Yes the sloka is from Garuda Puranam (2.49.98).
The following images(& texts) are from the book called Garuda Purana Saaraam(The essence of Garuda Purana).
tŸvat tapo vrataÄ t rthaÄ japa homŸrcanŸdikam |
veda ÀŸstrŸgama kathŸ yŸvat tattvaÄ na vindati || 2.49.98 ||
Penances, vows, pilgrimage,
prayers, sacrifice, worship, scriptural study and discussion on
scriptural injunctions are only meaningful when one is mindful of the
The context is of letting everyone know the importance of a Guru in one's life.Lord Vishnu is saying that it is only by a Guru's teaching & blessings one may attain the Highest Truth and liberation(Moksha).It is also stated that by mere self study of Scriptures and Philosophies one achieve absolutely nothing, if done without Guru's guidance.
na vedŸdhyŸyanŸn-muktiÅ na ÀŸstra pa¢hanŸd-api | j†ŸnŸd-eva hi
kaivalyaÄ nŸnyathŸ vinatŸtmaja || 2.49.87 || One cannot obtain
Liberation by simply chanting Vedas nor by self-study of the
Scriptures. Liberation comes from the dawning of pure wisdom alone,
not otherwise O Garuda.
praj†Ÿ-h nasya pa¢hanaÄ yathŸndhasya ca darpa®am | ataÅ praj†ŸvatŸÄ
ÀŸstraÄ tattvaj†Ÿnasya lakŒa®am || 2.49.82 || For the un-realized
person the self-study of scriptures is useless — like a mirror to the
blind. But for the Self-realized person the same is the means of true
The essence of this whole discourse by Lord Vishnu is summed up very well in the following verse from the same chapter:
tasmŸt j†ŸnenŸtma tattvaÄ vij†eyaÄ Àr guror-mukhŸt |
sukhena mucyate jantuÅ ghora saÄsŸra bandhanŸt || 2.49.101 ||
Therefore one should
obtain the True Knowledge of the Atman from a worthy preceptor. From
following the teaching of a Guru, one may easily attain liberation
from this awesome ocean of rebirth.
In short,the message is,unless one obtains a Guru Diksha ,(his)Japa,Tapa,Homa ,Puja or Tirtha are more or less futile.