People want good leaders, Unfortunately, throughout history citizens have been disappointed under the misrule of leaders who were more interested in their own desires than in the welfare of their countrymen. This is certainly the case in our modern age. Recently in the United States, for example, more than one hundred Reagan administration officials have faced allegations of questionable activities.

Misuse of power exacts a stringent toll, as when citizens must give up a significant portion of their money in taxes only to have it squandered on massive nuclear stockpiles, foolhardy scientific projects, multimillion-dollar loans that are never repaid, and many other injudicious schemes. Myriad social ills, such as war, crime, pollution, police brutality, and animal slaughter, can also be traced to poor government.


How can man overcome the curse of poor leadership that has confounded him for so long? The answer lies in his ability and determination to educate himself about the actual qualifications of a leader. A handsome face, an expensive suit, television charisma, and millions of advertising dollars don't make a leader. According to the Vedic literature, a leader must be either a pure devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or a person sane and humble enough to take direction from such an elevated soul.

A devotee of the Lord has all good qualities and is thus competent to govern the citizens fairly, effectively, and with full compassion. Because his mind is not disturbed by the demands of his senses, or by the virulent desires for money, fame, and power, his vision is clear, and he can see what needs to be done in all situations and on every level.

Because the godly ruler is deeply devoted to the Lord, he feels great affection for all the citizens, who are sons and daughters of the same supreme father. Just as a parent is able to make judicious decisions for the benefit of his children, owing to his deep love for them, so an advanced devotee of Lord Krsna, because of his heartfelt concern for the citizens, always makes proper judgments on their behalf.

In describing the superexcellent administration of Maharaja Yudhisthira, a world emperor of a former age, Srila Prabhupada comments,

By knowing the science of Krsna, one can become the most perfect man in the world, and unless one has knowledge in this science, all qualifications and doctorate diplomas acquired by academic education are spoiled and useless. Maharaja Yudhisthira knew this science of Krsna very well, for it is stated that by continuous cultivation of this science, or by continuous devotional service to Lord Krsna, he acquired the qualification of administering the state. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.12.4, purport)

It is unrealistic to expect that in this age of diverse cultures and political ideologies we could all live under one godly monarch. We can achieve the same effect, however, if we agree to educate ourselves about the spiritual qualities of a leader and elect only those candidates who cultivate these qualities and are willing to take direction from the great souls who possess them in full.

His Divine Grace A .C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was a great soul, a pure devotee of Lord Krsna who possessed all the noble qualities to be found in an ideal leader. Srila Prabhupada's books contain vital information for the perfect management of society. By understanding and applying his instructions, we can enjoy the same good results as those obtained by one living under the rule of a great king like Yudhisthira.

Throughout centuries man has placed his faith in a long succession of unqualified leaders who have led him to where he is today overwhelmed with perplexities and poised on the threshold of nuclear extinction. His attempts at a progressive life, without deference to the desires of the Supreme Lord, have been fraught with adversity, and he sinks deeply into a network of trouble that grows more dangerous every day.

It would be prudent for us to learn from history's glaring lessons and begin at once to align ourselves and our governments with Lord Krsna's plan for our material and spiritual well-being. A sincere attempt to do so will certainly invoke the favor of Lord Krsna.