The Ripe Mango vs Unripe Mango

Hare Krishna Prabhus and Matajis!
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev!

Srila Prabhupada used the idea of a mango to explain to us the unchanging nature of devotional service.

In S.B.G 4.9.11, in the purport, he writes:

"... Devotional service in the association of devotees is the cause of the development of further devotional service. By devotional service only is one elevated to the transcendental planet Goloka Vrndavana, and there also these is only devotional service, for the activities of the devotional service both in this world and in the spiritual world are one and the same.

Devotional service does not change. The example of a mango can be given here. If one gets a unripe mango, it is still a mango, and when it is ripe it remains the same mango, but it has become more tasteful and relishable. Similarly there is devotional service performed according to the direction of the spiritual master and the injunctions and regulative principles of sastras, and there is devotional service in the spiritual world, rendered directly in association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But they are both the same. There is no change. The difference is that one stage is unripe and the other is ripe and more relishable. It is possible to mature in devotional service only in the association of devotees."

Srila Prabhupada is very clear here of the power of association  - that it is the sole factor for increasing our devotional service. Prabhupada also clarifies that devotional service is the means and the end - as it continues to be our activity in the spiritual world. Though we live in a world where the only unchangeable thing is change itself - Krsna has so nicely arranged devotional service for us  - because it is the only thing that will never change  - for it has directly descended from His spiritual nature and has nothing to do with the modes of material nature.

Even if we are in situations where we cannot get much association of living entities as devotees, still, as Gurudev has always pointed out, we can take the association of Srila Prabhupada in his purports of Srimad Bhagavatam, and the glories of the pure devotees in the pages of Bhagavatam - by constantly reading and absorbing we will attain that association that Srila Prabhupada has described so nicely, and Krsna will make arrangements for us to always remember Him!

Your servant,
Devakinandana das