Don’t Try to Jump and Pluck the Fruit of Prema
Prema is considered as the ripened fruit of the desire tree of the Vedas. With time, this fruit becomes fully ripened, and that is when it is most relishable. If picked prematurely from the tree, the fruit will be bereft of its ultimate taste. That is why we must provide more and more nourishment to the fruit so that it can ripen on the tree itself. Once the fruit is completely ripened, replete with its most relishable taste that the tree desired to manifest in it, the fruit will fall down naturally, of its own accord.
This fruit has no skin, no seed, and no fibre. It is composed of only rasa. So then a question arises - how can this fruit fall from the tree and still be available to taste on the ground? [Assuming that if it is rasa, then it should just spill] It does not directly fall onto the ground but gently descends from the tree with the help of its leaves - from one leaf, down to another. These leaves are all our ācāryas and guru paramparā. As the fruit falls down, they very carefully guide it and ultimately deliver it to us. It is not that we can jump and try to pluck the fruit ourselves. No. It is by seeing our service attitude and genuine endeavour that this fruit will be bestowed via the proper channel of our guru paramparā.
Rasa in its most condensed form is like sugar candy. Though the source of sugar candy is sugar cane, it must undergo various transformations to become such– from juice, to syrup, then jaggery into sugar, and finally sugar candy. If our guru-varga were to give us this fruit in the form of a juice [premature stage] then we would not be able to retain it. In this way, it would get destroyed very easily for we know, if juice spills onto the ground, it is permanently wasted. In the case of jaggery, something will be lost, but not everything. But in the case of sugar candy, even though it may fall down, it can be easily recovered with no loss at all.
That is why they offer us fruit at the stage when it cannot be spilled or diluted. In the case of cane juice, one can easily mix something into it, whereas nothing can be added to sugar candy externally and at the same time, even though externally the sugar candy is very hard, once it is placed in the mouth, it is full of rasa. It doesn’t matter what shape the sugar candy is, as soon as you take it in your mouth, it becomes nectar.
So prema bhakti is like sugar candy. It is sāndrānanda-viṣeśātmā, or condensed nectar, awarded by the guru-paramparā to those who are approaching in the real way, through the proper channel.