Vigilance: indispensable for all true progress.
In each human being there is a beast crouching ready to manifest at the slightest unwatchfulness. The only remedy is a constant vigilance.
The Mother – Words of the Mother – II : CWM, Vol.14, p. 172
Vigilance means to be awake, to be on one’s guard, to be sincere—never to be taken by surprise. When you want to do sadhana, at each moment of your life, there is a choice between taking a step that leads to the goal and falling asleep or sometimes even going backwards, telling yourself, “Oh, later on, not immediately”—sitting down on the way.
To be vigilant is not merely to resist what pulls you downward, but above all to be alert in order not to lose any opportunity to progress, any opportunity to overcome a weakness, to resist a temptation, any opportunity to learn something, to correct something, to master something. If you are vigilant, you can do in a few days what would otherwise take years. If you are vigilant, you change each circumstance of your life, each action, each movement into an occasion for coming nearer the goal.
The Mother – Questions and Answers : CWM, Vol. 3, p. 202
Your present attitude and condition is all that it should be,—only you must remain vigilant always. For when the condition is good, the lower movements have a habit of subsiding and become quiescent, hiding as it were,—or they go out of the nature and remain at a distance. But if they see that the sadhak is losing his vigilance, then they slowly begin to rise or draw near, most often unseen, and when he is quite off his guard, surge up suddenly or make a sudden irruption. This continues until the whole nature, mental, vital, physical down to the very subconscient is enlightened, conscious, full of the Divine. Till that happens, one must always remain watchful in a sleepless vigilance.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – IV : CWSA, Vol. 31, p. 709
There are two kinds of vigilance, active and passive. There is a vigilance that gives you a warning if you are about to make a mistake, if you are making a wrong choice, if you are being weak or allowing yourself to be tempted, and there is the active vigilance which seeks an opportunity to progress, seeks to utilise every circumstance to advance more quickly.
There is a difference between preventing yourself from falling and advancing more quickly.
And both are absolutely necessary.
He who is not vigilant is already dead. He has lost contact with the true purpose of existence and of life.
So the hours, circumstances, life pass in vain, bringing no-thing, and you awake from your somnolence in a hole from which it is very difficult to escape.
The Mother – Questions and Answers : CWM, Vol. 3, pp. 202-203
Your psychic being, immobile as a statue but alert and vigilant, is watching over your life to lead you to the Divine.
The Mother – More Answers from the Mother : CWM, Vol. 17, p. 366
One is always open [to the surrounding atmosphere] so long as there is not the final change. If things do not come in it is because the consciousness is vigilant or the psychic in front; but the least want of vigilance or relaxation can allow something to enter.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – IV : CWSA, Vol. 31, p. 709
…. Innumerable times the divine peace has been given to you and as often you have lost it—because something in you refuses to surrender its petty egoistic routine. If you are not always vigilant, your nature will return to its old unregenerate habits even after it has been filled with the descending Truth. It is the struggle between the old and the new that forms the crux of the Yoga; but if you are bent on being faithful to the supreme Law and Order revealed to you, the parts of your being belonging to the domain of chance will, however slowly, be converted and divinised.
The Mother – Questions and Answers : CWM, Vol. 3, p. 163
You must become more and more conscious. You must observe how the thing happens, by what road the danger approaches, and stand in the way before it can take hold of you. If you want to cure yourself of a defect or a difficulty, there is but one method: to be perfectly vigilant, to have a very alert and vigilant consciousness….. By an obstinate concentration, you must pass over to the other side of the wall and there you will find a new knowledge, a new force, a new power, a new help, and you will be able to work out a new system, a new method which surely will take you very far.
The Mother – Questions and Answers : CWM, Vol. 4, p. 180
To put into practice the little you know is the best way to learn more; it is the most powerful means of advancing on the way…. Then there is the daily effort, the building up of the will, the vigilance of every moment—you must never allow a recognised mistake to renew itself. To err through ignorance, to err through unconsciousness, is obviously very unfortunate, but it can be put right. Whereas to go on making the same mistake, knowing that it must not be made, is an act of cowardice which we must not permit ourselves.
To say, “Oh, human nature is like this. Oh, we are in the inconscience. Oh, we are in the ignorance,”—all this is laziness and weakness. And behind this laziness and weakness there is a huge bad will. There!
I say this because many people have made this remark to me, many. And it is always a way of justifying oneself: “Oh, we are doing what we can.” It is not true….
Mother – On Thoughts and Aphorisms : CWM, Vol. 10, p. 34
I am very lazy and I lack the fervour and perseverance to continue on the chosen path. I am like a flame that is roused by the wind and rises upwards, but falls back dead or dying as soon as the wind drops. Vigilant, that is what I should be. But how?
All the psychological qualities can be cultivated as the muscles are—by regular, daily exercise. Above all, turn towards the Divine Force in a sincere aspiration and implore It to deliver you from your limitations. If you are sincere in your will to progress, you are sure to advance.
The Mother – Some Answers from the Mother : CWM, Vol. 16, pp. 268-269
It [the experience of liberation] is likely to be fundamental and definite. But in these matters, even after the liberation one has to remain vigilant—for often these things go out and remain at a far distance waiting to see if under any circumstances, in any condition they can make a rush and recover their kingdom. If there has been an entire purification down to the depths and nothing is there to open the gate, then they cannot do it. But it is only after one has been a long time free that one can say, “Now it is all right for ever.”
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – IV : CWSA, Vol. 31 , p. 709
One can be quiet, happy, cheerful without being all that in a light or shallow way—and the happiness need not bring any vital reaction. All that you need to do is to be observant and vigilant,—watchful so that you may not give assent to wrong movements or the return of the old feelings, darkness, confusion etc. Not fear, but vigilance. If you remain vigilant, then with the increase of the Force upholding you, a power of self-control will come, a power to see and reject the wrong turn or the wrong reaction when it comes…. The more you open, the more this power will increase in you.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – IV : CWSA, Vol. 31, pp. 279-280
Nothing is neglected in its observation.
Large-flowered magnolia, Bull bay, Southern magnolia
Very large stately heavily fragrant ivory white cup-shaped flower with firm petals; borne singly. A large tree.
The Mother – Spiritual significance of flowers