When a person is confused by simultaneous happiness and tribulation and does not know what to do, this state of confusion is called pralaya, or devastation. In this condition of pralaya one sometimes falls down on the ground, and all the symptoms of ecstatic love become manifest. When the gopīs were searching after Kṛṣṇa and all of a sudden He came out from the bushes and creepers, all of them became stunned and almost senseless. In this state the gopīs appeared very beautiful. This is an example of pralaya, or devastation in happiness.
There are also instances of pralaya in distress. One such example is described in the Tenth Canto, 39th Chapter, 14th verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, where Śukadeva Gosvāmī tells King Parīkṣit: "My dear King, when the gopīs were missing Kṛṣṇa, they were so much absorbed in meditation upon Him that all of their senses stopped functioning, and they lost all bodily sense. It was as though they had become liberated from all material conditions."
Out of the many ecstatic symptoms of the body, the symptom of being stunned is especially significant. According to the degree of being stunned, the vital force within the body becomes agitated, and due to such a state, the other ecstatic loving symptoms sometimes become altered. These transcendental ecstatic symptoms gradually develop, and in the course of such development, they are sometimes called smoky, sometimes called blazing, and sometimes called shining. These three degrees are experienced for many, many years and extend to different parts of the body. Unlike the shedding of tears and faltering of the voice, the condition of being stunned is spread all over the body. The shedding of tears and faltering of the voice are simply localized symptoms.
The shedding of tears, however, sometimes makes the eyes become swollen and whitish, and sometimes the lenses of the eyes become differently focused. Faltering of the voice may sometimes cause choking in the throat and extreme anxiety. As the different symptoms of these ecstatic manifestations are localized, they are accompanied by different local reactions; e.g., when the throat is choked up because of a faltering voice, there may be a sound like "ghra." Such sounds choke up the voice, and with extreme mental anxiety they may manifest in different ways. All these symptoms are listed under the dried-up existential condition known as smoky, and they are exhibited in different ways.