As one can detect the color of dye a cloth was soaked in by looking at the cloth, so, simply by understanding the different signs of these symptomatic features, one can understand the actual position. In other words, attachment for Kṛṣṇa is one, but because there exist different kinds of devotees, such attachment is manifested in many varieties. As clothing tinged red appears red, so the temporary appearance of a certain type of feeling can be detected or observed by the specific ecstatic symptom. In fact, all the different humors and mellows of the devotees produce various specific feelings within the mind. And according to these differences, the symptoms of ecstatic love appear in different forms and degrees. If one's heart is highly elevated, grave and magnanimous, or if one's heart is rough and crude, different symptoms of ecstatic love will appear, influenced by the condition of the heart. Actually, people cannot generally understand such different qualities of mentality, but when one's heart is very soft or gentle, these symptoms become very easily visible, and one can understand them very clearly. The heart of one who is highly elevated and grave is compared to gold. If one's heart is very soft and gentle, his heart is compared to a cotton swab. When there is an ecstatic sensation within the mind, the golden heart or grave heart is not agitated, but the soft heart immediately becomes agitated.
To offer another example, a grave, magnanimous heart is compared to a great city, and a soft heart to an insignificant cottage. There may be many lights, or even great elephants in the big city, but no one will take particular notice of them. But when such lights or elephants are seen near a small cottage, everyone can distinctly point them out.
A hard heart is compared to a lightning bolt, to gold and to shellac. The lightning bolt is very strong and never becomes soft. Similarly, the hearts of those who are engaged in severe austerities and penances do not become very easily softened. The golden heart becomes melted at high temperature, as in ecstatic love. And the shellac heart is very easily melted in slight temperature.
A soft heart is compared to honey, to butter and to nectar. And the condition of the mind is compared to sunshine. As honey and butter become melted even in slight sunshine, softhearted persons become easily melted. Nectar, however, is by its nature always liquid. And the hearts of those who are in pure ecstatic love with Kṛṣṇa are by nature always liquified, just like nectar.
A pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa is always specifically qualified with nectarean qualifications and sometimes with the qualifications of butter and honey. On the whole, the heart in any of the different conditions mentioned above can be melted under certain circumstances, just as a hard diamond is sometimes melted by a combination of certain chemicals. In the Dāna-keli-kaumudī it is stated, "When love develops in the heart of a devotee, he cannot check the transformation of his sentiments. His heart is just like the ocean at the rising of the moon, when the ebb tide cannot be checked: immediately there must be movement of high waves." Although in its natural state the ocean is always grave and unfathomable, when the moon rises, nothing can check the ocean's agitation. Similarly, those who are pure devotees cannot on any account check the movement of their feelings within.