Beans, Bullets, and Bhagavad-gitas
Chapter Three: Text 21:
Please read text 21 of chapter three along with the purport, and then read the following commentary. Afterwards, each participant should offer a thought or comment on this passage.
yad yad acarati sresthas
tat tad evetaro janah
sa yat pramanam kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
As we have seen, people need a leader, someone to look up to, and learn from. Before a person can be a role model; however, he must become knowledgeable about and practice the thing he wishes to teach. One cannot teach someone to do something that one does not do oneself.
As Prabhupada explains, why should we listen to someone tell us to stop smoking if that person has not stopped themselves from smoking? If we are to take advice on how to quit smoking, then we should turn to someone who has already done the thing that we are trying to accomplish. Similarly, I am considered knowledgeable in the fields of philosophy and religious studies, and so I am considered qualified to teach others about these disciplines; but if I were to attempt to teach astro-physics, or managerial accounting, areas I know nothing about, I would not be able to instruct. Just as it is the case with these academic areas, it is also the case with other areas.
Lord Caitanya recognized that in order to instruct a person on the correct path, one must first live that path. Such a person is known as an acarya. Srila Prabhupada is listed as the Founder-acarya of the Hare Krsna Movement, which means that we can look to him as the ideal teacher. Prabhupada studied the revealed scripture from a bone fide spiritual master, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who studies under his spiritual master, who studies under his and so forth. In fact, there is an unbroken chain of acaryas leading back to Lord Caitanya Himself.
Because Prabhupada studied the revealed scriptures from a spiritual master, he did not try to create meaning as so many have done. Instead, he taught the message to his own disciples exactly as it was taught to him. This is why the text we regularly study is called Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, because it is the true, original, unaltered divine message.
Prabhupada lived his life as an example for others, and left a lasting legacy which millions still turn to for guidance. This is what is meant by being an acarya, one who not only gains the knowledge as it is, but lives one’s life according to its regulations, performing necessary duties, and devoting one’s life to the service of Krsna. It is the acarya who is the true teacher that we all should follow. If we follow one who does extraordinary things, then we can be led to do extraordinary things as well.
nama om vishnu-padaya krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale
shrimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Beautiful post! It's clean pointful simplicity is stunning like a cut diamond.
yad yad acreti; most important of verses. It applies in all matters whether devotional service or mundane karmic affairs. I have seen honest USA presidents and an honest society to match, and now we are seeing total corruption so low that now the people will no longer simply accept the criminality, but they are rebelling against the bad rulers.
This verse is self-explanatory.
For a child, the parents are his world. They are her role model. Hence children will follow their parents' actions and behavior. They won't listen to what parents say but they will follow their behavior. Hence parents should be very careful in their behavior, lest they pass on their traits onto their children. Every thing has to change at the grass root level. The children of tomorrow will change when they see the behavior of their parents acting in sync with the message of Krishna.
Similarly, if our leader is corrupt, the people of the country will follow in the footsteps of their leader. Hence we see every society, state and country is on the path to degradation.
The need of the hour is for at least one leader who is God Conscious, who is Krishna Conscious, who is able to follow the message of Krishna, so that seeing his behavior, the rest of the world will follow suit.
We need at least one leader of a country who knows the science of Krishna Consciousness and follows the message of Krishna in the Gita. And we shall see the transformation. Krishna promises us this in this verse.
Role models of spiritual life :) We need them desperately, so we can follow. Srila Prabhupada being the utmost model for us :)