Whenever Swamiji used the pronoun ‘I,’ he was identified with Brahman and used the word from the nondualistic standpoint.
Whenever Swamiji used the pronoun ‘I,’ he was referring the universal Self. When we say ‘I,’ we are identified with the little self—with the body, mind, and senses. Hence we should think of ourselves as servants and devotees of the Lord. The very utterance of the word ‘I’ would take Swamiji beyond body, mind, and senses. This was his normal state of consciousness. But this mood, ‘I am he,’ is not possible for us. So we have to say, ‘Thou and Thou alone,’ in order that we may forget the little self and be united with the universal Self.
There are some great souls who live in that indivisible, changeless Time. To them this whole universe appears momentary and unreal. Swamiji dwelt in that state much of the time But you see, we normally live on this relative plane. Maya is such that though you drive it away, it comes back.”
What we have seen in Swamiji! During his last days, when he was hardly able to breathe, he would still roar: “Arise! Awake!’
To live the ideal life is our only purpose. The truth of the Upanishads is to be attained. The Truth is, and it must be realized in one’s own Self. Swamiji did that. Of course, the one Truth is perceived in many ways, according to the capacity of the individual.
Swamiji surely has not merged himself in eternal union with Brahman. He is an ever-free soul. He will be born again and again to do the work of the Lord.