Canto 4: Creation of the Fourth OrderChapter 29: Talks Between Nārada and King Prācīnabarhi

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.29.73

arthe hy avidyamāne 'pi

saḿsṛtir na nivartate

dhyāyato viṣayān asya

svapne 'narthāgamo yathā


arthe — sense objects; hi — certainly; avidyamāne — not being present; api — although; saḿsṛtiḥ — material existence; na — never; nivartate — ceases; dhyāyataḥ — meditating; viṣayān — on sense objects; asya — of the living being; svapnein dream; anartha — of unwanted things; āgamaḥ — appearance; yathāas.


When the living entity dreams, the sense objects are not actually present. However, because one has associated with the sense objects, they become manifest. Similarly, the living entity with undeveloped senses does not cease to exist materially, even though he may not be exactly in contact with the sense objects.


It is sometimes said that because a child is innocent he is completely pure. Actually this is not the fact. The effects of fruitive activities reserved in the subtle body appear in three concurrent stages. One is called bīja (the root), another is called kūṭa-stha (the desire), and another is called phalonmukha (about to fructify). The manifest stage is called prārabdha (already in action). In a conscious or unconscious state, the actions of the subtle or gross bodies may not be manifest, but such states cannot be called the liberated state. A child may be innocent, but this does not mean that he is a liberated soul. Everything is held in reservation, and everything will become manifest in due course of time. Even in the absence of certain manifestations in the subtle body, the objects of sense enjoyment may act. The example has been given of a nocturnal emission, in which the physical senses act even when the physical objects are not manifest. The three modes of material nature may not be manifest in the subtle body, but the contamination of the three modes remains conserved, and in due course of time, it becomes manifest. Even if the reactions of the subtle and gross bodies are not manifest, one does not become free from the material conditions. Therefore it is wrong to say that a child is as good as a liberated soul.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness