Not only self realization but entire journey of spirituality is always covered all alone. If a seeker thinks there is something that could be taught by a spiritual master, one is totally mistaken. The most a spiritual master like Maharshi Ramana or Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa could do was clarify some of our queries.
Swami Vivekananda indulged in path of spirituality of his own. Whenever a serious doubt arose he went to Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa for clarification but Swami Vivekananda all the time indulged in contemplation (chintan) to reach the hidden underlying meaning on his own.
No doubt Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa was the spiritual master of Swami Vivekananda but the association was limited to clarification of queries only and that too from side of Swami Vivekananda. Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa never imposed anything on Swami Vivekananda.
In present times so-called spiritual masters, teachers knowing nothing of the subject of spirituality indulged in disseminating so-called spirituality to gullible masses, to what avail. Did Mahavira, Gautama Buddha even Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed and also Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharshi Ramana ever open a hermitage of their own, never.
Whatever ashram, hermitage in present times existed relating to all these self realized souls were a doing of their followers, not the preceptors themselves.
The gurukul Parampara is the only way to impart wisdom of spirituality to a seeker. In a gurukul nothing is imposed on the student by the Acharya. All the teachings, the realization has to come from within. The student can consult the Acharya whenever in doubt, never otherwise. Only general guidelines are imparted by the Acharya from time to time.
When young I also badly wanted a spiritual master to guide me in my spiritual quest. There were so many queries within unanswered. No matter how best I searched I could find none. Exasperated one day I asked God Almighty whether he would become my guide in the spiritual journey of life and Lo, he said yes.
Actually what had happened was I was truthful 100% from six years of age! My ego at six years of age also was zero. I believed in God and world of souls’ atmans 100%. Such was my belief in God and his system that even if God Almighty himself came disguised to sway me from the path, my quest of spirituality I would have not. I think it is this 100% belief in everything that came to my rescue in search for a spiritual master.
It is in those moments I realized that Lord Krishna was nothing else but soul atman existing in our heart as spirit, consciousness. When I was 100% truthful I could distinctly hear the promptings of Lord Krishna from within, coming from time to time. Guided by Lord Krishna from six years of age I finally cleared my spiritual journey 37 years of age when I reached state of self realization, god realization.
Furthermore, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharshi Ramana for entire humanity exists no more but for me they all the time existed. I could always indulge in vast paraphernalia of literature relating to Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharshi Ramana available in open market to reach their thought process, clarify my queries within.
Lying in shavasna pose of yoga when going to bed in the night I could always interact with Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharshi Ramana. In the morning when I got up all the queries I addressed to Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharshi Ramana had dissolved forever.