That which is nearest is least observed. The Atman is the nearest of the near, therefore the careless and the unsteady mind gets no clue to it. But the person who is alert, calm, self-restrained, and discriminating ignores the external world and, diving more and more into the inner world, realizes the glory of the Atman and becomes great.
Those who die, merely suffering the woes of life like cats and dogs, are they human beings? The worthy are those who, even when agitated by the sharp interaction of pleasure and pain, are discriminating and, knowing them to be of an evanescent nature, become passionately devoted to the Atman. This is all the difference between human beings and animals.
What good is this body? Let it go in helping others. Did not the Master preach until the very end? And shall I not do the same? I do not care a straw if the body goes. You cannot imagine how happy I am when I find earnest seekers after truth to talk to. In the work of waking up Atman in my fellow men I shall gladly die again and again!
There is, so I believe, in the essence of everything, something that we cannot call learning. There is, my friend, only a knowledge-that is everywhere, that is Atman, that is in me and you and in every creature, and I am beginning to believe that this knowledge has no worse enemy than the man of knowledge, than learning.
The word Atman (Soul) means the "breath of life". Atman is the principle of man's life, the Soul that pervades his being, his breath, his intellect and transcends them. Atman is what remains when everything that is not the self is eliminated. It is the unborn and immortal element in man, which is not to be confused with body, mind or intellect.