Entrance to Yoga Guru Sri Tat Wale Baba's meditation cave.
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Vincent J. Daczynski

Chapter 8

His Light Still Shines

Sri Shankardasji feeds peacock at the Tat Wale Baba ashram.
Mayur (left of steps) also
enjoys the warm hospitality of Swami Shankardasji.

"We have not eaten in over twenty-four hours," Swami Shankardasji realized as our conversation continued into the afternoon. "Let's take our meal now," he suggested, "and continue talking later."

I concurred and Swami went into the adjacent room to prepare supper for us. He returned after awhile with a mound of aloo gobi (cauliflower and potatoes with spices) on a large platter. He handed me the platter and stood nearby waiting for me to eat. Noticing that he had no platter for himself I asked, "Aren't you eating?"

"Yes," he said,"but first I want to make sure you are satisfied with your meal. Is it spiced okay for you? Would you care for some more salt?"

"No. This is fine," I said, still perplexed at why he had no food for himself.

After Swami was assured that I was satisfied with his culinary skills he left the room to eat alone in the kitchen. It was then that I realized that Swami Shankardasji preferred to eat alone. I thought about this awhile and wondered how many digestive and gastrointestinal disorders might be solved or prevented if everyone ate alone - no arguing or bickering while eating, or gulping of food to get one's word into a brisk conversation. I concluded that silence during mealtime has to have a positive influence on health.

After about a half-hour Swami Shankardasji returned, offering me seconds. But, I was satisfied, and more concerned with shifting back to our conversation which resumed after a brief time of clean up.

"Tell me something more about Tat Wale Baba," I asked, hoping that my broad question would bring new information to light.

Swami Shankardasji thought awhile, then replied, "Tat Wale Baba's desire was to bring humanity and all religions together for peace in the world. He foresaw this site as the future center of the world, and where he would direct the people, bringing new message for the benefit of the world. Unfortunately, his work was unfinished here when he suddenly left. He was in the process of building more caves for meditation." After a long reflective pause Swami continued, "This place is very special. According to the Shiva Puranas it was in this area that Lord Shiva stopped for rest with his party of gods and sages while on his way to marry Sati in Hardwar. There is speculation among some swamis that the cave which was used by Tat Wale Baba was the Bhut Nath Gufa (cave of Shiva)."