Vrtrasura took the demon’s body, actually he was a bhagavata. He was Citraketu in a previous birth. And he was cursed by Parvati to take birth as a demon because of some inadvertent statement. So… but Krishna says that na me bhaktaḥ viṇaśyati uh… praṇaśyati, that My devotee is never destroyed. So because Citraketu was cursed, that is of course a very unfortunate thing materially speaking, but because he was a pure bhagavata, that even that curse took the form of a blessing and he could achieve liberation and perfection as a pure associate of the Lord in his next birth itself, in one birth, where Indra, he regained his position, but that was after all a material position. To be Indra has got its limitations. At the end of his life then again he has to suffer his karmas. This is the situation.
So therefore we are given all these stories and all these examples in the sastra so that we can understand what is the actual position of a bhagavata. That a pure devotee of the Lord is in the most exalted position, you see. So a pure devotee is not performing karmas.
H.H. Jayapataka Swami Maharaj
1984, 20th July, SB class @ Chennai, India.