• Acharya Shunya

Feeding the One Self in All

My Guru and grandfather Baba recounted an incident from his father Acharya Shanti Prakash’s life. My great-grandfather was a renowned Hindu sage, whose service to awakening humanity deserves a book devoted to recounting it. I call my great-grandfather Bade Baba, or Elder Baba, in my native language.

Once, when Elder Baba sat down to his lunch after his morning meditations and teachings, his disciples served him hot fluffed chapattis (Indian bread, made of non-fermented wheat dough). Just at that time, when Elder Baba’s eyes were closed because he was chanting a mantra and offering his respect to the food, a street dog appeared in our open courtyard out of nowhere and slyly slicked the chapatti off the plate and ran for his life!

Elder Baba opened his eyes just in the nick of time and realized in an instant what was happening. He saw the escaping dog’s back, its short and stiff tail wagging happily in the air at its triumph. Elder Baba lost his poise. He picked up his entire plate and ran after him, and it looked like he was going to throw it on the dog with rage! People said only a yogi like him could run like an athlete at his age. And yes, he caught up with the dog all right, since that rogue was cornered in a narrow alley that came to a dead end!

Elder Baba’s disciples caught up with Elder Baba and were surprised to see what they saw! Elder Baba had flung himself on the ground, next to where the dog was now cowering. Elder Baba started talking to the dog.

“O dear one, you are hungry, you ran with the bread alone, but you did not take any ghee (clarified butter), so here, have this…eat this…You must not eat chapatti alone without adding ghee and vegetables to it—it is not good for your doshas (bio-humors per Ayurveda); you must also eat this eggplant, too, today. See if you like it…it is great for this season.”

Elder Baba chatted with love overflowing from his speech, eyes, and heart at the flea-infested street dog, gradually winning her trust and then feeding her with his own hands every morsel on his plate. Tears were flowing down both of their eyes.

The dog then remained around our home for many more years and gave birth many times, and her descendants still live in and about my home in Ayodhya.


Acharya Shunya is a Vedic lineage holder and teacher of nondual wisdom from the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita, along with the Vedic sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga. She is the spiritual preceptor of a global community of truth seekers. She teaches out of her wisdom school, Vedika Global, based in Emeryville, California, USA and lectures worldwide. She is the award-winning author of Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom (Sounds True, 2017), voted among the Top 10 Books in Alternative Medicine by Health Line (2017). To find out more and to explore studying the ancient wisdom from Vedic seers with Acharya Shunya, visit her official website maintained by her students: https://www.acharyashunya.com/.

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Hayward, California, USA