This protection is offered to a devotee even from the very beginning of his devotional service. Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati (Bhagavad Gita 9.31). If one simply begins devotional service, he is immediately protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad Gita (18.66) : aham tvam sarva papebhyo moksayisyami. Protection begins immediately. The Lord is so kind and merciful that He gives the devotee proper guidance and all protection, and thus the devotee very peacefully makes solid progress in Krishna Consciousness without outward disturbances. A serpent may be very angry and ready to bite, but the furious snake is helpless when faced by a blazing fire in the forest. Although an enemy of a devotee may be very strong, he is compared to an angry serpent before the fire of devotional service.
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