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The Everlasting Arms

by Swami Sivananda

During the months of his illumination, he felt no need of food or sleep. But he conformed his outward life to the pattern of his household, and ate and slept when his family did. All food seemed pure spirit to him, and in sleep he was pillowed on the 'Everlasting arms', awakening to a joy past all words, past all powers of description.

He had previously suffered from heavy colds and had been a constant smoker; now his body was purged of sickness, and desire for cigarettes was wiped completely from his consciousness. His family and friends were aware of a great change in his appearance and manner; his face shone with a radiant light; his eyes were pools of joy. Strangers spoke to him irresistibly drawn by a strange sympathy; on the streetcar, children would come over to sit on his lap, asking him to visit them.

The whole universe was to him bathed in a sea of love; he said to himself many times: 'Now at last I know what love is! This is God's love, shaming the noblest human affection. Eternal love, unconquerable love, all‑satisfying love! ' He knew beyond all possibility or thought of doubt that love creates and sustains the universe, and that all created things human or subhuman, were destined to discover this Love, this immortal bliss that is the very essence of life. He felt his mind expand, his understanding reach out, endlessly widening, growing, touching everything in the Universe, binding all things, all thoughts to himself. He was 'centre everywhere, circumference nowhere.'

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