On account of Veda Vyasa Jayanthi, I am attempting to post a small article on Sri Veda Vyasa, the greatest of seers that our land has seen. I have also uploaded the Vyasa Stotram (Daridrya Hara Stotram) to the Mantras page.
Sri Vyasa was the Guru of Sri Madhvacharya and is an avatar of Vishnu. His life was just as amazing as the plethora of works he has given us. Sri Madhvacharya, in his magnum opus Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya, has written an entire chapter (9th) on Sri Vyasa.
The following article is a concise summary of the information contained in that chapter. Along with the original shlokas, I have used some of the commentary given by Sri Vyasanakere Prabhanjanacharya in his Kannada translation of the same.
- Sri Maha Vishnu was prayed upon by the Gods, led by Brahma, to take avatar on Earth in order to counter the menace of Kali. The effect of Kali was to spread ignorance and false knowledge. Since Kali is the most powerful amongst the Daityas, the Gods requested the Supreme Paramatman to help them overcome his effects. Sri Vishnu obliged them and appeared on earth as Sri Veda Vyasa.
- Sage Vasishta is the son of Lord Brahma. The daughter of Sage Kardama, Arundhati is the wife of Vasishta. They had 100 sons amongst whom Shakti was the eldest. Due to Sage Vasista’s confrontation with Vishwamitra, all the 100 sons were destroyed. At that time Adrushyanti, the wife of Shakti was pregnant. The child thus born was Sage Parashara.
- Sage Parashara performed a lot of penance wishing that Vishnu be born as his son. Hence Vishnu obliged him by appearing to be born to him as Veda Vyasa.
- Once an eagle was asked to transport the semen of King Vasu to his wife. The eagle dropped the same in the Yamuna river by mistake. The semen was consumed by a fish which was actually an Apsara by the name of Adrika. Adrika was the wife of a Vasu by name Ama. The fish was caught by some fishermen who realized that the fish was actually carrying and therefore took care of it (instead of killing it).
- The fish delivered twins. The fishermen took the children to the King. The King, recognizing them as his own children, kept the male child and asked the fisherman to keep the girl child with him.
- The girl child thus raised by the leader of the fishermen was Satyavati.
- Vishnu, appeased with Sage Parashara’s penance, blessed him saying he would be “born” to him through Satyavati. Consequently, Sage Parashara approached Satyavati when she was transporting him across the Yamuna river.
- Sri Maha Vishnu did not undergo the pain of birth. Being the Supreme Personality, he appeared to take birth. To think that the Lord undergoes the same troubles during birth as other mortals is sin.
- Sage Veda Vyasa immediately underwent the Upanayana ceremony. He also made Sage Parashara fully aware of who he actually was. He also blessed his parents that he would appear before them whenever the desired to see him.
- Sage Veda Vyasa then went to Mount Meru. He composed other Shastras and the Brahma Sutras. Brahma, Rudra, other devatas and seers heard all these Shastras for Veda Vyasa himself.
- Sri Veda Vyasa then composed the great epic Mahabharata. This work serves as an analogy for all the Shastras. Mahabharata helps in digesting the essence of the Vedas. All the Gods and seers heard this from Sri Veda Vyasa himself.
- Thereafter, Kali, who was residing in the form of ignorance in the minds of the Gods was vanquished when the Gods listened to the knowledge imparted by Sri Veda Vyasa.
- Even after this, Kali continued to reside in humans and Daityas. To help them overcome the influence of Kali, Sri Veda Vyasa composed the Srimadbhagavatha Purana.
- The influence of time led to the reduction in the average lifespan of humans as also their intelligence and their work ethics. In order to bless them to overcome these deficiencies, Sri Veda Vyasa classified the Vedas into four and also composed the Puranas that praised Lord Vishnu.
- Once when Sri Veda Vyasa was traveling, he came across an insect. Sri Vyasa instructed the insect to give up the body and become a King. The insect refused to do so. So Sri Vyasa made the insect a King in the same form. The insect was a great devotee of Vishnu in its previous life. The insect was born as a pious brahmin in the next life and then obtained salvation.
- Lord Shiva was desirous of being born as the son of Vyasa. So he performed a great penance. As a result, Shiva was born as Sage Shuka to Vyasa. Lord Vayu also entered the body of Sage Shuka. Sri Vyasa imparted all the knowledge of the Vedas, Puranas and Mahabharata to Sage Shuka.
- Similarly Lord Shesha entered the body of Sage Paila. Garuda entered the body of Sage Sumantu. Lord Brahma entered Vaishampayana and Indra entered Jaimini. Sri Veda Vyasa made Paila responsible for the spreading of Rig Veda, Vaishampayana for Yajur Veda, Jaimini for Sama Veda and Sumantu for Atharva Veda. In addition, Surya was also made a propagator for Yajur Veda.
- Vaishampayana was also given the responsibility of spreading the Mahabharata epic. Sage Shuka was made responsible for teaching the Mahabharata amongst Gandharvas and Sage Narada to do the same amongst Devatas.
- Sage Vyasa then had a child named Romaharshana. Sage Romaharshana was given the responsibility of the Mahabharata, Puranas, Maha Ramayana and the Pancharatras. Lord Kama entered Sage Romaharshana to assist in this work.
- Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatana were given the responsibility of Dhyana Yoga Shastra while Bhrigu and other sages were given the responsibility of the Karma Yoga Shastras. Sage Vyasa instructed Sage Jaimini to compose the Karma Mimamsa Shastra.
- Sage Vyasa himself has composed the Vaishnava, Shaiva and the Braahma Puranas.
- Thus, having imparted a lot of knowledge in this world, Sage Vyasa continues to reside in the Mount Meru and Uttara Badari region, being always served by Brahma and other Gods.
|| Sri Krishnaarpanamastu ||