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47. Power of Silence

During his visit to Gandhiji at Sevagram in December 1938 Dr. John Mott, the great Christian evangelist, asked Gandhiji if he had continued to find silence necessary in his spiritual quest.

Answering the question Gandhiji said, "Only a little while ago I remained completely silent nearly two months and the spell of that silence has not yet been broken. I broke it today when you came. Nowadays I go into silence at prayer time every evening and break it for visitors at 2 o'clock. I broke it today when you came. It has now become both a physical and spiritual necessity for me. Originally it was taken to relieve the sense of pressure. Then I wanted time for writing. After, however, I had practised it for some time I saw the spiritual value of it. It suddenly flashed across my mind that that was the time when I could best hold communion with God. And now I feel as though I was naturally built for silence. Of course, I may tell you that from my childhood I have been noted for silence. I was silent at school, and in my London days I was taken for a silent drone by friends."