In the ecstasy of devotional service in dread, the unconstitutional symptoms are drying up of the mouth, exuberance, glancing towards the back side, concealing oneself, bewilderment, searching after the endangered lovable object and crying very loudly. Some other unconstitutional symptoms are illusion, forgetfulness, and expectation of danger. In all such circumstances the ecstatic dread is the steady or constant factor. Such dreadfulness is caused either by offenses committed or by dreadful circumstances. Offenses can be committed in varieties of ways, and the dread is felt by the person who has committed the offense. When dread is caused by a fearful object, this fearful object is generally a person who is fearsome in his features, nature and influence. An example of an object which caused ecstatic dread is the Pūtanā witch. Dread can be caused by mischievous demonic characters, such as King Kaṁsa, and it can be caused by great powerful demigods, such as Indra or Śaṅkara.
Demons like Kaṁsa feared Kṛṣṇa, but their feelings cannot be described as ecstatic dread in devotional service.
It is understood from authoritative sources that an attachment for Kṛṣṇa because of feelings of disgust sometimes presents a ghastly ecstasy in devotional service. The person experiencing such ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa is almost always in the neutral stage of devotional service, or śānta-rasa. A description of ecstatic love caused by ghastliness is found in the following statement: "This person was formerly interested solely in the matter of lust and sense gratification, and he had perfected the greatest skill in exploiting women to fulfill his lusty desires. But now how wonderful it is that this same man is chanting the names of Kṛṣṇa with tears in his eyes, and as soon as he sees the face of a woman, he immediately becomes disgusted. From the indication of his face, I would think that now he hates sex life."
In this mellow of devotional service in ghastliness, the sub-ecstatic symptoms are spitting upon the consideration of one's past life, contorting the face, covering the nose and washing the hands. There is also trembling of the body, forcible twisting of the body and perspiration. Other symptoms which may be present are shame, exhaustion, madness, illusion, frustration, humility, self-pity, restlessness, eagerness and stunning of the body.
When a devotee, lamenting for his past abominable activities, shows special symptoms on his body, his feeling is called ecstasy in devotional service in ghastliness. This is caused by the awakening of his Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
In this connection there is the following statement: "How can a person take pleasure in the enjoyment of sex life in this body, which is a bag of skin and bones, filled with blood, covered by skin and flesh and which produces mucus and evil smells?" This perception is possible only for one who is awakened to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and who has become fully cognizant of the abominable nature of this material body.