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