(H H Kadamba Kanana Swami, Prague, 17th July 2012) Lecture: SB 4.12.24
Devotee: Maharaja, you were saying that Krishna might take away some of our reactions if He so desires. I was wondering if He would also give more reactions for our purification?
Maharaja: Yeah, Krishna can do whatever He wants. He is completely independent. So, if Krishna desires then sometimes a devotee may go through some difficulty, even if there is no karma involved at all!
Sometimes Krishna puts His devotees in difficulties because Krishna desires to glorify His devotees. Sometimes He wants to show that even in difficulties they still perfectly take shelter of devotional service and in this way, they become examples for common men! So yes, sometimes Krishna sends difficulties to His devotees, even though there is no karma to deserve such difficulties.
It is said in the story of Vrtrasura that sometimes Krishna is sending difficulties especially to His most dedicated devotees… many difficulties to purify them very quickly, so that they can go back to Godhead! So like this, whenever any suffering comes our way, then we should always remember Krishna’s mercy! Sometimes it’s a little difficult, but it is true actually. If we are getting experiences of suffering then we become purified… but if we are getting circumstances of material enjoyment then we become tempted.
So, from a spiritual point of view, material enjoyment is worse than suffering. From the absolute point of view, suffering is better. It is a little difficult to see that on a practical platform. But material enjoyment is very dangerous, because we may become compromised, and as a result, we become more entangled in the material energy which slows down our progress towards going back to Godhead!
Whereas when we suffer, then: ‘Yes, I want to chant Hare Krishna.’
So from an absolute point of view, suffering is better than material enjoyment.