The causeless mercy of Kṛṣṇa, the dust of His lotus feet, His prasāda and association with His devotees are some impetuses toward a devotee's engagement in transcendental loving service to the Lord.
Kṛṣṇa exhibited His causeless mercy when He was present at the departure of Grandfather Bhīṣma. During the Battle of Kurukṣetra, Bhīṣmadeva, the grandfather of Arjuna, was lying on a bed of arrows before departing from this mortal world. When Lord Kṛṣṇa, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira and the other Pāṇḍavas approached Bhīṣmadeva, he was very grateful to Lord Kṛṣṇa, and he addressed the brāhmaṇa military commander Kṛpācārya thus: "My dear Kṛpācārya, just see the wonderful causeless mercy of Lord Kṛṣṇa! I am most unfortunate. I have no qualification. I was opposing Kṛṣṇa's most intimate friend, Arjuna—I even tried to kill him! I have so many disqualifications, and yet the Lord is still so kind that He has come to see me at the last point of my life. He is worshipable by all great sages, but still He is so merciful that He has come to see an abominable person like me."
Sometimes the vibration of Lord Kṛṣṇa's flute, His bugling, His smiling, His footmarks on the ground, the transcendental fragrance of His body and the appearance of a new cloud in the sky also become impetuses for ecstatic love of Him.
In the Vidagdha-mādhava there is the following statement: "When Kṛṣṇa was playing on His flute, Baladeva very anxiously declared, 'Just see how, after hearing the transcendental sound of Kṛṣṇa's flute, Indra, the King of heaven, is crying in his heavenly kingdom! And from his teardrops falling on the ground, Vṛndāvana appears to have become a celestial residence for the demigods.' "
Ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa, which is known as anubhāva, is symptomized by the following signs: one becomes engaged exclusively in the service of the Lord, being attentive to carry out the orders of the Lord faithfully; one becomes undisturbed and nonenvious in full transcendental loving service to the Lord; and one makes friendship with the devotees of the Lord who are situated in faithful service to Him. All of these symptoms are called anubhāva, ecstatic love.
The first symptom of anubhāva, or engagement in a particular type of service, is exemplified by Dāruka, a servant of Kṛṣṇa who used to fan Kṛṣṇa with a cāmara, a bunch of hair. When he was engaged in such service, he was filled with ecstatic love, and the symptoms of ecstatic love became manifest in his body. But Dāruka was so serious about his service that he checked all of these manifestations of ecstatic love and considered them hindrances to his engagement. He did not care very much for these manifestations, although they automatically developed.
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Tenth Canto, Eighty-sixth Chapter, verse 38, there is a statement of how Śrutadeva, a brāhmaṇa from the country called Mithilā in northern India, became so overpowered with joy as soon as he saw Kṛṣṇa that immediately after bowing to the Lord's lotus feet he stood up and began to dance, raising his two arms above his head.
One of the devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa once addressed Him in this manner: "My dear Lord, although You are not a professional dancer, by Your dancing You have so astonished us that we can understand that You are personally the master of all dancing. Certainly You must have learned this dancing art directly from the goddess of love." When a devotee dances in ecstatic love, there are manifestations of symptoms which are called sāttvika. Sāttvika means that they are from the transcendental platform. They are not symptoms of material emotion; they come from the soul proper.
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Tenth Canto, Eighty-fifth Chapter, verse 38, Śukadeva Gosvāmī tells Mahārāja Parīkṣit that after surrendering everything unto the lotus feet of Vāmanadeva, Bali Mahārāja immediately caught hold of the lotus feet of the Lord and pressed them to his heart. Being overwhelmed with joy, he manifested all the symptoms of ecstatic love, with tears in his eyes and a faltering voice.
In such expressions of ecstatic love there are many other subsidiary symptoms, such as jubilation, withering, silence, disappointment, moroseness, reverence, thoughtfulness, remembrance, doubtfulness, confidence, eagerness, indifference, restlessness, impudence, shyness, inertness, illusion, madness, ghastliness, contemplation, dreaming, disease and signs of death. When a devotee meets Kṛṣṇa, there are symptoms of jubilation, pride and perseverance, and when he is feeling great separation from Kṛṣṇa, the symptoms of ghastliness, disease and signs of death become prominent.
It is stated in the First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Eleventh Chapter, verse 5, that when Lord Kṛṣṇa returned from the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra to His home at Dvārakā, all the residents of Dvārakā began to talk with Him, as a child talks lovingly to his father after the father's return from foreign countries. This is an example of jubilation.