SB 1.2 - Bhakti needed to realize all the forms of the Lord
The jñānīs, yogīs and the devotees see the jñāna of three forms by bhakti. Those who conceive of jñāna as Brahman realize the jīva as the Lord. Those who conceive of the Lord as Paramātmā see thru meditation the Lord in the heart in their heart. Those who conceive of Bhagavān see Bhagavān in the mind and also directly in front of them and taste the sweetness of the Lord with their very eyes. All sages – jñānīs, yogīs or devotees – realize their form of the Lord by bhakti, which is first heard from the guru and then practiced. The worshipers of Brahman and Paramātmā must also perform bhakti directed to Bhagavān in order to perfect their own sādhanas. Jñāna and vairāgya are the two sādhanas for the jñānīs and yogīs only. For the devotee these two arise from bhakti and shows the loving nature of bhakti (because he loves the Lord he strives to know the Lord and shows distaste for everything else). Some who have that particular faith develop the desire to realize all the three forms, and by bhakti they can see all the three forms.
None of the three aspects of the Absolute Truth can be realized without practicing bhakti. The knowers of the Absolute Truth say that wealth is not for sense enjoyment but to preserve one’s life. Thus the purpose of life is not to attain wealth or the heavenly planets but to know the Absolute truth. Jīva Gosvāmī says that the ultimate result of attraction to kṛṣṇa-kathā is devotion to Kṛṣṇa. By that devotion, we will see Kṛṣṇa Himself. This devotion is rare, invaluable and obtained by practices performed solely to please Kṛṣṇa. Devotion to Kṛṣṇa is the true effect of religion.
There are three classes of devotees. The third class devotees have no knowledge and are not detached from material association but are simply attracted to worship the Deity. Such devotees are called material devotees. In the second class position, the devotee sees the Personality of Godhead, His devotees, the ignorant and the envious. One has to raise himself at least to this stage of second class devotee and thus become eligible to know the Absolute Truth. The number one Bhāgavata is the established personality of devotee, and the other Bhāgavatam is the message of Godhead. The third class devotee has to take instructions of devotional service from the first class devotee. The first class devotee must be a representative of Śuka and must preach bhakti for the benefit of the masses. A neophyte devotee has very little taste for hearing from the authorities. The messages of Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad gītā are transcendental subject matters but such messages should not be received from professional men, who spoil them as the serpent spoils milk by the touch of its tongue.
Without hearing and following the instructions of the scriptures, the show of bhakti is worthless. By assimilating the messages of the Vedic literatures, one can see the all pervading Lord within himself constantly. This is called samādhi.