Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 4 - Chapter 1 - Verse 1


मैत्रेय उवाचभृग्वादयस्ते मुनयो लोकानां क्षेमदर्शिन: ।गोप्तर्यसति वै नृणां पश्यन्त: पशुसाम्यताम् ॥ १ ॥


maitreya uvācabhṛgv-ādayas te munayolokānāṁ kṣema-darśinaḥgoptary asati vai nṝṇāṁpaśyantaḥ paśu-sāmyatām


The great sage Maitreya continued: O great hero Vidura, the great sages, headed by Bhṛgu, were always thinking of the welfare of the people in general. When they saw that in the absence of King Aṅga there was no one to protect the interests of the people, they understood that without a ruler the people would become independent and nonregulated.


In this verse the significant word is kṣema-darśinaḥ, which refers to those who are always looking after the welfare of the people in general. All the great sages headed by Bhṛgu were always thinking of how to elevate all the people of the universe to the spiritual platform. Indeed, they advised the kings of every planet to rule the people with that ultimate goal of life in mind. The great sages used to advise the head of the state, or the king, and he used to rule the populace in accordance with their instruction. After the disappearance of King Aṅga, there was no one to follow the instructions of the great sages. Consequently all the citizens became unruly, so much so that they could be compared to animals. As described in Bhagavad-gītā (4.13), human society must be divided into four orders according to quality and work. In every society there must be an intelligent class, administrative class, productive class and worker class. In modern democracy these scientific divisions are turned topsy-turvy, and by vote śūdras, or workers, are chosen for administrative posts. Having no knowledge of the ultimate goal of life, such persons whimsically enact laws without knowledge of life’s purpose. The result is that no one is happy.