Bhakti means love. Without love there is no question of bhakti.
It is not enough to just go on mechanically, as if Krsna consciousness were simply some humdrum formula. We have to open our hearts and actually develop love for Krsna, love for the devotees, love for all living beings. That is why we have to connect with Prabhupada, who is an ocean of love. We connect with Prabhupada through his books and instructions, which is required. But even just reading his books is not enough unless we develop feeling. We may doubt, "How can we develop that feeling if we never met Prabhupada or had very little personal association with him?" Answer: By hearing about him from those who were with him, by reading about him, by discussing his pastimes and qualities, and most importantly by praying: "Srila Prabhupada, please help me."
We have to become attached to Srila Prabhupada. That is the sure way to success. Mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimukteh -- "One can attain the path of liberation from material bondage only by rendering service to highly advanced spiritual personalities." Becoming attached to Srila Prabhupada means to become attached to hearing about him, reading his books, glorifying him, and most importantly, following his instructions. "Following his instructions" does not mean following one or two of them according to our whims, but making them our life and soul. This is the real meaning of putting Prabhupada in the center.
I do not want to be taken as a sahajiya, but I must say that if we do not at least sometimes shed a tear when remembering Srila Prabhupada's mercy on us, there is something wrong. Let's put it right, now, while there's still time.
- From the "My Memories of Srila Prabhupada" by HH Bhakti Vikas Swami