The old system before the advent of Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was quite a different one. The old concept of Bhakti was complicated. The old days relied more on Shastras based on the Upanishads and the Puranas. People who were good at quoting Shastras were considered as eligible Bhaktas.
The movement of Bhakti in the earlier part of Kaliyuga and prior to that depended on cryptic directions of Bhakti expounded by Shastras of the Purana kind. Even pure Shastras of the nature of Srimad Bhagavatham which was regarded as the highest revealed scripture by Mahaprabhu Himself was interpreted in convenient ways by many scholars which has led to widespread speculation of Bhakti. Quoting from Shastras has become a fad these days and it has resulted in many shops that run the Bhakti business. The aspect of Bhakti has been thoroughly missed even by setups which boast of being Gaudiya Vaishnavas. This is highly depressing. Even when people are promoting the Bhakti cult under the garb of Gaudiya Vaishnavism , a hoard of Shastric evidences are being thrown at for promoting different view points. However the general mood of such sharing is not conducive to promotion of the feeling of Bhakti at heart.
There is a sense of competition in Bhakti and the very purpose of Bhakti stands defeated. Bhakti is the process by which the heart becomes capable of holding the Supreme Lord. Bhakti is that process of purification that ends competition , that which unites devotees in unalloyed love by which the Lord makes His presence felt in the pure transactions amongst devotees. This is the domain where neither money , fame , self-pride, recognition has any place. This process has been established by none other than Sriman Mahaprabhu and then propagated by the original Parivaras namely the Nityananda Parivara, Advaita Parivara, Gadadhara Parivara, Srinivas Acarya Parivara and Syamananda Parivara. Other popular institutions did a good job of propagating the Holy Name.However this process is simply not enough to take the living entity to its final goal of “Seva Prapti”. The various institutions have been propagating various philosophies that have been compiled from various Puranas about Bhakti.
However such philosophies do not provide a system of practice which will establish the benefits of Bhakti on the practitioner. Just dry preaching does not take anyone to the goal of Bhakti. Such institutions simply keep aspirants floating on an artificial ground of self-deception. The philosophy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu infuses within itself all the principles of Bhava Bhakti,the light of spontaneous devotion. Normally institutions indulge in varied conceptions of Bhakti as expounded by Vedic scriptures. When the same philosophy has been utterly simplified by Sriman Mahaprabhu through the process of Raganuga Bhakti,institutions still perpetrate Vaidhi Bhakti. Vaidhi Bhakti is based on Vedic scriptures that do not comply with the mood of Sriman Mahaprabhu.
Sriman Mahaprabhu and the six Goswamis of Vrindavana have simplified Bhakti in the form of Raganuga Bhakti. The essential aspect of this form of Bhakti Is its free flowing nature and the practice of Smarana of one’s eternal form as given by the Guru. One who aspires to be in the pure Sampradaya takes up the manjari bhava sadhana as enunciated by the six Goswamis of Vrindavana . Any other practice taken up in the name of Bhakti is not to be considered pure and genuine. One should not get into the discussions of Vedic edicts,rather one should focus on the process of Raganuga with consideration on Vaishnava Sadachara and Shishtachara. A person practicing Raganuga has to be extremely sensitive to all human beings and should handle different individuals with due consideration. The Raganugiya is Samadarshi or a person with equal vision.