yah paramesthyam dhisanam
adhitisthan na kancana
pratyuttisthed iti bruyur
dharmam te na param viduh
yah—anyone who; paramesthyam—royal; dhisanam—throne; adhitisthan—sitting on; na—not; kancana—anyone; pratyuttisthet—should rise before; iti—thus; bruyuh—those who say; dharmam—the codes of religion; te—they; na—not; param—higher; viduh—know.
If a person says, “One who is situated on the exalted throne of a king should not stand up to show respect to another king or a brahmana,” it is to be understood that he does not know the superior religious principles.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says in this regard that when a president or king is sitting on his throne, he does not need to show respect to everyone who comes within his assembly, but he must show respect to superiors like his spiritual master, brahmanas and Vaisnavas. There are many examples of how he should act. When Lord Krsna was sitting on His throne and Narada fortunately entered His assembly, even Lord Krsna immediately stood up with His officers and ministers to offer respectful obeisances to Narada. Narada knew that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Krsna knew that Narada was His devotee, but although Krsna is the Supreme Lord and Narada is the Lord’s devotee, the Lord observed the religious etiquette. Since Narada was a brahmacari, a brahmana and an exalted devotee, even Krsna, while acting as a king, offered His respectful obeisances unto Narada. Such is the conduct visible in the Vedic civilization. A civilization in which the people do not know how the representative of Narada and Krsna should be respected, how society should be formed and how one should advance in Krsna consciousness—a society concerned only with manufacturing new cars and new skyscrapers every year and then breaking them to pieces and making new ones—may be technologically advanced, but it is not a human civilization. A human civilization is advanced when its people follow the catur-varnya system, the system of four orders of life. There must be ideal, first-class men to act as advisors, second-class men to act as administrators, third-class men to produce food and protect cows, and fourth-class men who obey the three higher classes of society. One who does not follow the standard system of society should be considered a fifth-class man. A society without Vedic laws and regulations will not be very helpful to humanity. As stated in this verse, dharmam te na param viduh: such a society does not know the aim of life and the highest principle of religion.
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