yad yac chīrṣaṇyācaritaṁ tat tad anuvartate lokaḥ.
yat yat—whatever; śīrṣaṇya—by the leading personalities; ācaritam—performed; tat tat—that; anuvartate—follow; lokaḥ—the people in general.
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.
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