Silence (mona or tuõhibhàva) is the quality of being quiet, at peace and without noise. Buddhist psychology sees a direct connection between verbal silence and mental silence. Thus the Buddha said to his monks: `When you meet together, either talk about the Dhamma or maintain a noble silence' (M.I,161). In a beautiful paean to silence recorded in the Sutta Nipàta he said: `Learn this from the waters. In mountain clefts and chasms loud gush the streamlets, but great rivers flow silently. Empty things make a noise while the full is always quiet. The fool is like a half-filled pot; the wise person is like a deep still pool' (Sn.720-1). The Buddha praised in particular the maintenance of a dignified silence in the face of insults and false accusations.`Not to react to anger with angry words is to win a battle hard to win. It is to act for one's own and the other's welfare, although those who do not know the Dhamma will think you are a fool'(S.I,162).

            As a result of this, the Buddha and his disciples had a reputation for being `fond of silence, encouraging silence and speaking in praise of silence'(D.III,36). It was said of the Buddha that he `seeks lodgings in the forest, in the depth of the jungle, in quiet places with little noise, places far from the crowd, undisturbed by people and well suited for solitude'(D.III,38).