A world-renowned Vedic teacher from India, Acharya Shunya was recognized at the early age of nine as the future spiritual leader of a 2,000-year-old Vedic lineage in north India, which she was fortunate to be born into as the granddaughter of the lineage patriarch.
Shunya is the first designated female lineage holder. For this role, she was chosen amongst multiple male candidates, rigorously groomed in study of Vedic scriptures for 14 years (alongside regular schooling), immersed in a sacred lifestyle, and formally appointed as the spiritual head at 24.
Shunya was given the title ‘Acharya’ by the then head of the lineage, her guru, Baba Ayodhya Nath, a well-known Vedic scholar, yoga and meditation master, Ayurveda expert and beloved householder saint of the former century in India. He was the son and disciple of his guru, Param Atman Shanti Prakash, considered a living ‘seer’ of the 19th century, a prolific scholar and renowned author of the classic Vedic text Adi Bhagavad Gita, the revealer of infinite spiritual treasures leading to inner awakening and Self-Realization.
Shunya’s title “Acharya” is a customary one earned from traditional schooling. It signifies “the master spiritual teacher.”
Her ‘Advaita’ teachings are directed towards realizing our true nature, the state of awakened spiritual awareness, or enlightenment through inquiry into our deepest underlying reality, a truth so universal, all-pervading and limitless that it goes beyond all social, cultural, mental and self-created biases norms and limitations. This universal reality goes beyond even religion itself, to reveal to us our abiding state of pure consciousness, immortal existence and abiding inner joy - “SatChidAnanda.”
Acharya Shunya represents the ancient Vedic tradition of India in a way that is completely authentic, yet as relevant as possible to modern sensibilities and needs. While deliberately unfolding the purest wisdom, Acharya Shunya seeks to explore how the original knowledge can benefit many different areas of life in today’s world, including cultivating conscious relationships, optimizing our communication skills, and awakening to our birthright of abiding spiritual wellbeing and inner happiness, despite mundane and karmic sorrow, physical and mental challenges.
Acharya Shunya is the author of a bestselling book on the Vedic art of mind body soul wellbeing and health, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom (Sounds True, 2017). It has been commissioned for translation in five languages within its first year of publication, and was acclaimed as one of the top 10 books that shine a light on alternative medicine in 2017 by Health Line, the world’s fastest growing health information site, with over 85 million monthly users. The book received critical acclaim in Publisher’s Weekly, Yoga Journal, Thrive Global by Arianna Huffington, Bustle, Spirituality & Health Magazine, Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Elephant Journal and over 60 other media outlets. Publisher’s Weekly reported, “Poignant...Shunya writes with passion and expertise…This is an important addition to a “holistic approach to health” that readers will want to refer to time and again.” The book has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR), WBN-TV and TV Asia. Acharya Shunya was interviewed on the nation’s leading podcasts, such as Insights on the Edge by Tami Simon, The Jefferson Exchange, Inspire Nation Podcast by Michael Sandler, the Sarah R. Bagle show and many more.
In 2007, at age 40, Acharya Shunya established the first of her lineage’s international wisdom school and spiritual community in northern California, Vedika Global. The school held physical classes at its location in Emeryville, California from 2007-2018. Today, Vedika Global extends its offerings to a worldwide audience, offering immersive digital courses on the life science of Ayurveda for those looking for mind-body-soul improvement, as well as courses on Vedic spiritual texts for those seeking to deepen their spiritual practice. These courses follow authentic Vedic teachings and a complete path of study and practice through the collective body of wisdom preserved exclusively inside her lineage.
The curriculum includes nondual wisdom of Advaita Vedanta from the renowned Vedic texts, Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads, Yoga’s philosophical roots from the Vedas and lesser known spiritual practices, along with Ayurveda’s sacred lifestyle, healing foods and rare knowledge of herbs for physical health.
Vedika Global’s graduates have offered courses with Acharya Shunya’s blessings at UNICEF and Stanford University’s Health Improvement Program, and are certified to provide Ayurveda staff trainings at prisons and police departments across California. Today, besides the several hundred students enrolled at the lineage’s wisdom school in California, Acharya Shunya has a growing spiritual following worldwide and over 50,000 seekers spread out in almost every continent of the world who follow her books (2nd book with Sounds True coming 2020), blogs, videos, online lineage magazine, in-person seminars and retreats.
Acharya Shunya is invited to lecture nationally and internationally. She has delivered keynote addresses at University of California – San Francisco, Los Angeles and Berkeley, Stanford University, California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), Sedona Yoga Festival, the International Delegates Assembly (a 60-country consortium), World Ayurveda Congress and the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA). She is also invited to present on the status of “Ayurveda and Yoga in the United States” to the Government of India, a rare honor bestowed upon her by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Overseas Affairs in 2016.
Acharya Shunya has received recognition and prestigious awards in the United States and India for her work as a Vedic scholar and educator, including the Award for Distinguished Service through Vedic Education from the California Institute of Integral Studies (San Francisco); Recognized amongst the top 100 Yoga and Ayurveda Trailblazers in the U.S. by Spirituality & Health Magazine; Recognition by the Government of India as International Advisor on Yoga and Ayurveda Affairs; Award of Excellence in Vedic Education by the Association of Ayurveda Professionals of North America; Global Women’s Power Award by Cupertino (CA) Council Member; International Vedic Ambassador Award by Indian Institute of Ayurveda (IIA); Nalanda Award for Excellence in Vedic Education (USA) and many more.
Acharya Shunya lives with her husband, son, and extended family of spiritual students in Northern California.