astau masan nipitam yad
bhumyas coda-mayam vasu
sva-gobhir moktum arebhe
parjanyah kala agate
With its rays, the sun had for eight months drunk up the earth’s wealth in the form of water. Now that the proper time had arrived, the sun began releasing this accumulated wealth.
The acaryas compare the sun’s evaporating the earth’s wealth of water to a king’s collecting taxes. In Chapter Twenty, of Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Srila Prabhupada explains this analogy as follows: “Clouds are accumulated water drawn from the land by the sunshine. Continually for eight months the sun evaporates all kinds of water from the surface of the globe, and this water is accumulated in the shape of clouds, which are distributed as water when there is need. Similarly, a government exacts various taxes from the citizens, such as income tax and sales tax, which the citizens are able to pay by their different material activities: agriculture, trade, industry and so on. This taxation is compared to the sun’s drawing water from the earth. When there is again need of water on the surface of the globe, the same sunshine converts the water into clouds and distributes it all over the globe. Similarly, the taxes collected by the government must be distributed to the people again, as educational work, public work, sanitation work and so on. This is very essential for a good government. The government should not simply exact taxes for useless squandering; the tax collection should be utilized for the public welfare of the state.”