BUDDHA SAID:~ Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.
The theory of karma is the greatest obstacle in the pursuit of truth because the karma theory is based on the physical self, whereas the self is formless, and it is not limited to the physical body, but it pervades the whole universe. There is nothing to realize other than realizing the experience of the form, time and space are one in essence. And that essence is consciousness (soul), the innermost self. On the standpoint of the innermost self, the universe in which we exist is mere illusion. But to realize this truth one has all sorts of mental acrobatics because of too much of accumulated physical based (egocentric) knowledge.
The one who thinks himself as a guru and the one who thinks himself as chela (disciple) will not be able get Self-Knowledge because both of them accepted themselves as the body. And all their understanding, practices, knowledge are based on the false self. Therefore, the Guru –Shisya concept is a great obstacle in the pursuit of truth. That is why Sri, Ramana Maharishi never accepted himself as a guru or accepted any one as his disciple, because he was fully immersed in his true self, which is formless consciousness. There was no division in his consciousness even though he was in the midst of division or duality.
Thus by surrendering to any guru or god men is not the means to self-knowledge. The self is the true guru. Seeker has to surrender to the self by realizing the fact that, the self is not physical but self is formless soul or consciousness.
People born in the different sect, and they remain as its follower. Most of the sect are founded by some gurus, thus Indian belief system is a Guru Cult, i.e. believes in the worship of the Guru as the Supreme Deity.
When a seeker finds his inherited belief system and his accumulate knowledge from various sources are inadequate and useless in quenching his spiritual thirst, then only he searches elsewhere. And tries to get enlightened himself further to clear the cobwebs of his understanding and seeks guidance to his progress.
The path of religion, path of yoga and the path of wisdom were intended for different classes of people. The wisdom is for the advanced seekers of truth. It deals with the nature of the ultimate Truth and Reality. Path of wisdom is meant for superior aspirants who have inner an urge to know the truth and it is not for those who are immersed in earthly desires.
Even Upanishads clearly declares:~
Katha Upanishad:~ This Atman cannot be attained by the study of the Vedas, or by intelligence, or by much hearing of sacred books. It is attained by him alone whom It chooses. To such a one Atman reveals Its own form. (Katha Upanishad Ch-II -23-P-20)
Mundaka Upanishad:~ This Atman cannot be attained through study of the Vedas, nor through intelligence, nor through much learning. He who chooses Atman—by him alone is Atman attained. It is Atman that reveals to the seeker Its true nature. ( 3 –page 70-Mundaka Upanishad Upanishads by Nikilanada)
Upanishad declares:~ the human goal is to acquire Self-Knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana, and they also indicate the personal gods, scriptures, worship and rituals are not the means to Self –Knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana, then why anyone should indulge in it. The religion, concept of individualized god and scriptures are greatest obstacle to realize non-dual truth or self-realization, because they are based on false self. Therefore, one has to search the ultimate truth without losing himself in the labyrinths of philosophy, he should indulge in deeper self-search and assimilate and realize it.
Seekers goal is towards Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana, and noting other then it. Therefore, guru is needed in religious and yogic paths, path of love, path of humanity which are meant for the people who are not searching for truth but they are searching for worldly comforts and temporary peace in this physical existence. They fear of losing their physical identity and all that is connected to the physical identity. When one realizes the physical identity (ego) is false self and the true identity is the soul, which is in the form consciousness, then he realizes that the fear factor is limited to the false self within the false experience. When the self is not form, but formless consciousness all the burden and bondage of the duality is a mere mirage created out of a single stuff. And that single stuff is the consciousness.
Thus perfect understanding and assimilation is required for the realization of the ultimate truth or Brahman. Whatever One has read, heard and accumulated as truth has to be verified through deeper self-search. Nothing has to be accepted as truth without verification.
The Self itself is the guru, guide and the disciple; therefore there is neither guru nor disciple, nor teaching nor the world because everything is self, which is in the form of consciousness. Consciousness is the ultimate truth.