Bg 3.21

यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जनः ।
स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते ॥२१॥

Text

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate

Synonyms

yatplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigyat

//which//; about whom; all these; all those; although; and as; and whichever; anything; as; as a matter of fact; as it is; as its; as much as; as they are; because; because of; because of which; because of whom; by the result of which; by the Supreme Lord; by which; by which way; by whom (the Supreme Lord); by whom; by whose; by whose merciful; even though; everything that was required; fixed under Your direction; for; for which; from both of whom; from him; from which; from whom; from whose; from Yuyudha; he whose; his; His eternal form which; his son; if; in which; in whom; inasmuch as; Kṛṣṇa; now further; of him (Somāpi); of him; of Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune; of the fire-gods; of the Lord; of the Supreme Lord; of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; of which (the intermediate space); of which; of whom (of the Supreme Lord); who; who is; whom; whose; whose form; Your.
—whatever; yatplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigyat

//which//; about whom; all these; all those; although; and as; and whichever; anything; as; as a matter of fact; as it is; as its; as much as; as they are; because; because of; because of which; because of whom; by the result of which; by the Supreme Lord; by which; by which way; by whom (the Supreme Lord); by whom; by whose; by whose merciful; even though; everything that was required; fixed under Your direction; for; for which; from both of whom; from him; from which; from whom; from whose; from Yuyudha; he whose; his; His eternal form which; his son; if; in which; in whom; inasmuch as; Kṛṣṇa; now further; of him (Somāpi); of him; of Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune; of the fire-gods; of the Lord; of the Supreme Lord; of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; of which (the intermediate space); of which; of whom (of the Supreme Lord); who; who is; whom; whose; whose form; Your.
—and whichever; ācaratiplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigācarati

behaves; does he act; executes; performs.
—does he act; śreṣṭhaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsresthah

respectable leader; seniormost; the best; the best man; the best of all kings; the most powerful (the thunderbolt); you are the best.
—respectable leader; tatplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigtat

establishment of the statement //tat tvam asi//.
—that; tatplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigtat

establishment of the statement //tat tvam asi//.
—and that alone; evaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigeva

alone; also; also the word //eva//; although; as; as it is; as it were; as much as; as they are; at all; at that time; certainly; certainly,; certainty; completely; definitely; even; ever; exactly; exactly like; factually; Himself; immediately; in fact; in this way; indeed; it is all like that; just; just so; like; like that; like this; of course; on the very; only; quite; simply; so; surely; the word //eva//; they are; thus; truly; undoubtedly; very; without doubt.
—certainly; itaraḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigitarah

common; different from; irreligion (the opposite of //dharma//); someone else; the lesser; the people in general; the subordinate man.
—common; janaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigjanah

a foolish person; a person; a person who is not a bona fide //guru// (an ordinary person); all the people; any person; anyone; every living entity within this material world; human society; man; men; people in general; person; persons; such a person; the conditioned soul; the conditioned soul subjected to birth and death; the Janaloka planet; the Janaloka planetary system; the people in general; the person; the planetary system above Mahar; they.
—person; saḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsaḥ

//mahat-tattva//; a person (Kaṁsa); a son; Aghāsura; all; anyone; Bharata Mahārāja; Brahmā; child Parīkṣit; Dakṣa; Dhruva; Dhruva Mahārāja; Dhṛtarāṣṭra; Durvāsā Muni; he (Agastya); he (Aghāsura); he (Ajāmila); he (Ambarīṣa Mahārāja); he (Aṅgirā Ṛṣi); He (Baladeva); he (Bali Mahārāja); he (Brahmā); he (Brahmājī); he (Budha); he (Citraketu); he (Dakṣa); he (Devāpi); he (Dhruva Mahārāja); he (Dhruva); he (Droṇa); he (Durvāsā); he (Emperor Manu); he (Gajendra); he (Garuḍa); he (Hiraṇyakaśipu); he (Hiraṇyakaśipu, the King of the Daityas); he (Indra); he (Jamadagni); he (Janamejaya); he (Jaḍa Bharata); he (Kardama); he (Kaṁsa); he (King Citraketu); he (King Hūhū); he (King Indra); he (King Kaṁsa); he (King Nīpa); he (King Pṛthu); he (King Rantideva); he (King Āgnīdhra); he (Kārtavīryārjuna); He (Kṛṣṇa); He (Lakṣmaṇa, the brother of Lord Rāmacandra); he (Lord Brahmā); He (Lord Kṛṣṇa); He (Lord Rāmacandra); He (Lord Viṣṇu); he (Lord Śiva); he (Mahārāja Ambarīṣa); he (Mahārāja Bharata); he (Mahārāja Priyavrata); he (Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa); he (Maitreya Muni); he (Manu); he (my father); he (Nahuṣa); he (Nābhāga); he (one who is not self-controlled); he (Prahlāda Mahārāja); he (Purūravā); he (Rantideva); he (Sarvatejā); He (Satyasena); he (Soma, the moon-god); he (Svāyambhuva Manu); he (that hunter); he (that uncivilized Kaṁsa); he (the //muni//); he (the conditioned soul); he (the devotee); he (the great man); he (the individual soul); he (the King); he (the leader of the elephants); He (the Lord); He (the Personality of Godhead); he (the serpent); he (the sun-god); He (the Supreme Lord); He (the Supreme Person); He (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); he (Vasudeva); he (Vasudeva, also known as Ānakadundubhi); he (Venus); he (Vidura); he (Viśvarūpa); He (Vāmanadeva); he (Vāsudeva); he (Vīrabhadra); he (Vṛtra); he (Vṛtrāsura); he (Śukadeva Gosvāmī); he (Śukrācārya); he (Śūra); he (Ṛcīka); he (Ṛṣyaśṛṅga); he; He alone; he is; he, Durvāsā Muni; he, Hariścandra; he, Jamadagni; he, King Purūravā; he, Kārtavīryārjuna; he, Lord Paraśurāma; He, Lord Rāmacandra; he, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa; he, Mahārāja Sagara; he, Prahlāda Mahārāja; he, Purañjaya; he, Purūravā; he, Rohita; he, Rāvaṇa; he, Saubhari Muni; he, Saubhari Ṛṣi; he, so celebrated; he, Soma; he, the //brāhmaṇa//; he, the King; He, the Lord; he, Varuṇa; he, Vasiṣṭha; he, Vidura; He, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; Hiraṇyakaśipu; Hiraṇyākṣa; His Lordship; His Lordship the Supreme Personality of Godhead; his son Utkala; I am the same powerful person; is he; it; Jambhāsura; Kardama Muni; Kaśyapa; Kaśyapa Muni; King Dakṣa; King Indra; King Malayadhvaja; King Purañjana; King Pṛthu; King Vena; King Yayāti; Kṛṣṇa; Kṛṣṇa Himself; Lord Brahmā; Lord Kṛṣṇa; Lord Śiva; Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; Mahārāja Bharata; Mahārāja Ikṣvāku; Mahārāja Yayāti; Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira; myself; one such as your good self; one who does so; Prahlāda Mahārāja; Prajāpati Dakṣa; Revata; so myself; someone; such; such a devotee; such a person; such a person as I am; such a personality; Sudyumna; Svāyambhuva Manu; that (great demon Maya Dānava); that (having the above symptoms); that (Supreme Personality of Godhead); that (Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa); that //brāhmaṇa//; that //yoga// system; that; that Ajāmila; that arrow; that banyan tree; that boy of the name Vena; whether that person; which; You; Your Lordship; yourself.
—he; yatplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigyat

//which//; about whom; all these; all those; although; and as; and whichever; anything; as; as a matter of fact; as it is; as its; as much as; as they are; because; because of; because of which; because of whom; by the result of which; by the Supreme Lord; by which; by which way; by whom (the Supreme Lord); by whom; by whose; by whose merciful; even though; everything that was required; fixed under Your direction; for; for which; from both of whom; from him; from which; from whom; from whose; from Yuyudha; he whose; his; His eternal form which; his son; if; in which; in whom; inasmuch as; Kṛṣṇa; now further; of him (Somāpi); of him; of Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune; of the fire-gods; of the Lord; of the Supreme Lord; of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; of which (the intermediate space); of which; of whom (of the Supreme Lord); who; who is; whom; whose; whose form; Your.
—whichever; pramāṇamplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigpramāṇam

as evidence or as the right thing; authority; evidence; evidences; evidential facts; extent and measurement; standard; the evidence; the extent.
—evidence; kuruteplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigkurute

accepts; do; does; does perform; executes; He does; he performs; is doing; it so does; make; makes; performs; shows; so does; sometimes does; will make.
—does perform; lokaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_biglokah

all living entities; all the planets; all the universes; all the world; and the universe; any person; conditioned souls; everyone; everyone in every planet; in this world; materialistic people in general; people; people in general; persons; planet; promotion to higher planets; such less intelligent persons; the conditioned souls; the general mass of people; the general public; the people; the people in general; the people of the world; the planet; the planetary system; the planets; the whole creation; the world; this material world (where one desires all kinds of impermanent things); this world; universe; world.
—all the world; tatplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigtat

establishment of the statement //tat tvam asi//.
—that; anuvartateplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_biganuvartate

follow; follow in the footsteps; follows.
—follow in the footsteps.

Translation

Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

Purport

People in general always require a leader who can teach the public by practical behavior. A leader cannot teach the public to stop smoking if he himself smokes. Lord Caitanya said that a teacher should behave properly even before he begins teaching. One who teaches in that way is called ācārya, or the ideal teacher. Therefore, a teacher must follow the principles of śāśtra (scripture) to reach the common man. The teacher cannot manufacture rules against the principles of revealed scriptures. The revealed scriptures, like Manu-saṁhitā and similar others, are considered the standard books to be followed by human society. Thus the leader’s teaching should be based on the principles of the standard rules as they are practiced by the great teachers. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also affirms that one should follow in the footsteps of great devotees, and that is the way of progress on the path of spiritual realization. The king or the executive head of a state, the father and the school teacher are all considered to be natural leaders of the innocent people in general. All such natural leaders have a great responsibility to their dependants; therefore they must be conversant with standard books of moral and spiritual codes.