When a devotee is always intensely affected by love for Kṛṣṇa in a direct relationship with Him—or even a little apart from Him—his status is called existential ecstatic love. The symptoms originating from such existential ecstatic love are divided into three headings—namely moist, burnt and dried-up.
Moist existential ecstatic love aroused in connection with Kṛṣṇa is divided into two: direct and indirect. Rādhārāṇī was weaving a garland of kunda flowers, and upon hearing the vibration of Kṛṣṇa's flute, She immediately stopped Her work. This is an example of direct moistened existential ecstatic love. Indirect moistened existential ecstatic love is described in the following statement: Kṛṣṇa, who is also called Puruṣottama, is to the eyes of mother Yaśodā just like the cloud is to the eyes of the cātakī bird. When Kṛṣṇa had been brought to Mathurā, mother Yaśodā, being very anxious and angry, began to rebuke the King of Mathurā.
Burnt existential ecstatic love is divided into three, and one example is as follows: One day, mother Yaśodā was dreaming that the gigantic demon Pūtanā was lying on the courtyard of her house, and she immediately became anxious to seek out Kṛṣṇa.
When there are manifestations of ecstatic symptoms in the body of a nondevotee, these are called dried-up symptoms of ecstatic love. The nondevotees are actually materialistic, but in contact with some pure devotee, they sometimes may manifest some symptoms of ecstasy. Devotional scholars call these dried-up symptoms.
There are eight symptoms of existential ecstatic love: becoming stunned, perspiring, standing of the hairs on the body, faltering of the voice, trembling of the body, changing of bodily colors, shedding of tears and devastation.
The scientific explanation of these eight symptoms is given by Rūpa Gosvāmī as follows. When the vital force of life is in contact with the earth, one is stunned. When the same force comes into contact with water, there is the shedding of tears. When the same force comes into contact with fire, there is perspiration. When the force comes into contact with the sky, there is complete devastation. And when that force comes into contact with the air, there is trembling, failing of the voice and standing of the hairs on the body.
These symptoms are sometimes manifested internally and sometimes externally. The pure devotee always feels such symptomatic expressions within himself, but being afraid of outsiders he does not generally manifest them externally.