I saw a picture of an elephant being saved from a crocodile by Vishnu. The caption read that the elephant was supposed to represent humans, and the crocodile was meant to be the hardships (punishments) due to bad karma, and it represented Vishnu saving his devotees from their bad karma. Does that mean that just Bhakti can annul punishment?
On the other hand, this does not make sense to me. Hurting others must have some punishment even if you are a great devotee of God. Otherwise, all evil people can save themselves just through bhakti, while avoiding punishments for their wrong acts.