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First One Has To Know Oneself Then One Can Know Others To Be The Same

When I experienced that the world, with all moving creatures, was entirely separate from me, like a ball, or like the planet Mars in the sky, I had no body consciousness, and I felt that I had no connection whatsoever with this world — neither had I any connection with it in the past, nor have I now, nor will I have in the future.

And I found others also to be contained in the divine Atman, and thought: ‘If only these people could know about it!’ I found no desire in me — complete desirelessness. But still I had the idea of many Atmans. I didn’t have that idea of Oneness, One in all. Hari Maharaj [Swami Turiyananda] told me: ‘First one has to know oneself; then one can know others to be the same.’

Illumination comes suddenly, quickly. How and when, it cannot be said. When I learned bicycling, at first I couldn’t maintain my balance. The teacher told me: ‘Don’t look at the wheel; look straight ahead.’ Then suddenly it was all right. So you see, a teacher is needed. The knack comes suddenly.

Swami Atulananda, Atman Alone Abides, 27