In this connection Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī gives an example of the clouds in the sky: the clouds in the sky arise from the ocean, and when the clouds become water again and fall to the ground, they glide back to the ocean. Similarly, the pleasure potency of Kṛṣṇa is compared with the ocean. The pure devotee is the pleasure-possessing cloud, and when he is filled with transcendental loving service, then he can bestow his mercy as a downpour of rain—and the pleasure potency returns to the ocean of Kṛṣṇa.
Direct and Indirect Attraction for Kṛṣṇa
Transcendental pleasure derived from devotional service can be divided into two groups: direct devotional service and indirect devotional service. Direct devotional service is divided into five transcendental humors or flavors, and indirect devotional service is divided into seven transcendental humors. Direct devotional services are as follows: neutrality, servitude, fraternity, paternity and conjugal love. Indirect devotional service is divided into laughter, compassion, anger, chivalry, dread, astonishment and ghastliness. Devotional service can therefore be divided into twelve types, each of which has a different color. The colors are white, multicolored, orange, red, light green, grey, yellow, off-whitish, smoky, pink, black and cloudy. The twelve different kinds of transcendental humors are controlled by different incarnations of God, such as Kapila, Mādhava, Upendra, Nṛsiṁha, Nandanandana, Balarāma, Kūrma, Kalki, Rāghava, Bhārgava, Varāha and Matsya.
Sustenance, manifestation, expansion, reflection and lamentation are the five visible symptoms in exchanges of ecstatic love. The test of devotional service can therefore be made in terms of these five symptoms. In the devotional service of neutrality there is sustenance; there is expansion in chivalrous devotional service; there is reflection in compassionate devotional service; in angry devotional service there is lamentation, and so on.