When the Maharshi tells us that silence is a more potent medium than speech we tend to be incredulous, for to us silence is merely the negation of noise.
When he states that 'stillness is the sole requisite for the realisation of the Self as God', we know that he refers to stillness of the mind. So silence also means silence from thoughts, or, as we might prefer to say, absence of cerebration. The negation of noise as an aid to thought could never be in question, for thought must be a barrier to spiritual understanding.
The potency of silence, of which he sometimes speaks, as indeed do others, is to be sought in the interval between thoughts, of infinitesimal duration to split-mind, but without, or of infinite, duration, in itself, since it is intemporal. To him who experiences it, it might have any conceivable duration, though to an observer it can have none. In itself it is never a momentary thing, for it is the permanent background of what we experience as time, the reality rather than the background, and in a feeble image, the screen on to which the ever-moving pictures of conceptual life are projected.
Its incalculable potency then becomes apparent, for it is no other than whole-mind.