Viveka chudamani 8-13
Arthasya niscaya desto vicarena hitokotih
Na snanena na danena pranaya mastena
neither sacred baths nor any amount of charity or any pranayama gives us the knowledge of the self. The knowledge of the self is possible only when we send our thoughts along the rails of arguments laid down by salutary advice of the wise.
Rituals and giving of alms for the sake of giving are superficial.
However it is a good place to start with. But it does not give us the knowledge of the self. To traverse the journey of understanding the self, we would have to follow path of a teacher who has journeyed that path. It also becomes the responsibility of a teacher to ensure that a truly eligible seeker goes on that path.