Man is rational. Man is animal, but rational animal. The special gift to man is that he can decide what is good, what is bad. He has got an extra knowledge than the animals

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"Man is rational. Man is animal, but rational animal. The special gift to man is that he can decide what is good, what is bad. He has got an extra knowledge than the animals"

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Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Man is rational. Man is animal, but rational animal. The special gift to man is that he can decide what is good, what is bad. He has got an extra knowledge than the animals. So at the present moment the education system is so bad that it is practically animal education.
Man is Animal, but Rational Animal
- Prabhupāda 0281


Lecture on BG 7.2 -- San Francisco, September 11, 1968:

Yaj jñātvā neha bhūyo 'nyaj jñātavyam avaśiṣyate (BG 7.2). Bhūyo means no more to understand anything. Everything is completely known. Then the question may be why people do not understand Kṛṣṇa. That is, of course, a relevant question, and that is being answered by Kṛṣṇa in the next verse.

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
(BG 7.3)

Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu. There are different kinds of men. Just like we know everyone on this planet only, apart from other planets, there are hundreds and thousands varieties of men. Even here we are sitting, so many ladies and gentlemen, there are different varieties. And if you go outside, there are different varieties. If you go to another country—India, Japan, China—you'll find different. Therefore it is said, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu (BG 7.3), out of many, many different varieties of men, kaścid yatati siddhaye, only a few persons decide to understand the philosophy of life.

Because man is rational animal. Man is rational. Man is animal, but rational animal. The special gift to man is that he can decide what is good, what is bad. He has got an extra knowledge than the animals. So at the present moment the education system is so bad that it is practically animal education. Animal education means when at the present moment the education system is so bad that it is practically animal education. Animal education means when we are too much interested with eating, sleeping, mating and defending, that is animal education. Eating, sleeping, mating and defending, oh, you'll find in animals. There is no distinction. They have got their own defending measures, they have got their own sleeping measures, they have got their own mating measures. You are mating with your wife in a secluded place, in a nice room, in a decorated room, but a dog is mating on the street, but the result is the same. So to improve the method of mating is not advancement of civilization. That is animal civilization polished, that's all. The animal also, the dog can also defend from other dogs. And if you think that you have discovered atomic energy to defend yourself, that is not advancement of human civilization. The defending measure, that's all. Similarly, you go on analyzing.

The analysis of man is perfect when he is searching after his constitutional position. "What I am? What I am? Am I this body? Why I have come to this world?" This inquisitiveness required. That is the special prerogative of human being. Therefore as soon as one begins to inquire "What I am?" and if he goes on searching after this, then he will come to God. Because he is part and parcel of God. He is sample of God. Therefore manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu (BG 7.3). Out of many, many thousands varieties of men, one, or say a few persons, may be interested to know God. Not only know... Not to know God, just to know himself. And if he actually wants to know himself, then gradually he will come to God.