prajānāṁ pitaro ye ca
śāstāraḥ sādhavaḥ samāḥ
yadi syāt teṣu vaiṣamyaṁ
kaṁ yānti śaraṇaṁ prajāḥ
prajānām—of the citizens; pitaraḥ—protectors, guardians (kings or government servants); ye—they who; ca—and; śāstāraḥ—give instructions concerning law and order; sādhavaḥ—endowed with all good qualities; samāḥ—equal to everyone; yadi—if; syāt—there is; teṣu—among them; vaiṣamyam—partiality; kam—what; yānti—will go to; śaraṇam—shelter; prajāḥ—the citizens.
A king or governmental official should be so well qualified that he acts as a father, maintainer and protector of the citizens because of affection and love. He should give the citizens good advice and instructions according to the standard scriptures and should be equal to everyone. Yamarāja does this, for he is the supreme master of justice, and so do those who follow in his footsteps. However, if such persons become polluted and exhibit partiality by punishing an innocent, blameless person, where will the citizens go to take shelter for their maintenance and security?
The king, or in modern times the government, should act as the guardian of the citizens by teaching them the proper goal of life. The human form of life is especially meant for realization of one’s self and one’s relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead because this cannot be realized in animal life. The duty of the government, therefore, is to take charge of training all the citizens in such a way that by a gradual process they will be elevated to the spiritual platform and will realize the self and his relationship with God. This principle was followed by kings like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Lord Rāmacandra, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and Prahlāda Mahārāja. The leaders of the government must be very honest and religious because otherwise all the affairs of the state will suffer. Unfortunately, in the name of democracy, rogues and thieves are electing other rogues and thieves to the most important posts in the government. Recently this has been proven in America, where the president had to be condemned and dragged down from his post by the citizens. This is only one case, but there are many others. Because of the importance of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, people should be Kṛṣṇa conscious and should not vote for anyone who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then there will be actual peace and prosperity in the state. When a Vaiṣṇava sees mismanagement in the government, he feels great compassion in his heart and tries his best to purify the situation by spreading the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement.
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