What is ‘personal time’? || Acharya Prashant (2018)

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Question: Acharya Ji, it happens many times during the day that there may be happiness in the background, but if any sad event happens then it takes more time to recover to my normal, common state.

Why is it so?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Don’t give yourself so much time. The Satan was once asked, “When you want to fool people, what do you tell them?” He replied, “I whisper in their ears, ‘Your time is, ‘your’ time’.”

Why do you have so much of personal time? Why do you have free time at all?

Free-time is the most un-free time.

Why is your time not committed, not dedicated to a higher purpose?

If you will have free time, what will you do?

You will only use that time to destroy yourself.

Your time must be a something that you are merely a trustee of.

When you are a trustee of something, then you don’t own it, then you just look after it.

You maintain it, you keep it.

You don’t possess it, you don’t utilise it.

And even if you utilise it, you utilise it for a goal that is not your personal goal. Why do you utilise your time for your personal goals? That’s bad. And that’s why you are punished.

Question 2: Acharya Ji, for e.g. if a death happens in my neighborhood, I come to normalcy sooner or later. But if a death happens in my family, it takes me longer time to recover.

Why is it so?

Acharya Prashant Ji: What if the death happens in your family, and at the same time an earthquake strikes the entire country, would you still have time to ponder over that solitary death? Why don’t you have a higher purpose?

Why don’t you see that an earthquake is constantly hitting us, that there is a constant upheaval? Nobody is centered or peacefully situated, all are in turmoil. All living beings are passing through the harrowing cycle of life and death. How can you then allow yourself to be perturbed by a solitary death? Tell me.

Why do you have only personal considerations in mind? What does one death in the neighborhood mean in the context of the billion animals that are being slaughtered every day? Why don’t you have a perspective? Why don’t you have a bigger picture available to you? Even as you are grieving over one death, in let us say your cousin’s family, a billion goats, rabbits, lambs, fish, cows, camels, and of course chicken have been slaughtered.

Even as the tear-drop rolls down your eyes, to your chin, in the time that it takes the tear-drop to roll down from your eye to your chin, millions of living beings have been slaughtered. And you are grieving over the one personal relationship you had! How noble is that? How are you available to grief?

Questioner 2: But ultimately it is true.

Acharya Prashant Ji: It is not true, till it is true for you.

Question 3: Acharya Ji, why does it happen that I worry only about something bad happening to me?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Your consciousness is too self-centred. It needs expansion, it needs sublimation.

Questioner 3: My daily life rotates around only certain aspects.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Change the daily life. Give it up. That’s why you have been called here. Why must you preserve this thing called ‘daily life’? I invite you to begin afresh. Why is there such sacredness around your personal life? What is really sacred about this thing called ‘personal life’, ‘personal time’, ‘personal relationships’? I tell you, given a chance you will want to give all that up.

Given a chance to really re-live your life, you will never want to live the same way you have done. Even the most self-assured person would want to greatly amend his life, if allowed a chance to begin again.

Is it not true?

Publicly you may claim that you would want to again live the same life if you get a chance, inside you know that is not the case. Nobody is contended.

Why attach some, or great sacredness to the thing that you are already not satisfied with. Don’t you see a gross contradiction? We live in perpetual flux of desires. What does that mean? We are not contended. Do you see that? Do you see that?

And on the other hand we attach the great sanctity to our personal life. Now, on one hand you are not at all contended with your state, on the other hand you treat it as some divine absolute – unchangeable and perfect.

Isn’t it contradictory? Isn’t it self-destructive? Please!

I will put it in simpler words.

On one hand you are not at all satisfied with your state of affairs, are you? On the other hand you do not want to touch a lot of things in your life, as if they are absolutely the Truth – not touchable, not changeable. C’mon, be prepared to discard all that.

All ‘this’.

Question 4: Acharya Ji, I am now realising that one should have a larger perspective towards life. Our life should not be limited only to one’s family and locality. Am I right?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Obviously a larger perspective, obviously. But you have to differentiate between your personal capacity for action, your personal, physical, limited energy, and the possibility of infinite realisation.

One very well knows that hunger is widespread. That must be known. One has a capacity for global consciousness. Or is that capacity not available? But that does not mean that you will simultaneously have the capacity to globally eradicate hunger. These two must go hand-in-hand.

On one hand you must have sympathy, rather close empathy for all the animals being mis-treated, ill-treated, exploited. On the other hand, you very well know that you cannot go to Africa or Canada and prevent all the exploitation that is happening there.

But what is it that you can do? You can at least protect animals in your vicinity.

And these two must go hand-in-hand – a universal consciousness, and local action.

You cannot say that because I act locally, so my consciousness is also local. No!

Because if your consciousness is local, then your entire person-hood will become very-very local.

You will become, in simple words, very-very narrow-minded.

Watch the session video: What is ‘personal time’? || Acharya Prashant (2018) The transcription has been edited for clarity.

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