TEXTS 1a2a
sarvesam eva jantunam
satatam deha-posane
asti prajna samayatta
ko visesas tada nrnam
labdhvehante manusyatvam
hitva dehady-asad-graham
atma-srtya vihayedam
jivatma sa visisyate
SYNONYMS
sarvesam—all; eva—certainly; jantunam—of animals; satatam—always; deha-posane—to maintain the body; asti—there is; prajna—intelligence; samayatta—resting on; kah—what; visesah—difference; tada—then; nrnam—of the human beings; labdhva—having attained; iha—here; ante—at the end of many births; manusyatvam—a human life; hitva—after giving up; deha-adi—in the gross and subtle body; asat-graham—an incorrect conception of life; atma—of spiritual knowledge; srtya—by the path; vihaya—having abandoned; idam—this body; jiva-atma—the individual spirit soul; sah—that; visisyate—becomes prominent.
TRANSLATION
A desire to maintain body, wife and children is also observed in animal society. The animals have full intelligence to manage such affairs. If a human being is simply advanced in this respect, what is the difference between him and an animal? One should be very careful to understand that this human life is attained after many, many births in the evolutionary process. A learned man who gives up the bodily conception of life, both gross and subtle, will, by the enlightenment of spiritual knowledge, become a prominent individual spirit soul, as the Supreme Lord is also.
PURPORT
It is said that man is a rational animal, but from this verse we can also understand that rationality exists even in animal life. Unless there is rationality, how can an animal maintain its body by working so hard? That the animals are not rational is untrue; their rationality, however, is not very advanced. In any case, we cannot deny them rationality. The point is that one should use ones reason to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for that is the perfection of human life.

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