Self inquiry leads one to the Realization of the Self. You, thus, wake up to your True Nature, the Brahman. This truth has been elaborated in Vedic Scriptures and propagated by divine incarnations, especially Adi Sankara, who wrote several explanatory scriptures on the subject. The real Purpose of life and Goal of every human being (Sadhaka) is Self Realization.
The journey towards this Goal needs guidance, irrespective of race, color, caste, religion and every other man-made trait. This guidance need not always be from another person. Sometimes, the guidance can be from within, as you trust the scriptures and begin the journey. When the guidance is from a Guru, it has to be pure and selfless. While Vedic scriptures help make the ladder to elevate the Sadhaka to higher levels (in stages), a selfless Guru also makes the guiding force.
Guru is a ‘tatvam’ (principle). This principle can flow through a person, an event or any other object.
Guru Gita affirms that a true Guru opens the eyes of those who are rendered blind by the darkness of ignorance. A true Guru practices exceptional leadership qualities and gradually makes his disciple (Sishya) a true Leader who leads his own journey towards the Real Awakening.
A word of caution on self-proclaimed Gurujis and Acharyas
A true Guru guides and monitors the Sadhaka’s progress without letting the Sadhaka know about it. A Guru takes corrective measures whenever the Sadhaka deviates from the prescribed path. It is indeed sad that most of the so-called (fake) gurus and magicians of today block the vision of the Sadhaka by intentionally (mis)guiding them. When will the knowledge seeker begin believing in himself or herself? The beginning of the journey is well-set by outright rejection of these fake gurus and magicians who are rather busy entertaining the senses of the devotees turned victims.
A true Guru never exhibits Sidhdhis (superhuman powers) unless in a situation of emergency to save someone. When misused, the person gradually degrades himself and then, it becomes a mere show for the purpose of ‘maintaining the image’ among the public or innocent devotees. It does not stop there. Sidhdhis or divine powers do not stay with such persons for long because they have brought back the ‘jeeva eswara bedha’ (duality between individual and GOD). The acts then become purely artificial, similar to what professional magicians do. Unfortunately, these ‘shows’ do not appear all that professional if one carefully observes, leaving aside the bhakthi (devotion) to such Gurus. Even self-styled ‘disciples’ or ‘key members of the ashram’ of these fake gurus make the vision of the Sadhaka further blind by propagating wrong philosophies and explanations which are never affirmed by Vedas.
By exploiting the ignorance of the Sadhaka and his lack of exposure to the holy language of Sanskrit in which all scriptures are written, these ‘disciples’ make sure that their personal and religious career interests, if any, remain protected. While giving speeches and discourses on the pre-text of guiding the masses, these persons are merely picking the literal meaning of the words without any understanding of the subject. It is extremely easy to prove them wrong with the help of holy texts if one has basic understanding of the Sanskrit language. It’s still not late. Wake up! Reject them outright and begin your journey NOW. You will succeed irrespective of your race and religion. That’s what this human birth is for! Also remember, you don’t have to religious to be spiritual.