Guru is that aspect of the Self that removes the darkness of ignorance.

Asato mā sadgamaya
tamasomā jyotir gamaya
mrityormāamritam gamaya
Oṁ śhānti śhānti śhāntiḥ

From ignorance, lead me to truth;
From darkness, lead me to light;
From death, lead me to immortality
Om peace, peace, peace

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1.3.28)

Shri Raja Subramaniyan is my Guru who removed my darkness, who lead me to the truth, who made me immortal.

I list here a few who helped me in the path of Knowing the Self. Most of the Gurus I knew and benefited me by some means by reading and/or hearing their teachings. Some inspire, and some give us hope, but one needs a personal living Guru to get enlightened.

Ramana Maharishi
Shri Raja Subramaniyan
Swami Paramarthananda 
Swami Dhayananda
Swami Sivananda

For all practical purposes a Guru is a living person, and not anything else such as a book, or teachings, or objects such as a Mountain or intuition or anything else. A dead person cannot be a Guru. Also one must have constant personal access to the Guru. Enlightenment is a point, or an event that occurs somewhere along the way as the inquiry is conducted under the Guru. As the inquiry proceeds numerous questions will arise, the endless and immediate interactions on those questions as well as the teachings form a vital part of the process.

A Guru must have received systematic teaching from his Guru in a certain tradition or format of significant substance. Someone who might have obtained enlightenment without a Guru may not in most cases be a qualified Guru.

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