What is ‘personal time’?

Acharya Prashant
5 min readSep 3, 2020

Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Question(Q): 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(AP): 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.

Q: Acharya Ji, for example, 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?

AP: 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…