Is a guru necessary for enlightenment?

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Yes and no! The guru or master is not a vyakti (person) as we imagine. He is a tattva (principle). He is simply a physical representation or of the Divine. In the vedic tradition, the spiritual teacher, the guru or the master, is said to be more important than God! God is always and everywhere, but it is the guru who opens the disciple’s eyes to the existence of God. The master is the doorway to one’s own experience of the Divine. He is the mirror that helps you recognize the truth that is already within you. In fact, the master is the only scripture that is alive! Surrendering to God is difficult because you don’t know who or where God is! God is a mere concept to you. But the master is real. Through his form, you can take the quantum jump to the Divine. Understand, life itself can be your master - if you have the intelligence to pick up the right things from it! Life itself can be a wonderful teacher, if you know how to learn from it. If you can hear with utter clarity the voice of your own being, you don’t need an external master. You don’t have to surrender to anyone outside. Just surrender to your own highest consciousness, that is enough! The master is not really an individual. The master is intense Life! If you see him as just one more form, you will try to relate to him as you relate to other people. You will miss the chance to have a direct relationship with Existence – which is what the master is. So don’t get caught in guru-personality. Just make yourself available to the guru-principle! Ultimately, your real guru is your own inner Self. The outer guru exists only to guide you to the experience of the inner guru. The guru exists both outside you and within you! From the outside, he gives you a push inside, so that your extroverted mind begins to look within. And from inside, he starts pulling you, so that no matter what the distractions, you stay in your own inner space. Recognizing the guru as one’s own highest Self is the most beautiful experience that happens with enlightenment.