तस्मै श्वा श्वेतः प्रादुर्बभूव तमन्ये श्वान उपसमेत्योचुरन्नं नो भगवानागायत्वशनायामवा इति ॥ १.१२.२ ॥
tasmai śvā śvetaḥ prādurbabhūva tamanye śvāna upasametyocurannaṃ no bhagavānāgāyatvaśanāyāmavā iti || 1.12.2 ||
2. A white dog appeared before him, as if he wanted to do the sage a favour. Then several other smaller dogs came to the white dog and said: ‘O Lord, please sing for us. We are hungry and we want some food’.
Tasmai, [as a favour] to him; śvā, a dog; śvetāḥ, white; prādurbabhūva, appeared; tam, to him [i.e., to the white dog]; anye śvānaḥ, other dogs; upasametya, came; ūcuḥ, [and] said; annam, food; naḥ, for us; bhagavān, O Lord; āgāyatu, please sing; aśanāyāma vai iti, we are hungry [and want to eat].
It would seem that some god or sage was pleased with Baka’s Vedic studies and as a favour, appeared before him as a white dog. Then, as if by coincidence, some other smaller dogs approached the white dog and told him they were very hungry and needed food. They asked the white dog to sing the appropriate Sāma so that they could get some food immediately. Very likely, these small dogs were also sages in disguise.
Another explanation is also possible: The white dog represents prāṇa, and the smaller dogs are the sense organs controlled by prāṇa. Prāṇa is pleased when someone studies the scriptures. And if prāṇa is pleased, the sense organs are able to perceive their respective sense objects well. Like dogs, the sense organs are ‘hungry’ and enjoy perceiving. In order to express their appreciation of the scholar’s efforts, they appear before him as dogs.