Some Teachings of Ramana Maharishi
Association with the wise, satsang, and service of them is required of the disciple.
As very few can hold satsang with the unmanifested truth of being, the absolute existence, most have to begin with association with the manifested truth, that is, the embodied guru.
Association with sages should be made because thoughts are so persistent. The sage has already overcome the mind and remains in peace. Being in his proximity helps to bring about this condition; otherwise there is no meaning in seeking his company.
Serve the guru selflessly with a full heart.
Service to the guru is primarily abidance in the Self, but it also includes making the guru's body comfortable, looking after his place of abode, and serving all mankind by seeing all as God.
It is the spiritual contact which is important. If the disciple finds the guru internally, then the guru will always be with him no matter where he goes.
In the proximity of a great master, the negative tendencies cease to be active, the mind becomes still and samadhi results.
Thus the disciple gains true knowledge and right experience in the presence of the master.
To remain unshaken in this peaceful state, further efforts are necessary. Eventually the disciple will know it to be his real being and will thus be liberated even while alive.