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The name of Veda vyAsA is one of the most celebrated names among the great sages of India. He is the author of Mahabharata and the purANAs. It is this great sage, who classified the vast vEdic lore into several sections according to their content and purpose. He is also the author of the VEdAntha sUtrAs (Brahma sUtrAs).He is considered as an incarnation of Lord VishNu Himself on account of these stupendous achievements.

Sri KrishNa DvipAyana VyAsA (as he is known ) was born in an illusrious family of great sages. He was the great grandson of the famous Brahmarishi, VasishTA and the grand son of the sage Shakthi and the son of the eminent sage ParAsarA; latter was blessed by VasishTA and PulasthyA and on account of their blessings, ParAsarA was endowed with the true knowledge of the Supreme Reality. ParAsarA became the author of VishNu PurANam. VyAsA was born of this great ParAsarA and Sathyavathi. VyAsA was called "DhvaipAyanA" since he was born on an island . He was also called 'KrishNa Dhvai- pAyanA ' since his complexion was dark.As he had his hermitage in Badari kshEthram, he was also referred to as BAdarAyaNA. There is vEdic reference to him as "SahOvaacha vyAasah pArAsaryah".

The Skanda purANam refers to Veda VyAsA and his achievements and affirms that he alone was the author of the VedAntha sUtrAs. According to our tradiiton, it is an undisputed fact that Veda VyAsA was the classifier of the VedAs , author of the PurANAs and the composer of MahA Bhaaratham and VedAntha sUtrAs.

Sri vEdha VyAsA was a genius by birth. It is said that the great sages Yaj~nyavalkyA initiated him into the study of the sacred lore and the other branches of knowledge. VyAsA resorted to the quiet realms of the HimAlayAs (BadarikAsramam) and by performance of rigorous penance and austerities, he realized the Supreme Truth eulogized in the VedAs and Upanishads.

The VishNu purANam describes (3.3)elaborately how Lord MahA VishNu incarnates Himself in the form of VyAsA and classifies the vEdhAs during each DhvApara Yugam. The vEdhA was all in one mass, &people were not able to imbibe the teachings of the vEdAs. For the good of the people, VyAsA classified the vEdhic lore. The VishNu purANA mentions that this kind of classification was effected 28 times by the Lord in the form of VyAsA. ParAsarA's son, Sri KrishNa Dhva- ipAyanA is one of those VyAsAs and it is believed that the son of DhrONA would become the next VyAsA. The status of VyAsA is thus a very exalted one.

Sri KrishNa DhvaipAyana VyAsA took an active part in the events of MahA BhAratham (MB). The heroes of MB such as BhIshmA, DhritharAsh -trA, Sri KrishNA, DharmarAyA & others held VyAsA in great esteem. VyAsA advised the scions of the Kuru race to follow the path of DharmA. The MB was authored by VyAsA for the good of humanity. VyAsA taught the truth in MB that glory and honour could be achieved by the One imbibing and practising the cardinal virtues of life. He has illustrated this truth by means of the stories of VidhurA, DharmavyAdhe, TulAdharA and others.

The greatest achievement of Veda VyAsA was the collection, consolidation and classification of the Vedic lore. It was VyAsA, who brought about the different divisions of the Vedic lore as the four SamhithAs, the BrahmaNAs, the AraNyakAs and the Upanishads. The different texts required for the different classes of priests, such as the Riks, the Yajus , the SAmans and the Atharvans were separately codified by this great Master. VishNu PurANam says that VyAsA accepted 4 disciples & taught each one of them a particular VedhA. He taught Rig VedhA to PailA, Yajur vEdhA to VaismpAyanA, SAma VEdhA to Jaimini & the Atharva VedhA to Sumanthu; further, he taught the PurANAs to RomaharshaNA. The clasification of the VedhA was accomplished by VyAsA and later the different branches and sub branches (SAkhAs) evolved for each VedhA over the course of time.

Srimadh BhAgavatham (SB)describes that the Lord was born as VyAsA as the seventeenth avathArA for the purpose of dividing the tree of VedAs into its many branches.

SB describes how Veda VyAsA was overcome by frustration inspite of the fact that he had engaged himself whole heartedly for advancing the good of the people for years and years. He felt uneasy at heart and when he began to reflect with discomfort that his work was not completed, sage NAradhA called on him and advised VyAsA to sing solely on the glory of the Lord to overcome this mood of depression. Following Sage NAradhA's counsel, VyAsA composed Sri- madh BhAgavatham and taught it to his son, Sukha Brahmam.

The MahA BharathA describes how at one time even this great VyAsA felt that his words of wisdom (upadEsams)were not heeded by anyone. He said "I am shouting at the top of my voice, with both my arms lifted up, that DahrmA alone leads One to all auspiciousness here and in the hereafter. But alas ! no one listens to me!".

Sri vEdha VyAsA is an illustrious seer and a great exponent of the cultural heritage of India. We depend on him for gaining the wisdom from the VedAs, IthihAsAs and PurANAs and the knowledge about the Supreme Reality. VyAsA is the author of this eternal message: "Victory is there, where there is DharmA". The foundation of the Indian culture rooted in the VedAs has been laid firmly by him for all the world to follow.

Credits: Sri N.S. Anantha RangachAriar

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