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(Srila Prabhupada and Dr. Patel walking on Juhu Beach, Bombay)

Devotee (reading): "O Lord, You have descended especially for the purpose of annihilating all kinds of disturbing elements within the world, and because You are the Absolute Truth, there is no difference between Your mercy and punishment."

Prabhupāda: ...surgical operation is there, the knife is being used on the body, that means he is getting relief. It is not punishment. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (Hindi) [break]

Devotee: Is that benefit coming in all suffering or only when it is given by Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Yes. When there is suffering given by Kṛṣṇa... Therefore a devotee does not take seriously suffering. Tat te 'nukampāṁ susumīkṣamāṇaḥ (SB 10.14.8). A devotee thinks, "It is the favor of Kṛṣṇa that he has put me into suffering." They never see suffering as suffering. It is favor of Kṛṣṇa. That is devotee's vision. It is exactly like a son who knows his father well. If the father slaps, the son never protests. He knows that "It is good for me." Similarly, a devotee is never disturbed when there is suffering given by Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: A karmī is suffering just the laws of...

Prabhupāda: The karmī is different. The karmī is suffering. He is suffering just like criminal is suffering. A criminal is given slap by the police. That slap, and the father is giving slap, that slap is different. Although it looks the same thing, but there is great difference.

Devotee (2): So there is no benefit to suffering unless it is connected with Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Yes. When Kṛṣṇa... Therefore we shall fully surrender to Kṛṣṇa. As Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says, mārobi rākhobi yo icchā tohārā: "Now I surrender. Now if you want to maintain me, that is all right, and if You want to kill me, that is also all right." This is surrender. It is not business, "If You maintain me, then I surrender. If You kill me, then I do not." It is not like that. Mārobi rākhobi yo icchā tanhārā. "As You like. If You want to maintain, that is also good; if You want to kill, that is also good." This is devotee's view.

Devotee (2): Someone might say, "But if one is surrendered why should Kṛṣṇa give him trouble?"

Prabhupāda: Yes, it is because he is always free. Why do you make Kṛṣṇa dependent on your so-called goodwill, that "Kṛṣṇa must give me always pleasure"? This is sense gratification. This is sense gratification that you approach Kṛṣṇa for your comfort, sense gratification. That is not bhakti. That is sense gratification. Prahlāda Mahārāja was given suffering by his father so harshly, but he never said, "Oh, I am devotee and Kṛṣṇa giving me so much trouble? Oh! Give it up." He never said that. Neither he asked Kṛṣṇa to come and save him. That is Kṛṣṇa-bhakti. The Pāṇḍavas. The Pāṇḍavas, they were always with Kṛṣṇa and they were suffering. They never asked Kṛṣṇa that "You are the Supreme, and why we are suffering?" Never said. Never said. That is Kṛṣṇa-bhakti.

Devotee: "Because You are the Absolute Truth, there is no difference between Your mercy and punishment."

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is to be understood. If we understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Absolute Truth, then this is understanding, that either suffering or enjoying, it is all Kṛṣṇa's mercy. There must be some purpose. When Kṛṣṇa puts me into suffering, there must be some purpose. So we should welcome because it is Kṛṣṇa's mercy. Tat te 'nukampāṁ susumīkṣamāṇo bhuñjāna evātmā-kṛtaṁ vipākam (SB 10.14.8). (Hindi) [break] "...misdeeds. It is Kṛṣṇa's mercy that He is reforming me, slightly suffering. I would have suffered very greatly on account of my past deeds, but He is kindly accommodating me by giving little suffering. That's all." [break] ...by the wife of Kāliya.

Devotee (reading): "...that this creature, appearing in the body of a serpent, must have been overburdened with all kinds of sins. Otherwise how could he have the body of a serpent? Your dancing on his hoods reduces all the sinful results of actions caused by his having this body of a serpent."

Prabhupāda: ...to becomes angry by Kṛṣṇa is auspicious, auspicious. It is a very nice verse. "It is very auspicious that you have become angry upon him. He is getting salvation." [break] ...the punishment of Kṛṣṇa, one has to execute many pious activities in his past life, just to get the punishment of Kṛṣṇa. And what to speak of love of Kṛṣṇa, how much pious activities one has to do. If for being punished by Kṛṣṇa, one has to undergo lots of pious activities in the past life, then just see, to be loved by Kṛṣṇa, how much one has to undergo pious activities. Kṛta-puṇya-puñjāḥ (SB 10.12.11). That is described. Kṛta-puṇya-puñjāḥ. Puñja means heaps, volumes, volumes of pious activities. Then one can come to Kṛṣṇa. Yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām. Nobody can come to Kṛṣṇa unless he has background of pious activities and one who has become freed from all sinful activities. Yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām. This is the qualification.

Devotee: ...some of our disciples, it is seems that in this life they did many sinful activities.

Prabhupāda: But because they have surrendered, all sinful activities is counteracted. Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi (BG 18.66). Anyone surrenders sincerely to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, immediately he becomes free from all reaction of sinful life. Because he is saved. Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ: "Don't worry." This is the process. So however one might have done or executed so many sinful activities, if he fully surrenders to Kṛṣṇa, then everything is counteracted immediately. But not that repetition, that "I surrender to Kṛṣṇa; then again I'll do some sinful activities and again I surrender." This business will not be allowed. This is called nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhiḥ. That is the greatest sin, on the strength of Kṛṣṇa's mercy, to go on repeating sinful activities. That is greatest sin. Kṛṣṇa can excuse you—ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣa..., mā śucaḥ—but you don't make it business, that "I commit all sinful activities and surrender to Kṛṣṇa to counteract." No, this is not good. This will not be allowed. [break] ...but you cannot cheat Him. Then you'll suffer.

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Bombay, May 2, 1974)
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Suffering Is a Favor from Krishna