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What does security mean to a woman? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
8 min
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Speaker : The question Nidhi has raised is about security and especially with respect to being a woman. We will have to understand it fully and completely. Firstly, what does security mean in context of being a woman?

What is danger? Because you talk about security when you are in danger. What is danger?

Let us say, you face a snake and then the snake goes away. There are two kinds of happenings possible in this incident.

One; the snake goes away but never really goes away. Second; the snake actually goes away. It sounds like a riddle, right? I will make it simpler for you. Let’s say there is a photographic plate in front of you and a mirror and a snake passes in front of both of them. Off-course, the snake is fearful, it is a poisonous snake, it can cause death. So, there is danger, real danger. When the snake is in front of the mirror and the photographic plate, it will show up in the mirror and in the photographic plate as well. Correct? You look into the mirror and what will you find? A snake. Correct? And you look into the photographic plate and there also what will you find? The snake because the snake is there, right now at that instant.

But then the snake goes away, in a while the snake goes away. Will the mirror still show the snake? What about the photographic plate? It will still show the snake. Now the snake has caused a permanent imprint on the plate. The plate can never forget now that a snake passed in front of me. The snake is long gone, one year, two year and the snake is not returning. But the plate remembers permanently the snake has caused a permanent impression on the plate. The plate is living in perpetual fear, constant fear.

What are our minds like? The mirror or the photographic plate? Mostly like a photographic plate.

It is alright to respond to danger when danger is in front of us. When snake is there, alright, let the mind show the snake, let the mind occupy the snake when the danger is there.

But even when there is no danger, a mind full of fear remains afraid and that is hell. There is nothing, there is actually nothing but the mind is imagining so many fears. That can happen, this can happen. When you imagine so many fears then what do you want? Security.

How many of these dangers that we are talking of are actually real? Because the question of security arises only when the danger is real. To the extent danger is real, its alright.It’s alright to talk of security but why talk of security when danger is imaginary. Why act like a photographic plate? Mind has become permanently filled with fear who can’t forget what happened long time back, still living in the past. Are you getting it?

Now how do our minds act? You read of one particular instance in the newspaper and it creates a permanent imprint on our mind. Right? The mind gets full of fear and now because the mind has become fearful, it cannot be attentive, it cannot understand the reality.

Once a mind has been captured by fear, it becomes impossible for us to know the reality because an afraid mind cannot look directly. You cannot understand anything when you are afraid.

You read one instance in the newspaper and you forget that there are lakhs and lakhs of working women in a metro town, metro city. One count of twenty lakhs, what percentage does it make? A miniscule. But how do we take it? As if this is happening with everybody. As if there is a real danger in front of me. Because you are not attentive, you are not looking at it carefully. And because there is a powerful constituency, powerful forces who gain by terrifying you.

If you are not afraid why will you watch these channels that spread nothing but fear? Have you ever observed this? If you are afraid you watch further that makes you further afraid because there is powerful constituency, powerful forces who gain by terrifying you. Have you ever watched this if you are afraid? You watch more of the news that makes you further afraid. If you are afraid you watch more of the news that makes you further affected. Fearful.

When you are afraid you watch more of the news, you in fact select that news to watch that terrify you all the more and you know this. They also know this. The newspapers and the TV channels, they know all this. They know that peace does not sell. They know that calmness does not sell. They know that agitation sells. They never publish that tonight one crore people in metro slept peacefully, they will rather publish that there was some murder somewhere. Now one crore people are sleeping peacefully and that is not news. They know that this is peace and peace does not sell. But one murder sells and that will be flashed again and again.

Have you ever wondered why these newspapers are always full of only greed and murder and rapes? Only that sells because we are afraid and we want to read that. There is titillation in that. There is some kind of pleasure they derive in reading that. Is that real?

Fear is justified to the extent when danger is there, beyond that fear is just madness.

There was this Buddhist called Nagarjuna. He talked about a painter who filled his entire room with terrifying paintings painted by him. So, on one wall he painted a demon, on another he painted another horrible scene. Something here and something there and he painted that himself. And then he becomes totally afraid of what he has painted. Such is our foolishness.

First of all we create those imaginary fears and then we are afraid of what we ourselves are imagining. Are you getting it?

First of all you paint something, that imaginary thing and then you become afraid- ‘oh god how horrible!’ and you forget it is not there, you yourself has painted this, it does not exist. First you create it and then you faint. Paint and faint. That’s your life. You believe in your own lies.

First of all you lie to yourself that this is the world, such is the state of the world and then you start believing in your lies and then you cause damage to yourself and those near to you.

That is one part about security. Alright. The second part is about being a woman. Security in context of being a woman.

Security has a price tag attached to it. It comes at great cost. The price of security is freedom. The more secure you want to be, the more you have to give away your freedom.

And that has been done to women since centuries. Behind the pretext of making them safer, more secure, their freedom has been taken away. There is a great security in a cage. A bird in a cage is very safe and secure. No cat and no dog can hurt it. And the master feeds it daily, regularly, once in the morning and once in the evening. There is a great security in a cage but do you want to be in the cage or would you rather want to fly in the vast sky even if that means running a little bit of risk. Yes, what do you want? A little bit of risk but flight or great security in the cage?

Listeners (Everyone) : Fly.

Speaker: But if you want to fly there is a little bit of risk involved. An eagle can snoop down upon you, you may die and you will have to look for your food at your own. No master will feed you regularly.

Women have been made or attempted to be made very secure. And what they have been given? They have been given the confinement of a house that they stay in these four walls so that they remain secure and that has killed them. Women in order to be made secure have been given all kinds of wheels that if you wear this then you are more secure. You want to be like that or rather run some risk but live at least. Right? You are intelligent, excercise that intelligence. Alright.

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

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