vasu kāla upādatte
kāle cāyaṁ vimuñcati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
pratapan sūryavad vibhuḥ
vasu—riches; kāle—in due course of time; upādatte—exacts; kāle—in due course of time; ca—also; ayam—this King Pṛthu; vimuñcati—returns; samaḥ—equal; sarveṣu—to all; bhūteṣu—living entities; pratapan—shining; sūrya-vat—like the sun-god; vibhuḥ—powerful.
This King Pṛthu will be as powerful as the sun-god, and just as the sun-god equally distributes his sunshine to everyone, King Pṛthu will distribute his mercy equally. Similarly, just as the sun-god evaporates water for eight months and, during the rainy season, returns it profusely, this King will also exact taxes from the citizens and return these monies in times of need.
The process of tax exaction is very nicely explained in this verse. Tax exaction is not meant for the sense gratification of the so-called administrative heads. Tax revenues should be distributed to the citizens in times of need, during emergencies such as famine or flood. Tax revenues should never be distributed amongst governmental servants in the form of high salaries and various other allowances. In Kali-yuga, however, the position of the citizens is very horrible because taxes are exacted in so many forms and are spent for the personal comforts of the administrators.
The example of the sun in this verse is very appropriate. The sun is many millions of miles away from the earth, and although the sun does not actually touch the earth, it manages to distribute land all over the planet by exacting water from the oceans and seas, and it also manages to make that land fertile by distributing water during the rainy season. As an ideal king, King Pṛthu would execute all this business in the village and state as expertly as the sun.
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