There are many students who, in spite of reading the Bhagavad-gita, misunderstand Krsna because of imperfect knowledge and conclude Him to be an ordinary historical personality. This one must not do. One should be particularly careful to understand the truth about Krsna. If because of laziness one does not come to know Krsna conclusively, one will be misguided about the cult of devotion, like those who declare themselves advanced devotees and imitate the transcendental symptoms sometimes observed in liberated souls. Although the use of thoughts and arguments is a most suitable process for inducing an uninitiated person to become a devotee, neophytes in devotional service must always alertly understand Krsna through the vision of the revealed scriptures, the bona fide devotees and the spiritual master. Unless one hears about Sri Krsna from such authorities, one cannot make advancement in devotion to Sri Krsna. The revealed scriptures mention nine means of attaining devotional service, of which the first and foremost is hearing from authority. The seed of devotion cannot sprout unless watered by the process of hearing and chanting. One should submissively receive the transcendental messages from spiritually advanced sources and chant the very same messages for one’s own benefit as well as the benefit of one’s audience.
From Srila Prabhupada’s purport to Cc Adi 2.117