bhumis turiyam jagraha
rupam bhumau pradrsyate
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
In return for King Indra’s benediction that ditches in the earth would be filled automatically, the land accepted one fourth of the sinful reactions for killing a brahmana. Because of those sinful reactions, we find many deserts on the surface of the earth.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Because deserts are manifestations of the earth’s diseased condition, no auspicious ritualistic ceremony can be performed in a desert. Persons destined to live in deserts are understood to be sharing the reactions for the sin of brahma-hatya, the killing of a brahmana.