Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī has given a description of these books. The Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu is a great book of instruction on how to develop devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa and follow the transcendental process. It was finished in the year 1463 Śakābda (A.D. 1541). This book is divided into four parts: pūrva-vibhāga (eastern division), dakṣiṇa-vibhāga (southern division), paścima-vibhāga (western division) and uttara-vibhāga (northern division). In the pūrva-vibhāga, there is a description of the permanent development of devotional service. The general principles of devotional service, the execution of devotional service, ecstasy in devotional service and ultimately the attainment of love of Godhead are described. In this way there are four laharīs (waves) in this division of the ocean of the nectar of devotion.
In the dakṣiṇa-vibhāga (southern division) there is a general description of the mellow (relationship) called bhakti-rasa, which is derived from devotional service. There are also descriptions of the stages known as vibhāva, anubhāva, sāttvika, vyabhicārī and sthāyi-bhāva, all on this high platform of devotional service. Thus there are five waves in the dakṣiṇa-vibhāga division. In the western division (paścima-vibhāga) there is a description of the chief transcendental humors derived from devotional service. These are known as mukhya-bhakti-rasa-nirūpaṇa, or attainment of the chief humors or feelings in the execution of devotional service. In that part there is a description of devotional service in neutrality, further development in love and affection (called servitude), further development in fraternity, further development in parenthood, or parental love, and finally conjugal love between Kṛṣṇa and His devotees. Thus there are five waves in the western division.
In the northern division (uttara-vibhāga) there is a description of the indirect mellows of devotional service—namely, devotional service in laughter, devotional service in wonder, and devotional service in chivalry, pity, anger, dread and ghastliness. There are also mixing of mellows and the transgression of different humors. Thus there are nine waves in this part. This is but a brief outline of the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu.
The Vidagdha-mādhava is a drama of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes in Vṛndāvana. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī finished this book in the year 1454 Śakābda (A.D. 1532). The first part of this drama is called veṇu-nāda-vilāsa, the second part manmatha-lekha, the third part rādhā-saṅga, the fourth part veṇu-haraṇa, the fifth part rādhā-prasādana, the sixth part śarad-vihāra, and the seventh and last part gaurī-vihāra.
There is also a book called Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, a transcendental account of loving affairs that includes metaphor, analogy and higher bhakti sentiments. Devotional service in conjugal love is described briefly in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, but it is very elaborately discussed in the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi. This book describes different types of lovers, their assistants, and those who are very dear to Kṛṣṇa. There is also a description of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and other female lovers, as well as various group leaders. Messengers and the constant associates, as well as others who are very dear to Kṛṣṇa, are all described. The book also relates how love of Kṛṣṇa is awakened and describes the ecstatic situation, the devotional situation, permanent ecstasy, disturbed ecstasy, steady ecstasy, different positions of different dresses, feelings of separation, prior attraction, anger in attraction, varieties of loving affairs, separation from the beloved, meeting with the beloved, and both direct and indirect enjoyment between the lover and the beloved. All this has been very elaborately described.
Similarly, the Lalita-mādhava is a description of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes in Dvārakā. These pastimes were made into a drama, and the work was finished in the year 1459 Śakābda. The first part deals with festivities in the evening, the second with the killing of the Śaṅkhacūḍa, the third with maddened Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, the fourth with Rādhārāṇī’s proceeding toward Kṛṣṇa, the fifth with the achievement of Candrāvalī, the sixth with the achievement of Lalitā, the seventh with the meeting in Nava-vṛndāvana, the eighth with the enjoyment in Nava-vṛndāvana, the ninth with looking over pictures, and the tenth with complete satisfaction of the mind. Thus the entire drama is divided into ten parts.
The Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta is divided into two parts. The first is called “The Nectar of Kṛṣṇa” and the second “The Nectar of Devotional Service.” The importance of Vedic evidence is stressed in the first part, and this is followed by a description of the original form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Śrī Kṛṣṇa and descriptions of His pastimes and expansions in svāṁśa (personal forms) and vibhinnāṁśa. According to different absorptions, the incarnations are called āveśa and tad-ekātma. The first incarnation is divided into three puruṣāvatāras—namely, Mahā-Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Then there are the three incarnations of the modes of nature—namely, Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara (Śiva). All the paraphernalia used in the service of the Lord is transcendental, beyond the three qualities of this material world. There is also a description of twenty-five līlā-avatāras, namely Catuḥsana (the Kumāras), Nārada, Varāha, Matsya, Yajña, Nara-nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi, Kapila, Dattātreya, Hayagrīva, Haṁsa, Pṛśnigarbha, Ṛṣabha, Pṛthu, Nṛsiṁha, Kūrma, Dhanvantari, Mohinī, Vāmana, Paraśurāma, Dāśarathi, Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana, Balarāma, Vāsudeva, Buddha and Kalki. There are also fourteen incarnations of Manu: Yajña, Vibhu, Satyasena, Hari, Vaikuṇṭha, Ajita, Vāmana, Sārvabhauma, Ṛṣabha, Viṣvaksena, Dharmasetu, Sudhāmā, Yogeśvara and Bṛhadbhānu. There are also four incarnations for the four yugas, and their colors are described as white, red, blackish and black (sometimes yellow, as in the case of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu). There are different types of millenniums and incarnations for those millenniums. The categories called āveśa, prābhava, vaibhava and para constitute different situations for the different incarnations. According to specific pastimes, the names are spiritually empowered. There are also descriptions of the difference between the powerful and the power, and the inconceivable activities of the Supreme Lord.
Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, and no one is greater than Him. He is the source of all incarnations. In the Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta there are descriptions of His partial incarnations, a description of the impersonal Brahman effulgence (actually the bodily effulgence of Śrī Kṛṣṇa), the superexcellence of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes as an ordinary human being with two hands and so forth. There is nothing to compare with the two-armed form of the Lord. In the spiritual world (vaikuṇṭha-jagat) there is no distinction between the owner of the body and the body itself. In the material world the owner of the body is called the soul, and the body is called a material manifestation. In the Vaikuṇṭha world, however, there is no such distinction. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is unborn, and His appearance as an incarnation is perpetual. Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are divided into two parts—manifest and unmanifest. For example, when Kṛṣṇa takes His birth within this material world, His pastimes are considered to be manifest. However, when He disappears, one should not think that He is finished, for His pastimes are going on in an unmanifest form. Varieties of humors, however, are enjoyed by the devotees and Lord Kṛṣṇa during His manifest pastimes. After all, His pastimes in Mathurā, Vṛndāvana and Dvārakā are eternal and are going on perpetually somewhere in some part of the universe.