Physical Pain in Bhakti, Pandavas, Balarama’s Favoritism

Babaji in Poland, June 2014

Question: I have understood that bhakti leads to release from the three sources of miseries. This should also include physical pain. How does this work? Is Krsna going to appear like a kind of anesthesic? Fear of pain is even more fearful than fear of death (for a devotee will get either a new fresh body or go to Krsna’s abode). In a pratical way, how to manage physical pain?

Answer: Interesting question. Actually at present I myself am going thru hellish pain. So I will speak from my own experience. At least for me, Krsna does not appear as any kind of anaesthesia. [Editor’s note: This was written several months ago]. My understanding is that bhakti has these qualities but does not manifest for every devotee. It manifests for some special cases, as is seen in the example of Prahlada Maharaja. In case of great devotees like the Pandavas, even their suffering is a manifestation of bhakti. It is not coming from the three gunas of nature.

Sri Visvanatah Cakravarti says that bhakti does not always manifest her qualities so that unscrupulous people do not take to bhakti. Thus bhakti is protected from unqualified people. This also keeps the other paths alive which are necessary for people not qualified for bhakti.

Theoretically I can understand that if the mind is completely fixed on Krishna, then one will not feel pain or anything else. The mind can only experience one thing at a time. But I do not know any examples of this.

So my practical experience is that a devotee feels pain like anyone else. But he tolerates it if it is inevitable. This is Krishna’s advice in Gita – tans-titiksasva bharata. If it is not inevitable, then find a solution for it.

So how to manage pain? If it is possible to remove the cause of pain, then remove it. Modern medicine prescribes pain killers for physical pain. One can take them.

Mentally one should try to fix the mind on Krishna and know that one is not the body. Pain is a temporary phase.



Question: Why did the Pandavas not go to the spiritual world after death? Are they in Goloka Vrindavana or any other Vaikuntha planets?

Answer: The Pandavas are in Vaikuntha. In Mahabharata it is described that they went to heaven. Mahabharata is written from the varnashrama point of view. From heaven they moved up to Vaikuntha.

Question: As per Bhagavatam, many gods prayed during Lord Krishna’s birth in Mathura. At that time they knew that Bhagavan had incarnated. Sri Brahma and Indra must have been present there. Even afterwards, why did Brahma forget that Sri Krishna is Bhagavan and tried to test Him, which is known as Brahma Mohan Lila, and why did Indra cast doubt on Him during the Govardhan-lila?

Answer: This is because of the influence of Krishna’s yogamaya shakti. Krishna wanted to do this lila, so He put them in ignorance. Lila means play. You know what play means. Bhagavan performs lila to teach us, otherwise He would come and go and no one in posterity would know that He was Bhagavan.


Balarama and Duryodhana

Question: What is the reason that in many ways Balarama favored Duryodhana, the enemy of the Pandavas?

Answer:  Balarama was the guru of Duryodhana. Duryodhana learned club fighting from Balarama when the Pandavas were in exile. Duryodhana served Balarama well as a good student. So it is not surprising that Balarama favors Duryodhana.

A criminal is not seen as criminal by everyone. He may also have friends towards whom he behaves like a good friend. We see in our own life that a person is seen by some as a gentleman and by some as rogue. Balarama is simple hearted, so he did not see the hidden agenda of Duryodhana who was preparing to fight against Bhima who is an expert club-fighter.

4 thoughts on “Physical Pain in Bhakti, Pandavas, Balarama’s Favoritism”

  1. Pranam

    The very First instant effect of bhakti (kleshagni – removal of avidya which causes pain) and withholding nature of bhakti to not show its effect appears contradictory.could you please clarify?

    Also,To whom does bhakti not show effects ? Practioner or on – looker?

    1. > The very First instant effect of bhakti (kleshagni – removal of avidya which causes pain) and withholding nature of bhakti to not show its effect appears contradictory.could you please clarify?

      Bhakti is a person and supremely independent, being Krishna’s internal potency. Therefore, although she has the quality of kleshaghni, as stated by Rupa Gosvami, yet she may not manifest it. She has the will when and where to manifest this potency. It is not that she must manifest it always or that it happens automatically. That would be possible if Bhakti was only a principle and not a person, as in the case of bringing light into darkness, where darkness will be dispelled without fail.

      > To whom does bhakti not show effects ? Practioner or on – looker?

      It could be both or only the onlooker.

  2. Thank you for the response.

    If a person is performing true bhakti, then it is categorized as true only after doing prior testing by the lord.Hence instantly the effects of bhakti must manifest in such a person(after the test). If these effects do not still manifest and the reason is, to cover the supreme nature of bhakti from other people who might exploit it , then What is the kind of exploitation we are talking about? Why do so?

    Or if the reason for not manifesting the effects of bhakti is to respect the other processes, then how is bhakti supremely independent?

    If a person imitates bhakti motivated by its effects, then such imitation is not bhakti at all and therefore effects of bhakti will not be seen.

    How to know if what one (or other) performs is really bhakti if the effects of bhakti do not appear and is random(supremely independent)?

    1. Babaji’s reply: Only a devotee can know if the other person is a devotee or just an imitation.
      There is no other way to test it, such as by noticing physical pain or lack of it.

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