The Rejuvenating Power of Silence

Much has been said about silence and if at all there is a great teacher in this world, it is silence. Only in a state of silence,

Published: 12th January 2014 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th January 2014 02:55 PM   |  A+A-

Much has been said about silence and if at all there is a great teacher in this world, it is silence. Only in a state of silence, to begin with not expressing yourself in words, do we really get an answer to many a problem that trouble us.

It must have been the experience of many to encounter people who always have something opposite to say and snap back when we say something. We might be thinking something with the right intention, but the partner, colleague, classmate, husband or wife—whoever is the other, will be constantly retorting. It soon becomes a matter of habit unless such people are conscious of it and this may or may not be disturbing to them, but truly, it is a great disturbance to those well-meaning words we may speak from our heart.

Come on, give me a break, we often say when someone goes on and on with their own version of an explanation or a dialogue in a conversation. The real break that we can give ourselves in such situations is silence.

Silence means total withdrawal from all conversation, not just with a few people but with all for a brief period of time. It can be for a few, regular conscious waking hours in a day (the silent hours at sleep cannot be counted in this). It can begin with two hours every day or may be for eight hours in a week on a day that you are not likely to be disturbed.

Physically, silence is rejuvenating. All the rays of the mind which are within the body, express through our sense organs and the maximum expenditure happens with speech. So literally when the mouth is closed words do not escape. When words don’t go out, energy does not go out with it. If you think that you really have something precious with you all the time, it is your own store of prana or vital energy. More prana, better the thinking, better the speech and better the action. Less prana—mind does not work, speech is faulty and actions have no clarity. When these three are not in order, the results of the actions we do may not really turn out well—except of course by some magical fortune.

So sealing the mouth not as a matter of control, but in a very relaxed way helps to save tremendous amount of energy. This should be allowed to be expressed in a creative way though. It can be through music, painting, walking or playing. 

Silence also gives you the time to watch exactly the reactions we have in our mind to all that we hear. When free and uncontrolled expression is not given to these reactions, we give ourselves the space and opportunity to look into our relationships with others, where we go wrong, where the others go wrong and what can be avoided. Practice of silence is a form of worship in many cultures. In Sanskrit, it is called Mauna Vratam and any such concentrated practice helps to organise the mind to its essential state of quietude. Working from that state of calmness can give us the right answers to many a questions that puzzle us.

 —Swahilya Shambhavi  (

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