Bhakti in Hinduism was the path for reaching God in earlier times. But, in the present scientific age… path of jnana yoga (path of absolute wisdom) was necessitated for reaching God in present life. Not one but many sages and saints of different era gained enlightenment in their lifetime via path of bhakti yoga. Bhakti Hinduism demands absolute submission to God Almighty which in present times is almost impossible to achieve.
Bhakti yoga is following path of religion… path of rituals! Singing praises… indulging in intense prayers… worshipping God were all part of bhakti yoga. For practitioners of bhakti yoga… the individual self carried no meaning. Merging individual self with that of God Almighty was the ultimate goal of life for a true Bhakta. For a follower of bhakti yoga… ego (Aham) had to be dissolved forever. In the present scientific age overcoming ego (Aham) was a difficult task.
In the last about 150 years amongst 7 billion people existing world over… only Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana gained enlightenment. Both of these spiritual stalwarts initially started their pursuit of God via path of bhakti yoga but finally both switched to path of jnana yoga (path of absolute wisdom) that required contemplation on God Almighty all the time. Unless one followed path of self enquiry in present life, God Almighty could not be reached!
Even today… one could start search of God via path of bhakti yoga. But, comes a stage in life… when one finally switched to path of jnana yoga (absolute wisdom) forever! Path of bhakti yoga was easier to travel… prime reason why in earlier times people preferred traveling path of bhakti yoga compared to path of jnana yoga. In earlier times when Gurukul Parampara existed… it was easier to travel path of bhakti yoga under guidance of an enlightened spiritual master.
Many saints from Maharashtra state of India followed path of bhakti yoga to reach God Almighty. Path of bhakti Hinduism is truly a marvelous concept but difficult to follow. Living life of a trustee… indulging in karma, nishkama karma way… human beings could easily follow path of bhakti yoga. Surrendering ego (Aham in Hinduism)… surrendering fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time… human beings truly reached God via path of bhakti yoga.