The letter ‘GU‘ denotes darkness. the letter ‘RU denotes the remover of darkness. Brahman who is capable of swallowing up ignorance is certainly GURU.
A thinking person in the course of his life, experiences a mental crisis, when the world and worldly life fails to satisfy him and he begins to think that there must be a higher purpose than mere vital and mental existence and that there must be something positively true and good behind all this. He therefore naturally uses his intellect and turns to the philosophy for help and guidance.
In due course of time, the philosophy which uses reasoning, gives rational explanation of things and their existence, but it fails to solve and explain the relation between God, Nature and Man.
Here steps in, religion and it gives solution of the relation between God and Man. this solution is both subjective and objective. on the objective of ethical side, reason and philosophy helps man to formulate his right conduct. But on the subjective side, they fail and cannot solve the problem. This gap is filled by religion which starts with the two distinct principles of faith and revelation.
Faith in God is the first postulate, and acceptance of revelation the second postulate and when we admit these two principles, we feel a strength and confidence in our quest of God.
By faith is meant as the recognition of an object which is neither present in consciousness nor discovered by the senses. As God cannot be an object of the mind or senses. it is only by faith that man can link himself to him.
Now a thinking person comes to the stage of realizing the necessity of studying the scriptures and understanding their meaning with a view to know God.
To understand what the scriptures teach, we require the instrumentality of reason and ratiocination. This reason is the God-given power of understanding and it has its own limitations. The date furnished by the scriptures are based on revelations and are beyond reason and have to be admitted on faith, as authority.
Proper understanding of the scriptures gives us a knowledge of God and the revelation of man to God, both of which are derived from Revelation.
Hence (1) Faith, the God-given gift to man, in the revealed scriptures, (2) Right Knowledge as taught by the Guru, (3) Service of the Guru are the only three means for the direct experience of delight in the Bliss of the Supreme Being, or what is termed “Brahman”, in the Upanishads.
This is the path to self-revelation. That is to say experience is just the process of knowledge realizing itself or becoming the essence of the ultimate reality.
In other words, to “Known Thyself” is to “Become Thyself” and “Be Thyself”.