why do great devotees have to suffer

we have seen so many examples like the pandavas who had to really suffer so much and go through so many hardships in their life.how do we understand this.how do we explain it to people when they have doubts.even devaki had 6 of her children killed.sometimes we see that many devotees suffer so many health ailments .is it that they are suffering due to their karma?they have completely surrendered themselves to the lord and krishna promises protection.pls enlighten me 

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  • This is a very important topic ...
    Suffering will come to all, either devotee or non-devotee. But the devotee's suffering is different than that of a non-devotee of Krishna. On the surface it may appear that the devotee is ill, has some financial difficulty, loses loved ones, gets in an accident etc. etc., but internally the devotee is with Krishna, realizing that it is a reaction due to some past ignorant misdeed. This enlighenment actually reduces the suffering, because the devotee surrenders it up to Krishna without false ego, ahankara (identification with the material body and mind).

    Non-devotees need to have this knowledge, otherwise their suffering increases out of control. The more one is absorbed in Krishna consciousness, the more one's suffering is nullified and happiness and bliss increases. Even death itself cannot harm a devotee, because being surrendered to Krishna means to be free from fear and illusion, especially the illusion that death of the elemental body is the death of your 'self'.

    And so suffering also is an illusion, because your material body is not your permanent residence. "Jivera swarupa hoy Krishnera nitya das", we are all eternal jiva souls meant for the service of God, Krishna. When you think you are absolute controllers of matter, the elements, and other living entities then all forms of suffering begins. And it will have no end until you take shelter of the One Who ends all suffering - Krishna.

    After all, you are here in Martya loka, a planet of death. You were born here, as was I, to learn lessons, to enjoy the senses and the objects of the senses, to ask questions, and to experience suffering in separate from God's company.
    The best example of a devotee's attitude toward suffering is in the character of Queen Kunti. "Let these calamities come again and again, that we may remember You again and again, for by remembering You we no longer meet with repeated birth and death."
    'Saranagati' means to surrender everything to Krishna, so the sooner we do it, the sooner our suffering will end. The longer we stay in illusion, the longer we will suffer, and our attachments in this world will keep us bound to repeated births and deaths in bodies different than the ones we have now, possibly bodies that will suffer even more. So it's time to wake up, "Jiva jago!" and uncover what we were meant to be, spiritual beings with spiritual bodies engaged in the service of the supreme personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna and His eternal consort Srimati Radharani.

    Payers of Queen Kunti: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUjUFvJ31F8&feature=player_embed...

    ~ Vishnudas
    • thank u soo much prabhuji for such an enlightening answer .it has really made me clearer.
      • but sumtimes devotees also pass away in an accidents.so do we see Krishna 's hand in this?
        • Krishna being the Cause of all causes, yes, His hands can go anywhere He wants them to, and accidents are no different than any other experience that a bhakta may have, because whatever happens to the bhakta, he or she is prepared. Krishna may take them back Home, or He may send them to another planet, the bhakta simply doesn't care, as long as Krishna's lotus feet remain in the forefront of the bhakta's mind.
          No one can judge another bhakta on their passing away in an accident, and say for certain what Krishna's plans for that devotee were. That is between Krishna and His bhakta, that's all.

          nice verses from the Gita As It Is.......
          Chapter 8, Verse 6.
          Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.
          and I like these too....
          Chapter 8, Verse 14.
          For one who remembers Me without deviation, I am easy to obtain, O son of Prtha, because of his constant engagement in devotional service.

          Chapter 8, Verse 15.
          After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.

          So Krishna's hand is connected to everything that happens at death as well as in life, but it's not like we should think quickly about God only just before we are hit by a truck or something like that. A devotee should be Krishna conscious 24/7, because death can come at any split second. It's not like "hey I'm young, let me goof around and experience the world first, have fun, then I'll do some sadhana , chanting and spiritual stuff later when I'm older and more burnt out from my material activities." That's what many think, and that spiritual procrastination could bring about one's slow spiritual suicide.
          Imagine young bhaktin Jane is walking across the street looking at a cute kitty in a window and a big truck races through the intersection and "bang!" and next thing Jane knows is she's coming out of a cat womb and going "me - owwww !!"
          But even a forgetful devotee who has performed even the smallest amount of devotional service will get some degree of Krishna's protection and blessings, because Krishna never forgets...... so we should also never forget Krishna if we want His fully guaranteed protection and blessings.
          =>:-) ~ Vishnudas
          • thank u so much for such an enlightening answer!!!
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