Prabhupada: First there is shraddha (faith), then rati (attachment) Then after that comes bhakti. When sadhana has not begun, then shraddha is required. When sadhana ends, then comes the stage of rati. When one is established in sadhya (the goal of one’s practice) then comes bhakti, or prema. Thakura Bhaktivinoda has said:
kripa kara vaishnava thakura 
sambandha janiya bhajite bhajite 
abhimana hau dura
Oh Vaishnava Thakura, kindly bestow your mercy. Then only my false ego will be eradicated and I will be able to constantly worship the Lord, being aware of my relationship with Him. (Kalyana-kalpataru 3.2.1)
There is no way to gain auspiciousness other than serving one who performs real service to Vishnu. At this present time, we are engaged in a tie of love between finite things. We feel the necessity of things that actually have no real necessity for us.
yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke 
sva-dhih kalatradishu bhauma ijya-dhih 
yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhichij 
janeshv abhijneshu sa eva go-kharah
One who identifies his self as the inert body composed of mucus, bile and air, who assumes his wife and family are permanently his own, who thinks an earthen image or the land of his birth is worshipable, or who sees a place of pilgrimage as merely the water there, but who never identifies himself with, feels kinship with, worships or even visits those who are wise in spiritual truth — such a person is no better than a cow or an ass. (Bhag. 10.84.13)
Those that pull on their beads in the same way that one pulls on the reigns of an animal, who make a noise, yet do not see Krishna and Gaurasundara directly in every utterance they make, are not fit to be associated by us. The acme of all scholarship is krishna-sambandha (establishing a relationship with Sri Krishna).
varam huta-vaha-jvala panjarantar-vyavasthitih
na shauri-chinta-vimukhajana-samvasa-vaishamam
It is preferable to live in an iron cage in the midst of a blazing fire, than to associate with those who are averse to meditating upon Shauri (Krishna), for such association is a great calamity. (Katyayana-samhita)
If my real intention is to serve Bhagavan, then I will look at the entire world as ingredients for His service. Then a painting by Raphael will not be able to captivate me. I will understand that the songs of Chandidasa and Vidyapati should not be heard when one still has anarthas. If you go to Navadvipa, you will see that – just like the tales of the heroes and heroines of Vidyasundara, there are those who endeavor to enjoy the songs and poetry of Chandidasa and Vidyapati. Although Srinivasa Acharya Prabhu started a tradition of singing, it was not meant for nourishing and filling the burning hunger of people’s bellies, nor was it meant for the sense-enjoyment of people inflicted with anarthas. Those who do not understanding this are struck down by the arrows of lust, like a deer who becomes charmed by the song of a hunter. As a result of this, such people become degraded to the level of animals and ghouls and sink into hell. They will be in the garden of hell –with such intelligence they are madly engrossed in sense-enjoyment and do not listen to sadhus. Srinivasa Acharya Prabhu and Sri Vakresvara Pandita have created this method in order to deceive all those animals in human form.
I cannot understand how learned people have so much belief in such bogus things nowadays. Once, R. Dutta’s father, N. Dutta, took Srimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura to Madhu Raya’s lane. N. Datta came to Srimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura and said, "Please understand, we only know Mahaprabhu. But my son has changed after associating with a Mayavadi! They are declaring an ordinary human being as a new avatara, a new Mahaprabhu! Kindly come to my house once and examine my son’s guru? Is he a sadhu or a sham? Whatever you say I will believe.”
Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura was very intimate with N. Datta. The day when R. was supposed to come to the house of his father, N. Datta brought Srimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura to his house with great care and hospitality. N. Datta said to his son, “One of my friends, who is a great Vaishnava has come. Mahaprabhu is his very life.” At that time the Vishva-Vaishnava Sabha had been established. In that assembly, Srimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura was very elaborately reading and explaining Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu. Seeing Bhaktivinoda Thakura, R. started singing – Ya’re dekhile nayana jhure, ta’ra du bhai eseche re (‘The two brothers have come, seeing whom the eyes become fully satisfied’) and fell unconscious. Srimad Bhativinoda Thakura was in another room. R. was in that condition, lying on the verandah in front of that very room. After a while, some rasagullas were brought in front of R. who ate them and his remnants were eaten by other people. No one had the courage to offer that to Srimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura. A little later, some impure foodstuffs were brought. At first R. protested, but later he accepted it. All these activities were observed by Srimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura. After returning from there, he scrupulously verified all these symptoms with the proper standards authorized in Srimad Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu. Referring to the words of Sri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu he pointed out the deception and cheating of the impersonalist section, and the section that advocates non-discrimination and equality between spirit and matter.
The reflection (pratibimba) and the shadow of real rati (chaya-ratyabhasa) are not the symptoms of prema. For those who have taken impersonalism as their highest ideal, their imitation of devotional practices is a mere deception. Those schools of thought that encourage material desires promote the position of such insignificant men in the minds of the general populace. This is known as 'apotheosis' (ascribing divinity to a mortal). The devotees of Gaura are not inclined to apotheosis. They do not worship human beings nor are they Karta-bhajas (one of the 13 apa-sampradayas that worship their guru as God). They are the eternal servitors of the vishaya-vigraha (Krishna) who is embraced by the ashraya-vigraha (Radharani). This is the specialty of the teachings of gaura-bhajana.