Press Conference -- October 2, 1975, Mauritius:

Prabhupāda: Actually I want to speak only to the intelligent... (break) ...the common mass, they will not understand. But we can perform kīrtana for the common men, so that they may be purified.

Guest (1): Excuse me. I mean in your presence there must be some program like kīrtana or...

Prabhupāda: Anyway, this idea of society, of your culture, general mass of people, especially nowadays, it is very difficult. So if the leaders understand-yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21)—then the common mass will follow.

Room Conversation with Reporter of The Star -- October 16, 1975, Johannesburg:

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: The mass of people, he says it doesn't effect them.

Prabhupāda: Mass of people will follow. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭha (BG 3.21). Just like everywhere, in politics there is in one leader and people follow him, so we want first-class leader. Then mass will follow. If the leaders are rascals and fools, then what will be result? Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). If the leader is blind, how he can help other blind men? He must be open eyes. Then he can lead thousands of blind men—"Come here." And if he is himself blind, then how he can help? That is wanted. One blind man... One open-eyes man is sufficient to lead many thousands of blind men. But if the leaders are also blind, then it is useless. He must be in perfect knowledge. That is wanted. We do not expect that mass of people will understand this philosophy. It is not possible. But at least the leaders, they must know how to lead people—the father, the teachers, the government, like that. Then people will follow.

Morning Walk -- December 4, 1975, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: These four principles will make so many bogus bābās as useless, simply if you follow these four principles. (break)

Akṣayānanda: ...that Rāmacandra ate meat. Some people have said to me...

Prabhupāda: Rāmacandra can eat you and the whole universe. (laughter) Can you do that? By... Even Rāmacandra used to eat meat, so you can simply imitate for meat-eating. But why don't you imitate how to construct a bridge over the ocean? Why don't you say that Rāmacandra constructed a bridge on the ocean. Can you do that?

Akṣayānanda: No.

Prabhupāda: Then you are rascal.

Akṣayānanda: But in the Bhagavad-gītā it says, yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas (BG 3.21). Whatever the great men do, you must follow in their footsteps.

Prabhupāda: Yes. By their instruction, not by their activities. You should follow the instruction, not the activities. Has Kṛṣṇa said anything that "You also act rāsa-līlā like Me?" Has said?

Akṣayānanda: Never.

Prabhupāda: Then how you can? These rascals, these Māyāvādīs, they play rāsa-līlā.

Morning Walk -- December 4, 1975, Vrndavana:

display by His activity how a perfect human being should act?

Prabhupāda: Who said?

Hari-śauri: Well, I understood that that verse, yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas (BG 3.21), that was referring to Lord Rāmacandra.

Prabhupāda: Everyone is referred, but whatever Rāmacandra says, you should do that. You should not imitate. There are two words: following and imitating. Imitation is not good. Following is good. Yad yad ācarati zreṣ... You can... That I have already explained. Can you construct a bridge on the ocean? You are claiming, yad yad acarati. Can you do this? Then why do you say like that? You cannot imitate. You can follow only. "Because Rāmacandra ate meat, so I am eating meat. I become Rāmacandra." And why don't you construct a bridge on the ocean?

Akṣayānanda: So actually, perfect kings, they may have eaten meat? Perfect kings...

Prabhupāda: No, perfect king must follow the Vedic injunction.

Akṣayānanda: They would never eat meat, even though they are kṣatriyas.

Prabhupāda: No, kṣatriyas are allowed. That is by hunting, not otherwise. Or yajña. Everything is there in the śāstra. (break) ...candra, even He was eating meat, is there any instance in the temple Rāmacandra is offered meat? Then why do you claim, "Rāmacandra used to eat meat, therefore I shall eat"? All rascals. Kṛṣṇa, He ate fire, khāṇḍava-dāna. But what He asked you to offer? Does He says that "You offer Me fire"? He says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). Does He say that "You give Me fire. I shall eat"?

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- March 16, 1976, Mayapura:

Satsvarūpa: It's religion because it's not empirical fact.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Satsvarūpa: It's not an empirical fact.

Prabhupāda: What is that empirical fact?

Satsvarūpa: That after you die, you take another body.

Prabhupāda: Apart from that, why, how the baby is becoming a boy? This is a fact. How a baby is becoming a child, a child is becoming a boy, a boy is becoming young man, a young man is becoming middle aged? Does it mean... Is it a particular type of religious system? Why this nonsense? What kind of intelligent person they are? It is a fact. Now we come to the old age. So I have come to the point of old age body after so many stages. Then where is the next? The next is tathā dehāntara: he'll get another body. This is very common sense.

Madhudviṣa: They won't accept that.

Prabhupāda: That means a rascal. Why should you not...? You answer, then what is next?

Madhudviṣa: They will say he is finished.

Prabhupāda: No, how it can be finished? How it can be finished? If you have come stage by stage by stage... It is finished to your eyes. Just like the sunshine is there. "In the evening there will be no more sun; it is finished." What is this nonsense? Is it finished? A rascal may say it is finished.

Rūpānuga: Out of sight, they say it is finished.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So this thing you have to convince them. Why should you allow them to remain a rascal? Now the sun is rising. Does it mean all of a sudden a sun is created? So these are the examples. You have to preach like that. Simply believe your eyes? You believe also there was no sun; now it is sun. That means all of a sudden a sun became created. See the intelligent persons and convince them. Yad yad ācārati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). Pick up the best man. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He picked up the best men, Sanātana Gosvāmī, Rūpa Gosvāmī. So His movement became successful. Sanātana Gosvāmī was not an ordinary man. Very educated, learned brāhmaṇa and minister, Caitanya Mahāprabhu picked up. Similarly Rūpa Gosvāmī, similarly Jīva Gosvāmī. Picked up means by His preaching they became converted. So similarly pick up a person like Sanātana Gosvāmī, intelligent, in position, and try to convince him. Why he will not be convinced, if he's a human being? This is not religion.

Morning Walk -- April 15, 1976, Bombay:

Dr. Patel: Then His kingdom can come on earth, not otherwise.

Prabhupāda: No, no. If one man becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, he can deliver many millions. Not expected... You cannot expect all to become, but if one man is there, Kṛṣṇa conscious, he can deliver. (break) Kaścid yatati siddhaye, yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścid... (BG 7.3). So it is not so easy thing, but if there is one Kṛṣṇa conscious person, he can deliver many millions. (break) ...ti śreṣṭhas ...lokas tad anuvartate. There must be one śreṣṭha, ideal man, and then everyone will follow. And there is no śreṣṭha. That is the difficulty.

Room Conversation -- May 4, 1976, Honolulu:

Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Already my father has noticed in his travels that some of his friends, their sons have joined our movement now too.

Prabhupāda: Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ, lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). If these big men of the world, they take it, "Oh, yes. Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is genuine," then naturally it will be followed by the others. So here is a good opportunity to contact big men of the world. So utilize it properly. You.... Both of you are intelligent. Very cautiously deal with them. They will understand that "Oh, these people are very honest men of character and high knowledge and God conscious." That will make our movement success.

Room Conversation -- June 9, 1976, Los Angeles:

Rāmeśvara: His name is Jay Warner.

Prabhupāda: Yes, I.... Ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ:"Anything which is accepted by leading men, that is accepted by others." So you are one of the leading men in the society, lawyer. If you understand our philosophy, then many others will follow. So kindly try to understand our philosophy thoroughly, and then others will follow: "He's big lawyer. He's a Kṛṣṇa conscious man." If you have any doubt, you can ask. We will try to explain. Asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu (BG 7.1). Find out this verse. (break)

Morning Walk -- June 11, 1976, Los Angeles:

Rāmeśvara: Śrīla Prabhupāda, you said yesterday, or a few days ago, that this movement will go on unimpeded for ten thousand years, so...

Prabhupāda: Yes, provided we keep it uncontaminated. You should take this opportunity.

Rāmeśvara: So after ten years we have gotten so many devotees and so many houses, so I can't imagine how big this movement will be after ten thousand years.

Prabhupāda: Yes. You'll get the government.

Rāmeśvara: The whole world will be delivered?

Prabhupāda: Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). America will be the best; people will follow. They are already following-skyscraper building, that's all. Any nation in the world, they are all aspiring to have skyscraper buildings. India has done? In Bombay?

Room Conversation with George Gullen, President of Wayne State University -- June 15, 1976, Detroit:

George Gullen: I'm sure there are many interpretations of what you say. I have an interest in these matters, and I want to know more about yours, very much so. I will see that I get your literature and read it.

Prabhupāda: Your father was also interested. That means naturally you have got some instinct from father, hereditary instinct. That is natural. So we want that.... In the Bhagavad-gītā there is a verse. Find out,

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

Hari-śauri:

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate

"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."

Prabhupāda: Purport?

Interview with Professors O'Connell, Motilal and Shivaram -- June 18, 1976, Toronto:

Prabhupāda: So this is, this plate is for me?

Guest (1): Yes.

Prabhupāda: No, no, keep it and I shall.... At least I shall see. It is for you, take it.

Guest (1): No, it's for you.

Prabhupāda: No, no. He'll save this for me.

Devotee (1): It's for you, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Nice. And no tea, no liquor. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ. If the professors chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, naturally the students will do that. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tad tad eva itaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). Less important person also follow. If the professor's chanting, the student will immediately follow. You can do better service. If I go, I request them, they'll not do it. But as soon as they: "My professor is doing. All right. Immediately."

Interview with Professors O'Connell, Motilal and Shivaram -- June 18, 1976, Toronto:

Prof. O'Connell: Swamiji, it may be time for us to take your leave. It was a great pleasure and honor to...

Prabhupāda: Thank you very much for your coming. Now my request is that you take up this movement. It is actually a great contribution to the human society. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭha (BG 3.21). Those who are leaders of the society, if they take it, it is easily understood and easily distributed. So there is no question of sectarian thought. It is the necessity of the human society to understand God.

Evening Darsana -- July 6, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Guest (5): I'm a bureaucrat, no longer a professor.

Prabhupāda: Whatever it may be... Because yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tad tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). If a chief man practices something, the followers also practice. So a businessman, professor, scientist, philosopher, they chant the holy name of God, there is no taxation, no income tax, but the income is very good. (laughter) So why people do not do it?

Conversation with George Harrison -- July 26, 1976, London:

George Harrison: I suppose some day the whole of the world will just be chanting in the country.

Prabhupāda: That is not possible, but if some of the leading men, they take it seriously, then others will follow. Just like in our book, your signature is there, "Oh, George Harrison. Yes." They take it without any consideration. Kṛṣṇa book. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tad tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). If the leading man does something, then his followers also do. This is the way. So if some of the leading men of the world, they take this movement seriously, then people will be happy. There's no doubt about it. You have come alone, without any associate?

Press Interview at Muthilal Rao's House -- August 17, 1976, Hyderabad:

Prabhupāda: I was explaining, imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). If the big big politicians, head of the state, they understand, yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21), others will follow.

Room Conversation -- December 20, 1976, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: But All India conference, it is not for mass understanding. Kṛṣṇa said yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ. Śreṣṭhaḥ means the leaders of society. Rājarṣayo. Not ordinary persons. Rāja, he must be just like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Lord Rāmacandra, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. They are rājarṣi. They are saintly persons, but they are governor. Such persons should understand. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ tad tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). If the śreṣṭha person understands Bhagavad-gītā, it is not for the mass of people.

Morning Walk -- December 25, 1976, Bombay:

Guest (1): But sir, would you not agree that in order to appeal to the masses or to make masses into any movement...

Prabhupāda: No, it is... You see... It is not... If you want to become an educated man or if you want to give first-class education, it is not for the mass. It is for the leader. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). If the leaders are educated, then others will follow. But if the leaders are not educated, what the others will do? That is the difficulty. And the so-called leaders, without being educated, they become leader.

Room Conversation with Mr. Tombe (M.L.A.) -- December 25, 1976, Bombay:

Mr. Tombe: Then how to throw out good leadership?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Good leadership means you must learn how to lead people. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). If the śreṣṭha, the leader is ideal, then others will follow. But if the leader is not ideal, if he is not in the awareness of things, then people will be misguided.

Room Conversation -- December 26, 1976, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: ...saintly person. Such men should understand. Rājarṣi. Not ordinary king. Ṛṣi. Ṛṣi tulya. So if one is religious, then he will institute. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). If the big, big leaders, politicians, they accept Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, then others will follow. Unfortunately, the leaders, they have their own interpretation. They won't accept Bhagavad-gītā. That is the difficulty.

Press Interview -- December 31, 1976, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Now how you will understand unless you come to the science? (break) Gandhi manufactured. The Bhagavad-gītā is spoken in the battlefield, and he wanted to draw the conclusion of nonviolence. What is this? Kṛṣṇa says kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ viṣame... "In this battlefield you are talking of nonsense, that 'I'll not fight.' " He says so and Gandhi wanted to make it nonviolent. Just see how from the very beginning he distorted. And people accept it. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). He was a śreṣṭha, leader. So whatever he will say people will accept. The whole India became spoiled.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- January 8, 1977, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: If big, big men do like that, then what the followers will do? Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). This is the position of our country, that everyone has misguided in the name of leadership, and people are in bewilderment—"What to do?"

Room Conversation -- March 26, 1977, Bombay:

Svarūpa Dāmodara: A few students came day before yesterday from Bombay University.

Prabhupāda: Let them come.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: They wanted to study in Bhaktivedanta Institute.

Prabhupāda: Very good. Give them good place. We don't want tenants or... Turn the whole building into Bhaktivedanta Institute. And another building start. Yes. We have got enough place. I want that the intelligent man should come and learn this science. That is wanted.

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

These people. Bring important men, important student. Take this opportunity. Give them nice place so that they may not be uncomfortable. Give them good food.

Room Conversation with Ratan Singh Rajda (Member of Parliament) -- March 27, 1977, Bombay:

Indian (2): He has clarified. Up to three days or four days he has clarified. On Friday it was not clarified. Today it was clarified.

Prabhupāda: Why not government make people God conscious? It is very simple thing. God personally is explaining how to become God conscious. Very simple thing. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). Four things. Even a child can do it. So why not leaders? Then their example should be followed.

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

Why don't they do this, this God consciousness? Do it seriously. Then everything will be all right.

Room Conversation -- October 11, 1977, Vrndavana:

Parivrājakācārya: Yes. There's... Some people in their family are very good, and they're very interested in learning about Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They can do... They can do very good things for the world if they simply have knowledge of what to do. So we're trying to preach to intelligent people.

Prabhupāda: Yes, intelligent. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). What intelligent man takes up, so ordinary man, ordinary generally follow. Bhagavad-gītā is meant for rājarṣi, not for foolish. Imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Not for a so-called loafer class. Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham. That is being mistaken. Bhagavad-gītā should be taught to such royal family, and if they take up, others will take up. Hm? Ātreya Ṛṣi?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Do you follow?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: This is a good chance that you have got, a connection with royal family, and if you turn them to saintly, then the work is successful. Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1). Not that third-class foolish can understand what is Bhagavad-gītā.

Room Conversation -- October 13, 1977, Vrndavana:

Dhṛṣṭadyumna: My brother is an architect, Śrīla Prabhupāda, and he's helping us to design the community plan for the small village and the temple. He's working very hard to help set up an ideal Vedic community.

Prabhupāda: Keep always engaged yourself in Kṛṣṇa activity. That is wanted. Jaya. (break) ...yad yad ācarati... (BG 3.21).

Correspondence

1969 Correspondence

Letter to Damodara -- Los Angeles 16 August, 1969:

The Sankirtana Movement is the panacea for all problems of the world. The people are suffering on account of illusory happiness of this material world, and we have got great responsibility to enlighten them with Krishna Consciousness. I understand that you are considering to invite President Nixon in our temple, and if you are serious about it and if there is hint that President Nixon may visit our temple, then I can postpone my journey to Europe for the time being. I shall be so glad to receive President Nixon in our temple, and this will be a great incident. In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated yad yad acarati sresthas tat tat evetaro janah (BG 3.21). The thing is that people generally follow their leaders. So if one leader is convinced about the importance of this movement, many others will follow. So if actually you invite President Nixon, it will be a great forward step in our movement. If the President comes, then we can invite many other important men, and they will also come, as well as the press representatives will come. So there will be a great assembly, and if we can convince them even a very little of our transcendental movement, it will be a great stride. So if possible, try for this arrangement seriously, and pray to Krishna. He will help you. Please keep me informed of your activities in this connection. On the whole I am so much pleased that you have opened a branch in Washington, which is the center of all elites.

1974 Correspondence

Letter to Dr. Ghosh:

You have written to say you are 79 years old. I am also 78. You are such a learned medical man, if you preach Krsna consciousness to people it will be well received.

yad yad acarati sresthas tad tad evetaro janah
sa yat pramanam kurute lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

I wish that in the fag end of life if you and I together can preach Krsna Consciousness all over the world, people will be benefited and all problems of the world will be solved. That is my conviction. I take the opportunity of sending this letter with your cousin-brother Mr. Zazumdar. He is a nice gentleman, almost of our age. I talked with him and felt great pleasure. Sometimes I think of going to Allahabad. So whenever I shall get the opportunity I may go, as I like the place. I am obliged to you for your remembering me even after so many years passed when we were together in Prayag Pharmacy.

Letter to Dr. Ghosh:

Sometimes back, when I was in Moscow, I had discussion with a big professor, Kotovsky, and I challenged him. "Where is the difference between the Communist philosophy and any other? Everyone has to accept a particular leader and follow his instructions under a brand of ism." But because leaders are all fools and rascals, the ultimate result of following them is disappointment. In the western countries there have been many revolutions, in France, England, Germany and Russia, simply to change leaders of this ism to that ism. In India also since India's contact with the western countries, there have been certain types of revolutions, and they are now going on. Recently in our experience there was attempt to drive away the British. This revolution changed India from dependence to independence, but factually the situation has deteriorated from bad to worse. We are old friends, we know that in Allahabad when I was there, ghee was selling for 1 kg. per 1 rupee, and now its costs 20-25 rupees per kg. In this way, things have not improved, in so many ways. This is due to imperfect leaders.

Therefore our propaganda is to educate people to accept Krsna as the perfect leader in all fields of activity, and if people take to it seriously they will be happy in this life and after quitting this body he goes back to home, back to Godhead. There is no difficulty in understanding this philosophy in full brain and it is the urgent necessity that it be spread all over the world.

Therefore the best service to human society is to educate them after the principle of the Gita, otherwise they are losing the chance of perfection in the human life and going down again to the circle of birth and death and transmigration in different species of life numbering 8,400,000. It is very interesting to discuss on this point and it will be a great pleasure for me if you come and stay with me for some time and preach this philosophy amongst the higher section of society. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita:

yad yad acarati srestas tad tad evetaro janaj
sa yat pramanam kurute lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

Thanking you in anticipation,

Yours sincerely,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

ACBS/sdg

1975 Correspondence

Letter to Sri Raj Kapoor -- Vrindaban 26 August, 1975:

I am in due receipt of your letter dated August 14, 1975 with enclosed check for Rs. 2222/- and Membership form. Sometimes in the year 1954 if I am correct I had the chance of meeting you in Jhansi. At that time I was trying to organize my movement with the help of some young men at the Bhakti Bhavan, Jhansi.

So after ten years of struggle, in 1965 I went to USA, and by the grace of Krishna it has become successful all over Europe, America, Canada, and Australia. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita; yad yad acarati sresthas, tad tad evetaro janah, sa yat paramanam kurute, lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21). "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.". Your donation to this movement and your becoming the Patron Member is a very great thing, and it will ensure others who will also follow in your footsteps. So I am very much grateful to you.

Please visit our Hare Krishna Land Juhu for Janmastami and Vyasa Puja Day on the 30th instant. I think the Mayor of Bombay will preside over the meeting.

Letter to Sri Ram Kumar:

I am in due receipt of your nice letter and am very pleased to read the contents. It is rare that an important man like yourself understands the prime importance of the Krishna consciousness movement. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Sri Krishna says that it is the specific duty of the leaders of society to give an example of Krishna consciousness so that the common people will follow, yad yad arcarati srethas (BG 3.21). Elsewhere in Bhagavad-gita the Lord says that it is the leaders of the society who can understand rightly this transcendental knowledge; imam rajaso vidhuh.

1976 Correspondence

Letter to Dr. Dave -- Vrindaban 1 October, 1976:

I am in due receipt of your kind letter dated 28th September, 1976 and noted the contents with care. I am very much pleased that such a highly qualified person as you desire to join our movement. We require many such persons as you to make our movement successful.

yad yad acarati sresthas
tad tad evetaro janah
sa yat pramanam kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
(BG 3.21)

"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." (Bhagavad-gita, 3.21)

It is the Vedic system that after 50 years of life one has to take to Vanaprastha, then take to Sannyasa.

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Compiled byMadhuGopaldas +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entry24 February 11 +
Date of last entry16 March 11 +
Total quotes97 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 1 +, SB: 8 +, CC: 3 +, OB: 1 +, Lec: 35 +, Conv: 43 + and Let: 6 +