18. Many plants and creepers that were almost dead during the months of April and May are now visible again in various forms, for they are nourished by their roots in the moist earth. These numberless plants and creepers resemble persons who dry up in severe penances for some material gain but then achieve their objectives and become luxuriously fat, nourished by sense enjoyment.
In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that when the daytime of Brahmā is over, the manifested creations of the universe all vanish, and after the end of Brahmā’s night the creation is manifested again. Thus the cosmic creation, in its manifestation and nonmanifestation, resembles the creepers and plants that appear during the rainy season and gradually vanish when the season is over.
Even when the plants and creepers are no longer to be seen, their seeds remain, and these dormant seeds fructify in contact with water. Similarly, the seedlike spiritual sparks who are dominated by the desire to lord it over the material nature exist in a dormant state after the cosmic manifestation is annihilated; and when the cosmic manifestation reappears, all the silent living beings within the womb of material nature come out and engage in sense enjoyment, thereby growing luxuriously fat.
To attain liberation, one must be completely purified of perverted forms of desire. A living being cannot snuff out desires, and to practice artificially erasing the actions of desire is more dangerous than the active desires themselves. All desires should be reformed and directed toward spiritual activities; otherwise those same desires will repeatedly manifest themselves in different varieties of material enjoyment, thus conditioning the living being perpetually in material bondage.
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