' The Spiritual Master '...

"'Is a Master necessary for realisation?' Mrs. Piggot asked first.
M.: The realisation is the result of the Master's grace more than teachings, lectures, meditation, etc. They are only secondary aids, whereas the former is the primary and the essential cause.

Devotee: What are the obstacles which hinder realisation of the Self?
M.: They are habits of mind (vasanas).
D.: How to overcome the mental habits (vasanas)?

M.: By realising the Self.
D.: That is a vicious circle.
M.: It is the ego which raises such difficulties, creating obstacles and then suffers from the perplexity of apparent paradoxes. Find out who makes the enquiries and the Self will be found.

D.: What are the aids for realisation?
M.: The teachings of the Scriptures and of realised souls
D.: Can such teachings be discussions, lectures and meditations?
M.: Yes, all these are only secondary aids, whereas the essential is the Master's grace."

Sri Ramana Maharishi
Talk 13, 7th January, 1935
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1955, Vol. 1, p. 4-5

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