(Click to enlarge painting of Arjuna lamenting on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra)
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.
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 (fruitive worker) 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). (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."
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Bombay, May 2, 1974)