yaḥ pārameṣṭhyaṁ dhiṣaṇam
adhitiṣṭhan na kañcana
pratyuttiṣṭhed iti brūyur
dharmaṁ te na paraṁ viduḥ
yaḥ—anyone who; pārameṣṭhyam—royal; dhiṣaṇam—throne; adhitiṣṭhan—sitting on; na—not; kañcana—anyone; pratyuttiṣṭhet—should rise before; iti—thus; brūyuḥ—those who say; dharmam—the codes of religion; te—they; na—not; param—higher; viduḥ—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 brāhmaṇa,” it is to be understood that he does not know the superior religious principles.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura 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, brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas. There are many examples of how he should act. When Lord Kṛṣṇa was sitting on His throne and Nārada fortunately entered His assembly, even Lord Kṛṣṇa immediately stood up with His officers and ministers to offer respectful obeisances to Nārada. Nārada knew that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Kṛṣṇa knew that Nārada was His devotee, but although Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord and Nārada is the Lord’s devotee, the Lord observed the religious etiquette. Since Nārada was a brahmacārī, a brāhmaṇa and an exalted devotee, even Kṛṣṇa, while acting as a king, offered His respectful obeisances unto Nārada. Such is the conduct visible in the Vedic civilization. A civilization in which the people do not know how the representative of Nārada and Kṛṣṇa should be respected, how society should be formed and how one should advance in Kṛṣṇa 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 cātur-varṇya 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, dharmaṁ te na paraṁ viduḥ: such a society does not know the aim of life and the highest principle of religion.
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