Chapter 3 Karma Yoga Verse 15

Yadyad aacharati shreshthas tattadevetaro janah;
Sa yat pramaanam kurute lokas tad anuvartate.

Whatsoever a great man does, that other men also do;
whatever he sets up as the standard, that the world follows.


In this Shloka Lord Krishna teaches Arjuna about the virtues of a great man. He defines who a great man is. A great man is the one who does things on his own, without any hesitations. The work done by great man will be followed by other men also. It means that other men just follow the footsteps of the great man and do that work. He also says that a great man sets very high standards for the work he does and the whole world will follow the standards set by the great man.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

In our day to day life, how do we identify great men? Those people who silently work and make difference to others lives are the great men. We have a Mahatma Gandhi, we have a Rabindranath Tagore, we have a CV Raman or APJ Abdul Kalam or a Sachin Tendulkar who are in this list. They are great because they tirelessly work for achieving things that they always wanted to achieve. Their achievements are an inspiration to others and their actions would be followed by others.

The second line of the verse talks about great men’s standards followed by the World. Here we have numerous examples. Let’s look at our role models. A person becomes a role model for us because we get inspired by the kind of standards that they have set for themselves. We also want to work lke them and achieve many more things than like them. Role models exist in our day to day life also and they teach us very important things about the standards we need to follow, discipline that we need to adopt so that we can also become great men and women like them.