Hari Puri Baba: “You, of course, want to know if I can teach you the secrets of the soul, the atma vidya, you want to know if I can show you who you really are, no?”
“In the case of the spiritual seeker who pursues knowledge of Brahman, which is the knowledge of the Self, a close personal association between the guru and disciple is established. The goal of such a relationship is transformation whereby the student, after his self‑realization, becomes a guru himself.”
“Shastra is the only source of the knowledge of the truths regarding what is beyond the senses. What do I mean by Shastra? You would probably translate it as scripture or text but I’m talking about a different kind of text from what you are used to. It is not written, it’s not a book. This is text that goes way off the page, way beyond its front and back covers. Yes, you can print the mantras and the other sounds. You can print some version of the story but its authority and power lie in the empty spaces. On the paper these are the white spaces that haven’t been touched by ink. The printing can be perceived from as many different perspectives as there are people and spirits and gods. The text is the tradition manifested through its knower.”
“The knowledge that leads to liberation can be achieved through traditional authority, and that authority comes through a line of teachers. Traditional authority is the way of effectively passing down knowledge through time. There is no pursuit of wisdom independent of one’s gurus. In this way, the path is the goal. In our tradition the guru is the patron of the disciple, willing to travel to any of the three worlds to save his rear end.”
“Do you know what it means to be a disciple, a chela? It means that you have a guide, a benefactor, a protector, one who will show you the path, and do everything in his power to see to it that you also cross to the other side, as he has, so that you may show the path to others and keep it from disappearing. Do you understand everything I am saying?”
Baba Rampuri: "I began to see Hari Puri Baba as my highest aspiration. He was what I might become if I persisted on the Path of Heroes. But, why couldn’t I figure out everything by myself? Because the most advanced men and women of every generation try this with greater or lesser success, but Nature maintains codes and languages, to transmit information from generation to generation. A tradition is what enables one to follow the path, to search for identity and meaning, as part of a collective soul disqualifying time as a barrier. Without the benefit of a tradition, one must start from scratch and go through countless lifetimes of building a way of seeing and knowing. You still have to figure it all out yourself. You must find the path and walk on it. The guru can point the way, help you cross some thresholds, train you, punish you, rescue you, and ultimately give you blessings. You, however, must do the walking."
- ‘Autobiography of a Sadhu: A Journey Into Mystic India’ by Baba Rampuri
See also, Kali's Odiyya: AShaman's True Story of Initiation by Amarananda Bhairavan