pratigṛhṇāmi te śāpam
devair martyāya yat proktaṁ
pūrva-diṣṭaṁ hi tasya tat
citraketuḥ uvāca—King Citraketu said; pratigṛhṇāmi—I accept; te—your; śāpam—curse; ātmanaḥ—my own; añjalinā—with folded bands; ambike—O mother; devaiḥ—by the demigods; martyāya—unto a mortal; yat—which; proktam—prescribed; pūrva-diṣṭam—fixed previously according to one’s past deeds; hi—indeed; tasya—of him; tat—that.
Citraketu said: My dear mother, with my own hands folded together I accept the curse upon me. I do not mind the curse, for happiness and distress are given by the demigods as a result of one’s past deeds.
Since Citraketu was a devotee of the Lord, he was not at all disturbed by the curse of mother Pārvatī. He knew very well that one suffers or enjoys the results of one’s past deeds as ordained by daiva-netra—superior authority, or the agents of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He knew that he had not committed any offense at the lotus feet of Lord Śiva or the goddess Pārvatī, yet he had been punished, and this means that the punishment had been ordained. Thus the King did not mind it. A devotee is naturally so humble and meek that he accepts any condition of life as a blessing from the Lord. Tat te ’nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇaḥ (Bhāg. 10.14.8). A devotee always accepts punishment from anyone as the mercy of the Lord. If one lives in this conception of life, he sees whatever reverses occur to be due to his past misdeeds, and therefore he never accuses anyone. On the contrary, he becomes increasingly attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because of his being purified by his suffering. Suffering, therefore, is also a process of purification.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says in this connection that one who has developed Kṛṣṇa consciousness and who exists in love with Kṛṣṇa is no longer subject to suffering and happiness under the laws of karma. Indeed, he is beyond karma. The Brahma-saṁhitā says, karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām: [Bs. 5.54] a devotee is free from the reactions of his karma because he has taken to devotional service. This same principle is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (14.26). Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate: one who is engaged in devotional service has already been freed from the reactions of his material karma, and thus he immediately becomes brahma-bhūta, or transcendental. This is also expressed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.21). Kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi: before attaining the stage of love, one becomes free from all the results of karma.
The Lord is very kind and affectionate toward His devotees, and therefore a devotee, in any condition, is not subjected to the results of karma. A devotee never aspires for the heavenly planets. The heavenly planets, liberation and hell are nondifferent for a devotee, for he does not discriminate between different positions in the material world. A devotee is always eager to return home, back to Godhead, and remain there as the Lord’s associate. This ambition becomes increasingly fervent in his heart, and therefore he does not care about material changes in his life. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura comments that Mahārāja Citraketu’s being cursed by Pārvatī should be considered the mercy of the Lord. The Lord wanted Citraketu to return to Godhead as soon as possible, and therefore he terminated all the reactions of his past deeds. Acting through the heart of Pārvatī, the Lord, who is situated in everyone’s heart, cursed Citraketu in order to end all his material reactions. Thus Citraketu became Vṛtrāsura in his next life and returned home, back to Godhead.
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