“The perfection of allegiance to the Vraja-people cannot be achieved by giving up external practices like hearing and chanting. As much as the external practices like hearing and chanting nourish the internal practice of smaraṇa, that much the internal practice also awakens taste for external practices. Since they nourish each other equally, efforts to fix one’s mind on līlā smaraṇa without taking shelter of external practices will not become fruitful. And again, efforts to perform only external practices without practicing līlā smaraṇa cannot be called rāgānugā mārga’s bhajana. Hence both are required.
Without practicing limbs of bhajana such as hearing and chanting within the external sādhaka body, the sādhaka cannot attain perfection in either destroying māyā, becoming free from vices in his own bhajana or in his allegiance to the people of Vraja. With hearing and chanting is meant following as much as possible the 64 items of bhajana, starting with taking shelter of a guru, that Śrīmat Rūpa Gosvāmī has mentioned in his Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu grantha
On the path of raganuga-bhakti, meditating on the divine pastimes is the main sadhana, however in the primary stage we are not qualified for lila-smaran (meditation on the pastimes). Therefore, we should concentrate more on hearing, chanting and following the other rules of bhakti. Then as our consciousness gets more and more purified, we are drawn towards lila-smaran. Slowly our smaran becomes more intense. Ultimately when we reach the zenith of bhajan, lila-smaran naturally becomes the major part of bhajan.”
(Srila Ananta das Babaji)