यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जनः।
स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते।।3.21।।
3.21 Whatever a superior person does, another person does that very thing! Whatever he upholds as authority, an ordinary person follows that.
3.21 Whatever an eminent man, i.e., he, who is famous for his knowledge of all the scriptures and for his observance of the scriptural dictates, performs, others who have incomplete knowledge of the scriptures will also perform, following his example. With regard to any duty which is being performed with all its ancillaries by an eminent personage, the people with incomplete knowledge will do it with the same ancillaries. Therefore for the protection of the world, all acts that are appropriate to ones station and stage in life must always be performed by an eminent man who is distinguished for his wisdom. Otherwise, the evil generated from the ruin of the large masses of the world (who neglect their duties by following his example), will bring him down, even if he were a follower of pure Jnana Yoga.
Yadyad aacharati shreshthas tattadevetaro janah; Sa yat pramaanam kurute lokas tad anuvartate.
karmaṇā—by the performance of prescribed duties; eva—only; hi—certainly; sansiddhim—perfection; āsthitāḥ—attained; janaka-ādayaḥ—King Janak and other kings; loka-saṅgraham—for the welfare of the masses; eva api—only; sampaśhyan—considering; kartum—to perform; arhasi—you should; yat yat—whatever; ācharati—does; śhreṣhṭhaḥ—the best; tat tat—that (alone); eva—certainly; itaraḥ—common; janaḥ—people; saḥ—they; yat—whichever; pramāṇam—standard; kurute—perform; lokaḥ—world; tat—that; anuvartate—pursues