SB 1.8 - Kṛṣṇa was more merciful to Kuntī than Devakī

The Lord had released His mother, Devakī, who was imprisoned and distressed by Kaṁsa, and Kuntī and her children from a series of constant dangers. Kuntī, being a widow, was shown greater favor than Devakī because the Lord protected all her sons whereas the sons of Devakī born before Kṛṣṇa were killed by Kaṁsa. Devakī had a husband and was happy with repeated expectations that the Supreme Lord would be born from her womb. And after Kṛṣṇa was born, she had no danger at all. But Kuntī was in all ways wretched. The Lord was more merciful to her because He is the friend of the most fallen. Thus Kṛṣṇa endows more favor to a devotee who is in greater dangers. Sometimes He puts His devotees in such dangers because in that condition the devotee becomes more attached to the Lord.

Devakī was once put into difficulty by Kaṁsa, otherwise she was well. Kṛṣṇa killed Kaṁsa and released Devakī. But the Pāṇḍavas were put into one difficulty after another for many years. Each time they were saved by the Lord. Once Bhīma was administered poison in a cake; then the Pāṇḍavas were put into a house made of shellac and set afire; during exile in the forest Bhīma had to fight with cannibals; Draupadī was insulted by the Kauravas in the assembly. Then there was the battle of Kurukṣetra where Arjuna had to meet great generals like Droṇa, Bhīṣma and Karṇa. At last Aśvatthāmā released the brahmāstra to kill the son of Uttarā within her womb. The Lord saved the Pāṇḍavas from all these tribulations.