Who is a Master
Mr. Evans-Wentz continued another day: “May one have more than one spiritual master?”
M.: Who is a Master? He is the Self after all. According to the stages of the development of the mind the Self manifests as the Master externally. The famous ancient saint Avadhuta said that he had more than 24 Masters. The Master is one from whom one learns anything. The Guru may be sometimes inanimate also, as in the case of Avadhuta. God, Guru and the Self are identical.
A spiritual-minded man thinks that God is all-pervading and takes God for his Guru. Later, God brings him in contact with a personal Guru and the man recognizes him as all in all. Lastly the same man is made by the grace of the Master to feel that his Self is the Reality and nothing else. Thus he finds that the Self is the Master.
D.: Does Sri Bhagavan initiate his disciples?
Maharshi kept silent.
Thereafter one of the devotees took it upon himself to answer, saying, “Maharshi does not see anyone as outside his Self. So there are no disciples for him. His Grace is all-pervading and He communicates his Grace to any deserving individual in silence.”
D.: How does book-lore help in Self-Realization?
M.: Only so far as to make one spiritually-minded.
D.: How far does intellect help?
M.: Only so far as to make one sink the intellect in the ego, and the ego in the Self.
Talks With Ramana Maharshi – Part 1
February 2, 1935