Swami Veda Bharati holds the prestigious title of Mahamandaleshwara in the Swami order of monks. He is also the Chancellor of HIHT University, Dehradun, which was established by Master Swami Rama. He has authored approximately 18 books on Indian spirituality including a 1500 page comprehensive commentary on two of the four chapters of Patanjali's Yoga-sutras. Before taking the vows of Swamihood in 1992, Swami Veda Bharati was known as Dr. Usharbudh Arya.
A well known principle in physics and psychology, as in just about any branch of science, that when the flow of a force is blocked from a certain outlet, it is re-directs itself to some other outlet even with a greater velocity. This does not happen in a random manner. There is some internal process whereby the energy is rechanneled. Those who are not visual may become audible. Quite often, the classical singers of India sing with their eyes closed. Even when they play classical instruments, you see an inward look in the eyes because they are becoming absorbed in the world of internal sound.
It is a process of silencing the eyes so that one may become awake to the world of sound. This applies to all our practices of silence. Silence of speech also cannot simply be an escape from the world. When enter the silence, let it be a silence of the mind, calming down the emotional disturbances so that this enormous power that we expend, that we waste in words may be conserved. I have said elsewhere, that the practice of silence does not consist merely of not speaking words, but of renouncing the intention to speak for the time. It has been found in some experiments that merely the intention to speak, not just the fact of speaking, raises blood pressure. It is the intention that is to be abandoned. But the intention is to be abandoned to experience the internal fullness that ensues because when we conserve energy, we are filled.
I have often used silence for self-healing in acute illness or acute pain. I heal much faster while in silence. Even the elevated blood sugar level goes down by entering into the practice of silence. In this way, when you embark on entering the silent chamber within you, remember that it is to experience an interior fullness. Look for that and you will find you will heal much faster physically and mentally.
Of course, not everyone is ready to practice silence. Therefore, it is not possible to make a rule of silence for all patients in a hospital. But those who are used to some degree of religious of spiritual experience of any kind, those who have a certain creativity in themselves, whether they are poets or artists or simply those who experience intense lovingness without its destructive counterparts, should be advised even in a clinical situation to enter a period of silence. It may be for short periods. It may be even for an hour a day or for half a day. Perhaps some experiments can be designed to see whether this group that practice silence, all other things being equal does indeed heal faster and whether their recovery is quicker than accepted average. I have a strong feeling that it will be found to be so.
As I said, entering silence is not an act of escape. It is also not an attempt at suppressing one's internal disturbances. If it becomes such an act of suppression the silence will fail to achieve its purpose. Therefore, in entering silence, enter a fullness that is within you. When I was traveling non-stop in North America and elsewhere, often without sleep for many days, and needed to remain active throughout, I found that, even though I did not the intention to maintain it while sitting in an airplane, that for hours in one place, but that does not constitute silence. The family is gone out and one has no one to talk to, that does not constitute silence. Only the intention constitutes silence. If I maintained such intention, it helped to energize me. I also found that during those periods, where the only rest I had was in the form of yoga-nidra once or twice a day, if my mind become disturbed by some excitation or irritation of any kind, then I would immediately feel sleepy. So it became a deliberate experimentation to see exactly what happens if I monitor my emotions and use internal volume controls to modulate them. In this way I found that silence means learning to modulate interior emotions in such a manner that they come entirely under you direction. Then you will find that at the end of a period of silence, you will have healed physically and mentally with a sense of fullness.