(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 16 January 2015, Bhaktivedanta Manor, England, Srimad Bhagavatam 9.10.21-22)
Devotees of Krsna have somewhat of a different mood than devotees of Lord Rama. Devotees of Rama are very strict about dharma as Lord Rama himself, was extremely strict with executing dharmic principles in this world, even to the point of abandoning Sita devi.
From the other side, Krsna promises that he would not take up any weapon in Kuruksetra but in the middle of the battlefield, we see what happens. Bhisma, who is the best fighter, gives a bit of trouble to Krsna’s friend, Arjuna. And what do we see then? Immediately, Krsna abolishes his promise, just like that. He takes up the wheel of a chariot and storms at Bhisma, ready to kill him! Just see! He broke his promise just like that!
Therefore, kaunteya pratijanih na me bhaktya pranasyati. “Declare it boldly, o Arjuna, that my devotee will never perish!” (Bhagavad-gita 9.31) Why Arjuna? Because nobody will believe Krsna, as he does not always keep his promises, as say the acharyas, but Arjuna is a man of his word and would not break it.
So we see that the principles of dharma are meant for this world. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead comes to show how to live in this world, then he displays the principles of dharma. But when the Supreme Personality of Godhead comes to show what it is like in the spiritual world, then he breaks all the rules of dharma, because his devotee is more important to him than his own reputation, and more important than dharma. He is ready to put his devotee before anything and that is Krsna, bhakta vatsala – one who places his devotee before anything and who is ready to fully dedicate himself to his devotee.
It is said that Krsna even takes the form that a devotee desires. Krsna is known as daksa – the one who is expert and who is fulfilling different purposes at the same time. So, as he was breaking his promise to show that he is even transcendental to dharma, he was also reciprocating with his devotee, Bhisma, with whom had the vira-rasa, the relationship of chivalry. So Bhisma was fighting with him, shooting arrows at Krsna and making wounds on his body, and Krsna took it as offerings of flowers. It is so amazing how Krsna reciprocates and takes the form that his devotee desires. It is so wonderful how the Lord becomes controlled by the desire of his devotee! That is Krsna! And that is why there are so many forms of the Lord, as each form reciprocates with devotees who have different moods.