"The word paragam is very significant. Paragam refers to one who can take the disciple to the other side. This side is conditioned life; the other side is the life of freedom. The spiritual master takes the disciple to the other side by opening his eyes with knowledge. We are suffering because of ignorance. By the instruction of the spiritual master, the darkness of ignorance is removed, and thus the disciple is enabled to go to the side of freedom. It is stated in Bhagavad-gita that after many, many births one surrenders to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Similarly, if after many, many births, one is able to find a bona fide spiritual master and surrender to such a bona fide representative of Krsna, one can be taken to the side of light."

(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 3.25.8, Purport)
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