There are five transcendental rasas, or mellows. The initial stage is called śānta-rati, wherein one who is liberated from material contamination appreciates the greatness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who attains this stage does not exactly engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, for this is the neutral stage.
In the second stage, which is called dāsya-rati, a person appreciates his position as being everlastingly subordinate to the Supreme Lord, and he understands that he is eternally dependent on the causeless mercy of the Supreme Person. At that time there is an awakening of natural affection, such as is felt by a son who grows up and begins to appreciate his father's benedictions. At this stage the living entity wants to serve the Supreme Lord instead of serving māyā, illusion.
The third stage in the development of transcendental love is called sakhya-rati. In this stage one associates with the Supreme as a friend on an equal level, with love and respect. As this stage is further developed, there is joking and such relaxed exchanges as laughing. On this level there are fraternal exchanges with the Personality of Godhead, and one is free from all bondage. At this stage one forgets his inferior position as a living entity, but at the same time he has the greatest respect for the Supreme Person.
In the fourth stage, called vātsalya-rati, the fraternal affection of the preceding stage develops into parental affection. At this time the living entity acts as the parent of God. Instead of worshiping the Lord, the living entity, as a parent of the Supreme Person, becomes an object of worship for Him. At this stage the Lord depends on the mercy of His pure devotee and puts Himself under the control of the devotee to be raised nicely. Such a devotee can embrace the Supreme Lord and even kiss His head.
In the fifth stage, called madhura-rati, there is a transcendental exchange of conjugal love between the lover and the beloved. It is at this stage that Kṛṣṇa and the damsels of Vraja glanced lovingly at one another, for on this platform there is an exchange of glances, movements of the eyebrows, pleasant words, attractive smiles, etc.
Besides these five primary rasas there are seven secondary rasas, which consist of laughing, wonder, chivalry, pity, anger, ghastliness and devastation. For example, Bhīṣma related to Kṛṣṇa as a warrior in the chivalrous rasa. Hiraṇyakaśipu, however, experienced an exchange of the ghastly and devastating rasas. The five primary rasas constantly remain within the heart of the pure devotee, and the seven secondary rasas sometimes appear and disappear to enrich the flavors and tastes of the primary ones. After enriching the primary rasas, they disappear.