If due to some righteous activities which provoke devotional service one acquires some faith, one takes shelter of the good association of pure devotees and is influenced by their service attitude. Then he develops attachment for hearing and chanting. By developing hearing and chanting, one can advance further and further in regulative devotional service to the Supreme Lord. As one so advances, his misgivings about devotional service and his attraction to the material world proportionately diminish. By advancing in hearing and chanting, a devotee becomes more firmly fixed in his faith. Gradually he develops a taste for devotional service, and that taste gradually develops into attachment for Kṛṣṇa. When that attachment becomes pure, it exhibits the two characteristics of bhāva (emotion) and rati (affection). When rati increases, it is called love of Godhead. Love of Godhead is the ultimate goal of human life.
This process is summarized by Rūpa Gosvāmī in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.4.15–16): "The first thing required is faith. Due to faith a person associates with pure devotees, and by such association he develops devotional service. As devotional service develops, his misgivings diminish. Then he is situated in firm conviction, and from that conviction he develops a taste for devotional service and advances to the stage of attachment for Kṛṣṇa, whereby he follows the regulative principles of devotional service spontaneously. After that point he makes still further progress and attains the state called bhāva, which is permanent. Such love of God becomes deeper and deeper, until it reaches the highest stage of love of Godhead."