Is Punishment A Benediction From The Supreme Lord? by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Since Chitraketu was a devotee of the Lord, he was not disturbed at all by the curse of Mother Parvati. He knew very well that one suffers or enjoys the results of one’s past deeds as ordained by daivanetra superior authority, the agents of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He knew that he had not committed any offense at the lotus feet of Lord Shiva or the goddess Parvati, yet he had been punished, and this meant that the punishment had been ordained. Thus the King did not mind it.
A devotee is naturally so humble and meek that he accepts any condition of life as a blessing from the Lord. Tat te ‘nukampāṁ susamīkñamāṇaḥ (Bhāg. 10.14.8). A devotee always accepts punishment from anyone as the mercy of the Lord. If one lives in this conception of life, he sees whatever reverses occur to be due to his past misdeeds, and therefore he never accuses anyone. On the contrary, he becomes increasingly attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because of his being purified by his suffering. Suffering, therefore, is also a process of purification.
Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura says in this connection that one who has developed Krishna consciousness and who exists in love with Krishna is no longer subject to suffering and happiness under the laws of karma. Indeed, he is beyond karma. The Brahma-saṁhitā says, karmaṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhaktibhājām: [Bs. 5.54] a devotee is free from the reactions of his karma because he has taken to devotional service. This same principle is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (14.26), sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahmabhūyāya kalpate. One who is engaged in devotional service has already been freed from the reactions of his material karma, and thus he immediately becomes brahmabhūta transcendental, (Bhāg. 4.30.20). This is also expressed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.21). kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi: before attaining the stage of love, one becomes free from all the results of karma.
The Lord is very kind and affectionate toward His devotees, and therefore a devotee, in any condition, is not subjected to the results of karma. A devotee never aspires for the heavenly planets. The heavenly planets, liberation and hell are non-different for a devotee, for he does not discriminate between the different positions in the material world. A devotee is always eager to return home, back to Godhead, and remain there as the Lord’s associate. This ambition becomes increasingly fervent in his heart, and therefore he does not care about material changes in his life.
Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura comments that Maharaja Chitraketu’s being cursed by Parvati should be considered the mercy of the Lord. The Lord wanted Chitraketu to return to Godhead as soon as possible, and therefore in one fell sweep, he terminated all the reactions of his past deeds. Acting through the heart of Parvati, the Lord, who is situated in everyone’s heart, cursed Chitraketu in order to end all his material reactions. Thus Chitraketu became Vritrasura in his next life and more quickly returned home, back to Godhead.
— Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam » Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for Mankind » hapter 17. Mother Pārvatī Curses Chitraketu » Verses 17, Purport.