30th October 1945
Sri Dilip Kumar Roy of Sri Aurobindo Ashram this morning sang in the presence of Maharshi in the Hall and in the evening asked the following questions:
Dilip: Some people reported you to have said that there was no need for a guru. Others gave the opposite report. What does Maharshi say?
Bhagavan: I have never said that there is no need for a guru.
D: Sri Aurobindo and others refer to you as having had no guru.
Bhagavan: All depends on what you call guru. He need not be in a human form. Dattatreya had twenty-four gurus: the five elements – earth, water, etc., which means that every object in this world was his guru. Guru is absolutely necessary. The Upanishads say that none but a guru can take a man out of the jungle of intellect and sense- perceptions. So there must be a guru.
D: I mean a human guru – the Maharshi did not have one.
Bhagavan: I might have had one at one time or other. But did I not sing hymns to Arunachala? What is a guru? Guru is God or the Self. First a man prays to God to fulfill his desires. A time comes when he will no more pray for the fulfillment of material desires but for God Himself. God then appears to him in some form or other, human or non-human, to guide him to Himself in answer to his prayer and according to his needs.
- Guru Ramana