(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
Devotee: "Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men will follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues (BG 3.21)."
Prabhupāda: This is very important. Therefore leaders must be very ideal men. Then automatically the country or the society becomes nicely situated. Because if the leader of the society is perfect... Therefore formerly, monarchy, monarchy was current, and the king was educated very highly, how to administer state. Just like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, ideal king. Lord Rāmacandra, ideal king. Somebody came to Lord Rāmacandra and made Him responsible that "How Your kingdom is going that my son in the presence of his father has died?" You see, king was responsible for that. If there is severe cold, the king is responsible for that. If there is severe heat, the king is responsible for that.
Just try to understand how much a king was responsible for the happiness of the citizens. They were ideal king, and therefore the citizens also followed. They became Kṛṣṇa conscious, they became all devotees. And if the leader is a sinful man and doing all impious activities, then how you can expect the citizens to be all good and pious? It is not possible. Therefore here, it is a very important subject matter. "Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men will follow in his footprints." Therefore good leader wanted. You haven't got to educate individually every citizen. If you have got a good leader, then the citizens automatically become good. "And whatever standard he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, December 30, 1968)