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.
Now, silence can be a deathly silence. That is not what we are after. Silence can be a live silence and that we are really seeking, what we are searching for in the ancient hymns of the Rig Veda these munis, the monks are said to be vata rashanah, they who live on wind. They eat winds. They eat winds because they live on prana. It also means they who draw on the strings of wind. That is very profound. Where are these strings of prana within us that the muni, the silent contemplative monk, draws on, pulls on and uses it not to knot the life but to unknot it. Then there is a live silence. A creative silence.
Of creative silence, let us look at an example. In the traditions of India the theatre began and is still practiced as part of worship. It takes the actors five or six hours to put on the makeup for the kathakali performance (a particular style of re-enactment of the stories of the great epics). The moment they enter the chamber they go into absolute silence because they are busy not putting on makeup but they are busy transforming themselves into the fit vessels in which the, into which the God Incarnate may descend and act through them and speak through them. This is an example of creative silence. Then they perform all night and the audience sit in the temple, awake, taking it in and absorbing the Divine presence. In some cultures silence has been made part of their experience. For example, one of the most observed days of vacation holiday in the year in Indonesia, in all the 13,000 islands of Indonesia in Nepi Day, the day of silence. Indonesia has many, many different religions, but Nepi Day is observed by all.