Vyasadeva

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List of Vyasas
During the first Dvapara Yuga,Lord Brahma himself divided the Vedas.
During the second Dvapara Yuga, Prajapati was Veda Vyasa.
During the third Dwapara, Shukracharya was Veda Vyasa.
During fourth Dwapara Brihaspati acted as Veda Vyasa. Description of other sages who acted as Veda Vyasa during the subsequent Dvapara Yuga is as follows-
Surya- fifth Veda Vyasa;
Mrityu- sixth Veda Vyasa,
Indra- seventh Veda Vyasa,
Vashishta- eighth Veda Vyasa,
Saraswat- ninth Veda Vyasa,
Tridhama- tenth Veda Vyasa,
Trishikh- eleventh Veda Vyasa,
Bharadwaj- twelfth Veda Vyasa,
Antariksh- thirteenth Veda Vyasa,
Varani- fourteenth Veda Vyasa.

Names of next fourteen Veda Vyasas are as follows-
Trayyarun,
Dhananjay,
Krutunjay,
Jay,
Bharadwaj,
Gautam,
Haryatma,
Vajshrava,
Trinbindhu,
Valmiki,
Shakti,
Parashar,
Jatukarn and
Krishna Dwaipayan.
After Krishna Dvaipāyana Vyasa, Drona’s son, Ashwatthama will be the next Veda Vyasa

From the Visnu Purana

Puranic
The sage Vyasa who is the author of the MahaBharata.

1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in the following order: Brahma – Vasistha – Saktri – Parasara – Vyasa.

2) Birth. Vyasa was born to hermit Parasara by a fisherwoman named Kali. His name when he was a child was Krsna. As his birth took place in an island (Dvipa ) he got the name Krsnadvaipayana. After dividing the Vedas he got the name Vedavyasa. He is the composer of Mahabharata, one of the greatest books in worldliterature. The births of great men, generally will be wonderful. Behind the birth of Vyasa also there is a wonderful story.

As has already been mentioned, Kali, a fisherwoman was the mother of Vyasa. There is a story about this Kali also. When king Vasu of Cedi went to the forest for hunting, he saw the coition of animals and he had seminal discharge. The king sent that semen to his queen. But on the way it fell in the river Kilindi and was eaten by a fish. This fish was a celestial maid named Adrika transformed to fish by a curse. The fish conceived and got into the net of a fisherman, who lived on the banks of Kalindi. When this fish was cut open a male and a female infant were seen inside. The male child was given to the king himself. The fisherman brought up the girl naming her Kili. As the girl had the gandha ( smell) of matsya (fish), she got the name `Matsya-gandhi’, also. This fisherman was also a ferryman. Kill used to help her father in ferrying people across the river Kalindi. She grew up and became a young woman.

Once the hermit Parasara came by that way to go to the other side of the river. At that time, the fisherman who has been taking people across the river, was sitting on the bank of the river and having his meals. As soon as Para’sara came, the innocent fisherman-the fosterfather of Matsyagandha-called her, who was standing

close by and ~sked her to take the hermit across the

river. The hermit got into the boat. Matsyagandha began to row the boat. The beauty of the damsel sitting in front of him and the little waves of the river, combined together had the effect of arousing passion is the hermit. He became sexually excited and sat close to her. Discerning his intention she moved away from him and prayed to him humbly not to violate her chastity. She repeated her prayer. The hermit Parasara creared an artificial fog around the boat. The smell of fish was gone from her and the fragrance of Musk took its place. The hermit created an artificial island in the middle of the river. They got down on the island and acted a love drama. She became pregnant. Parasara said to her. “Beautiful girl ! Even after your confinement you shall remain a virgin. A son, who will be a portion of Visnu, a man of purity, famous throughout the three worlds, highly learned, the teacher-priest of the whole world, shall be born to you. He will divide the Vedas and will be exalted by the people of the world.”

After this the great hermit took his bath in Yamunaand went away. The pregnancy of Kali was completed instantly and she gave birth to a very handsome boy in that island of Yamuna. As soon as he was born, he grew up and became a hermit radiant with devotion and assuming a vow of purity and abstinence he said to his mother. “Mother ! You can go anywhere, as you please. You need have no worry on my account. I am about to go for penance. When anything unpleasant happens to you, just think of me. The moment you wish to see me, I will be there by you. I wish you a happy life. I am going.” Saying thus the brave boy walked away. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 2; Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapters 60 to 63) .

3) Spiritual life.

i) Introduction. Two sides, the spiritual as well as the material, are seen in the life of Vyasa. It was after the marriage of ~antanu, a king of the Lunar dynasty, with his mother Kali, otherwise known as Satyavati, that Vyasa came into contact with Hastinipura. Participating in all the vicissitudes of the Pandavas and the Kauravas was the worldly side of the life of Vyasa. But the major part of his life was spent in living as a hermit in his hermitage in the forest with a large group of disciples; teaching them the Vedas. A small description of that spiritual life is given below

ii) In the forest. We do not see Krsnadvaipayana, who had grown up to a youth at the time of his birth, for many years after his departure, bidding adieu to his mother. He might have been living with hermits in the forests, learning Vedas from them. After this he appears on the banks of river Sarasvati as a teacher and Priest. As he was doing penance there, he saw two sparrows, legs and beaks red, without even down feathers, crying for food, and the parent birds, with the utmost care and tenderness feeding them. They flew about here and there and gathered food and came back quickly. Because of joy at the sight of their parents, the little ones opened their ruby-red mouths with cries and throbbing. They kissed the young ones and fed them. The young sparrows hid tinder the wings of their father and mother and enjoyed the surroundings by thrusting out their heads and looking on all sides.

iii) Birth of son. Seeing this, the paternity instinct in him was aroused. He understood that love of children was merely for the sake of love; that this love was pure and simple. Moreover there is the maxim that a man without a son has no right to aspire for heaven. Sad and silent, thinking of these things he walked on unwillingly and reached the vicinity of the Himalayas. Still, he was doubtful. He began to consider about the deity, before whom he had to do penance for the fulfilment of his wish. He could not decide. As he was sitting in thought, Narada came there. From the talk of Vyasa, Narada knew that childlessness Nvas the cause of his sorrow. Narada advised him that for the attainment of Purusarthas (objects of life) penance was to be done before Devi. Accepting that advice, Vydsa went to a place near Mahamcru to do penance.

When Vydsa began penance, the celestial maids also commenced their work of hindering the penance. It was Ghrtaci who confronted Vyasa. She took the form of a parrot of five colours and flew in front of Vyasa. The hermit was excited at the beauty of Ghrtaci and sat forgetting himself. As he sat there thinking of the infatuating beauty of the parrot, seminal discharge occurred to him. He became a slave to this infatuation, when he was engaged in making fire by attrition. In this amorous state of mind he was quite unaware of the seminal discharge or its falling on the pieces of wood used for attrition. He continued attrition. Then a very bright, divine person appeared from the pieces of wood. At the birth of a person, without attachment to a womb, all the worlds were delighted. The hide of black antelope, water pot, hermit’s rod etc. fell from the sky. Birth rituals and ceremonies, according to the custom, were conducted by Vyasa. As he was born from the semen discharged at the sight of the Suka (parrot) the infant was named Suka. As soon as he was born 8uka began to grow by divine power and shortly became a boy of shining radiance. After investiture with the Brahma-string, the boy was sent for education to the hermitage of Brhaspati, the teacher of the devas. Suka completed his education with Brhaspati and having performed Samavarta and offering of gift to the teacher, he returned home to his father.

iv) Disciples. Suka commenced advanced study under his father Vyasa. Besides Suka, Vydsa had disciples such as Vaisampayana, Suta, Paila, Jaimini and others also, living with him. The hermitage of Vydsa soon grew up to be a great educational institution, with plenty of disciples.

v) Separation of son. In the meanwhile Suka married and lived the life of a householder in the hermitage of his father, for a time. Then forsaking his family and his father, Suka went to the peak of Kailasa and began to do penance meditating on Siva. At last he became a divine person who had obtained complete attainments, and breaking the top of the peak open, he rose up into the sky and shone there as a second Sun. The devas who saw Suka rising up by breaking the peak of Kailasa and staying up in the sky, praised him.

This untimely separation of his son had undermined the firmness of the mind of Vyasa. Filled with grief, he left his hermitage and wandered here and there calling out his son by name. He could not find his son. At last he reached the peak of Kailasa where his son had been doing penance. Standing there he called aloud his son by name cryingly. Paramas iva appeared before the lamenting father and consoled him. Thus getting a little bit of peace of mind, Vydsa returned to his hermitage

and lived there. The sorrowing Vyasa, was made still more sorrowful by the departure of his beloved disciples, Asita, Devala, Vaigampayana, Sumantu, Jaimini and others who had been living in the hermitage and who had departed, having finished their education. All the surroundings of the hermitage seemed to him filled with pain. At last he thought about his mother. (Devi Bhagavata Skandha 1).

4) His terrestrial life.

i) Preface. Within this period many changes had taken place in Hastinapura and the bank of Yamuna. Santanu the king of the Lunar dynasty had married Gaiigadevi, who had disappeared after giving the king a son named Devavrata (Bhisma). Bhisma grew up. Once Santanu was hunting in the forest when he was attracted by the sweet smell of musk. Tracing the origin of that smell, the king reached the fisherman’s but on the banks of the Yamuna. That smell proceeded from Kasturigandha (Satyavati) the mother of Vyasa. The king fell in love with her. He returned to- the palace, sad and silent. Learning the cause of his father’s sadness, Devavrata went to the fisherman’s but and took gatyavati to the palace to be given to his father. Devavrata had taken a vow that the kingdom would be given to the son born to Satyavati and that he would remain unmarried, throughout his life. Because he had taken so terrible a vow, Devavrata came to be called Bhisma from that day onwards.

Two sons named Citrangada and Vicitravirya, were born to Santanu. Citrangada died when he was young. Vicitravirya married Ambika and Ambalika, daughters of the King of Kasi. Vicitravirya also died before any children were born to him. It seemed as if the family was about to become extinct. At this juncture Satyavati thought about her son Vyasa.

ii) Vydsa in Hastindpuri. The mother thought about him, and instantly he reached Hastinapuri. Because of her compulsion, two sons were born, one each to Ambika and Ambaiika from Vyasa. The son of Ambika was Dhrtarastra and the son of Ambalika was Pandu. Vidura was the son born to Vydsa by their maid.

iii) Vydsa and the Kauraaa-Pandaaas. From this time onwards we see Vydsa as the spiritual teacher of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Behind all the movements of these two families we could see the hand of Vyasa. Thus though he came to Hastinapuri and gave advice to the members of the family frequently, his main abode was his hermitage. Vyasa’s contact with Hastinapura could be seen up to the Mahaprasthana (the great departure) of the Pandavas. In all the administrative affairs up to this period, Vydsa also had a part. The situations in which Vydsa had taken part in the lifevoyage of the Kauravas and the Pandavas are given below.

(i) Vydsa gave the boon that hundred sons would be born to Gandhari. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 114, Stanza 8).

(ii) Vydsa cut the mass of flesh given birth to by Gandhari into a hundred pieces and kept them in hundred pots. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 114, Stanza 17).

(iii) Vydsa consoled Gandhari by telling her that over and above hundred sons a daughter also would be born to her. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 115, Stanza 16).

(iv) Vyasa consoled the Pandavas who had been living in the forest with their mother Kunti, after the

death of Pandu their father. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 155, Verse 5) .

(v) On another occasion Vyasa came to the Pandavas and told them the stories of the previous births of PaficalL(Adi Parva, Chapter 168).

(vi) Vyasa rendered all possible help to the Pandavas to marry Paficali. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 195) .

(vii) Very often Vyasa was a member o#’ the council of Dharmaputra. (IyI. B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 11).

(viii) It was Vyasa who sent Arjuna to the north, Bhimasena to the east, Sahadeva to the south and Nakula to the west for regiona1 conquest. (M. B. Sabha Parva, Daksinatyapatha, Chapter 26 ).

(ix) Vyasa engaged himself in making various arrangements in the Rajasuya (sacrifice of royal consecration) of Yudhisihira. (M. B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 33, Stanza 34).

(x) At the end of the Rajasuya, Vyasa predicted the future of Yudhisthira. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 1).

(xi) When the Rajasuya ended, Vyasa anointed Yudhisthira. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 53, Stanza 10) .

(xii) Vyasa advised Dhrtarastra to prevent Duryodhana from doing injustice. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapters 7 and 8) .

(xiii) When the Pandavas were living in the Dvaitavana (forest) Vyasa visited them and taught Yudhisthira the art of Pratismrti. (M.B. Vana Parva,Chapter 36, Stanza 24 ).

(xiv) He sent Safijaya to Dhrtarastra to tell him about

the greatness of Arjuna and gri Krsna. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 69, Stanza 11 ).

(xv) He gave Safijaya the power of having the eye of a seer penetrating beyond time and space (Divya drsti): (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 2, Stanza 10) .

(xvi) Vyasa consoled Yudhisthira who was stricken with grief in the course of the battle of Bharata. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 71, Stanza 23) .

(xvii) When Yudhisthira cried over the death of Ghatotkaca in the battle of Bharata, Vyasa came to Yudhisthira and consoled him. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 183, Stanza 58) .

(xviii) He talked to Asvatthama about the greatness of Siva and Sri Krsna. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 201,

Stanza 56) .

(xix) When Satyaki was about to kill Safijaya, Vyasa turned him back from the attempt and rescued Safijaya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 29, Stanza 39) .

(xx) Vyasa argued and established that the act of cursing Asvatthama on the part of Sri Krsna was correct. (M.B. Sauptika Parva, Chapter 16, Stanza 17) .

(xxi) Vyasa prevented Gandhari from her intention to curse the Pandavas. (M.B. Stri Parva, Chapter 14, Stanza 7)

(xxii) When the battle of Bbarata was over, Vyasa advised Yudhisthira about matters regarding the administration of the country.

(xxiii) Yudhisthira felt grieved at the death of relatives and friends in the battle of Bharata and he decided to commit suicide. But Vyasa dissuaded him from that attempt. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 27, Stanza 28).

(xxiv) Vyasa walked to the place where Bhisma lay on the bed of arrows and visited him. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 5 ).

(xxv) Vyasa advised Yudhisthira to perform Aivamedha (horse sacrifice). (M.B. Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 3, Stanza 8) .

(xxvi) Vyasa advised the Pandavas to go to King Marutta for wealth when the battle of Bharata was over. (Asvamedhika Parva, Chapter 3, Stanza 20).

(xxvii) Vyasa consoled Uttara, who was lamenting over the death of her husband. (AgvamedhaParva, Chapter 62, Stanza 11).

(xxviii) He consoled Arjuna who was crying over the death of his son. (A’svamedha Parva, Chapter 62, Stanza 14) .

(xxix) Vyasa advised Yudhisthira on the various arrangements which were to be made for the conducting of horse-sacrifice. (Asvamedhika Parva, Chapters 62 to 72).

(xxx) Vyasa went to Dhrtarastra, who had gone to the forest after the Bharata-battle and pacified him. (M.B. Asramavasika Parva, Chapter 28) .

(xxxi) Vyasa brought the spirits of those who died in the Bharata-battle. to the surface of the river Ganges, by the power of his penance and Dhrtarastra and the others saw them. (See under Dhrtarastra, Para 7) .

(xxxii) At the instruction of Vyasa, all the Ksatriya widows immersed themselves in the river Ganges and everyone of them entered the world of her husband. (M.B. A~ramavasika Parva, Chapter 33, Stanza 18):

(xxxiii) When the Yadu-clan was completely destroyed, Arjuna went to the hermitage of Vyasa and talked with him. (Mausala Parva, Chapter 8) .

(xxxiv) Vyasa had been an adviser of King Janamejaya. (See under Janamejaya).

5) Saving a worm. Once a wicked man took rebirth as a worm. This worm was crawling in haste for life in front of a cart coming at great speed. He saved the worm and gave it Brahminhood, and in the next birth it became a Brahmin who lived in peace and comfort. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 117).

6) The literary life of Vyasa. Towards the close of his life Vyasa again entered the caves of Himalayas. Vyasa who had steered through a very wide and rough sea of life, was in a position to understand clearly the various sides of human life. In the mind of that sage, who sat in deep contemplation in the eternally silent caves of the Himalayas, the events of his past life began to line up one after the other. From that inward instigation the Puranetihasas (the Myths and legends) took form. It might have been during this period that Vyasa divided the Vedas and composed Puranas and Upapuranas.

One does not go wrong in saying that it was the composing of the Mababharata that brought Vyasa very close to the later generations. The stories of the Kauravas and the Pandavas, flowed through his mind as a river flows down crushing down the banks on either side. A scribe was necessary to take there down in the form of verses. Vyasa informed Brahma of this need. Brahma replied “Ganapati is the only person capable of taking down every thing that you sing.” Accordingly Vyasa thought of Ganapati, who came to the side of Vyasa, and he informed Ganapati of his need. Ganapati said that he was willing to do the work on condition that Vyasa would go on singing unceasingly, so that he might not have to stop the iron pen. Vyasa said that while he would be singing the poems without stopping, Ganapati should not take down this and that without grasping the meaning. Both agreed to this condition and the composing of the Mahabharata commenced. Within two years and a half the great poetic work was finished. The great disciples of Vyasa, such as Vaisampayana, Jaimini and such others sang them and learned them by heart and published them in the world. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 1).

7) Many Vyasas. It is stated in the Puranas that in every Manu’s age, a Vyasa will be born. It is mentioned in Visnu Puran a, Arizsa 3, Chapter 3, as to who were the persons who took birth as Vyasa in a particular Manu’s age and which were the Vedas and branches of Vedas they had divided. It is given below: During the age of’ Mann Vaivasvata, in each of the past Dvaparayugas, the Veda had been divided by great hermits, twentyeight times. Twentyeight VedaVyasas have passed, each of whom had divided the Veda into four parts in each Dvapara Yuga. It was Brahma himself who had divided the Veda into four in the first Dvaparayuga. Prajapati was the Vedavyasa in the second Dvaparayuga. In the third, Vyasa was the teacher-priest gukra; in the fourth Brhaspati; in the fifth the Sun; and in the sixth the all powerful Dharmaraja. It was Indra in the seventh, Vasistha in the eighth, Sarasvata in the ninth, and Tridhama in the tenth. It was Trisikha in the eleventh, Bharadvaja in the twelfth, Antarik,,-a in the thirteenth, Varni in the fourteenth, Trayyaruna in the fifteenth, Dhananjaya in the sixteenth, Kratunjaya in the seventeenth and Jaya in the eighteenth. Next Bharadvaja comes as Vedavyasa and Gautama after Bharadvaja. It was hermit Haryatma who was the next Vyasa, and then comes Vajasravas. The Next Vyasa was Trnabindu born in the clan of Somasusma. He was followed by Rksa. otherwise called Valmiki born in the family of Bbrgu. 9akti is the Next Vyasa. After that Parasara, then jatukarna and then Krsnadvaipayana. They are the twentyeight Vedavyasas. Each one of these had divided the Veda which had been one at the beginning of each Dvaparayuga, into four Vedas. It is Asvatthama, the son of Dropa, who is going to be the Vedavya-,a of the coming Dvaparayuga.

8) Other details.

(i) Most of the scholars are of opinion that the period of Vyasa was between 1800 and 1500 B.C.

fruits of giving thousand cows as alms, (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 83, Stanza 93) .

note
Vyasa—the son of Parasara, and the literary incarnation of God; the greatest philosopher of ancient times, and the compiler of the original Vedic scriptures, including the eighteen Puranas, Vedanta-sutra, the Mahabharata, and the Upanisads. (10.13, 10.37, 18.75)

Note
The learned Dvaipayana, beholding that virtue is destined to become lame by one leg each yuga and that the period of life and the strength of men followed the yugas, and moved by the desire of obtaining the favour of Brahma and the Brahmanas, arranged the Vedas. And for this he came to be called Vyasa

From Mahabharata

“And it was thus that Vyasa was born of Satyavati through Parasara.

And because he was born in an island, he was called Dwaipayana (Dwaipa or islandborn).

And the learned Dwaipayana, beholding that virtue is destined to become lame by one leg each yuga (she having four legs in all) and that the period of life and the strength of men followed the yugas, and moved by the desire of obtaining the favour of Brahman and the Brahmanas, arranged the Vedas.

And for this he came to be called Vyasa (the arranger or compiler).

The boon-giving great one then taught Sumanta, Jaimini, Paila, his son Suka, and Vaisampayana, the Vedas having the Mahabharata for their fifth.

And the compilation of the Bharata was published by him through them separately.


Explicación del nombre “Vyasa”

El nombre Vyasa se puede dividir en dos términos: “vi” e “asa”. Para las reglas de la gramática sánskrita cuando estas dos palabras se unen nace el nombre vyasa. Vi tiene significados múltiples. Dos son particularmente interesantes para nosotros.
Vi (=visesa) significa “especificar”.
Vi (= vigata) que significa sin una cualidad determinada, o también lo que se ha perdido.
Asa se refiere a los significados védicos, o al conocimiento.

Vedi “su dictionary” meaning of vigata

En definitiva un Vyasa es una persona que especifica los conocimientos védicos dándole un ordenamiento y una lógica superior. Un Vyasa es también una persona que imparte un conocimiento que ha perdido su naturaleza material y que es trascendental.
El maestro espiritual es entonces la fuente de conocimiento trascendental, protegido de cualquier elemento de error y de ilusión. Tal gran alma es venerada todos los días por sus discípulos y presentado con respetos en días específicos como su propio Vyasa-puja (día de nacimiento) por todos los Vaishnavas. Estos respetos se llaman “puja”. Vyasa Puja. El maestro espiritual es también la fuente de recepción de servicio devocional. Servir a Sri Gurudeva es tan importante – si no más – que servir a Sri Krishna en persona. Tener un servicio por él es una fortuna muy grande.
Krishna dijo, no es mi devoto quien dice ser Mi devoto, mas es Mi devoto aquel que dice ser devoto de mi devoto.
Es siempre un gran placer honrar a un gran Vaishnava, uno de lo placeres más grande de la vida.

Who is Śrīla Vyāsadeva?
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By Akiñcana Balarāma Dāsa
Devotees with inquisitive minds and curiosity for details might have sometimes wondered who is Śrīla Vyāsadeva, the compiler and editor of the four Vedas, the Upaniṣads, the Purāṇas and the author of the Vedānta-sūtra and Mahābhārata. Is he an empowered jīva or does he belong to the viṣṇu-tattva category? In this article we will try to present the conclusive statements that are in accordance with guru, sādhu and śāstra.
Śrīla Vyāsadeva as the compiler of the Vedic literatures is a post, just as Lord Brahmā, Indra, Sūrya etc. are also posts that are held by different personalities at different times. The Viṣṇu Purāṇa (3.3.11–19) gives a list of twenty-eight persons who act as Vyāsa for the twenty-eight Dvāpara-yugas which have passed in the current Vaivasvata-manvantara. The last in the list is Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa who is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
“Thereafter, in the seventeenth incarnation of Godhead, Śrī Vyāsadeva appeared in the womb of Satyavatī through Parāśara Muni, and he divided the one Veda into several branches and subbranches, seeing that the people in general were less intelligent.” (ŚB 1.3.21)
As he occupies the post of the compiler of the Vedic literatures, Śrī Vyāsadeva is generally categorized as a śaktyāveśa-avatāra, an exalted jīva empowered by the Lord with portions of His powers such as knowledge. In the yugas previous to the last Dvāpara-yuga some of the personalities who acted in the post of Vyāsa were: Brahmā, Manu, Bṛhaspati, Indra, Yama, Bharadvāja, Gautama, Dhanañjaya, Parāśara and others. In the next Dvāpara-yuga Drauṇi, the son of Droṇa (Aśvatthāmā) will become Vyāsa. All these personalities are especially empowered jīvas.
But in the last Dvāpara-yuga we see an exemption from the general rule: instead of empowering a jīva, the Lord Himself takes up the position of Vyāsadeva, which means that the last Vyāsadeva, Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa, is viṣṇu-tattva. This is confirmed by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in his Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta (1.3.81–84) and by Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa in his commentary on the Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta (English translation by H.H. Bhānu Swami):
Text 81
dvaipāyano ’smi vyāsānām iti śaurir yad ūcivān
ato viṣṇu-purāṇādau viśeṣeṇaiva varṇitaḥ
“Kṛṣṇa Himself says, ‘I am Dvaipāyana among the Vyāsas.’ In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa and other scriptures, he is described as directly the Lord.”
Commentary by Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa:
“Kṛṣṇa (śauriḥ) describes himself as Vyāsa in the Eleventh Canto (11.16.28) as well.”
Text 82
yathā –
kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyanaṁ vyāsaṁ viddhi nārāyaṇaṁ svayam
ko hy anyaḥ puṇḍarīkākṣān mahābhārata-kṛd bhavet iti
“Thus it is said: ‘Know that Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa is Nārāyaṇa Himself. Who else except the Lord could produce the Mahābhārata?’ (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 3.4.5, Mahābhārata 12.346.11)”
Text 83
śrūyate ’pāntaratamā dvaipāyanyam agād iti
kiṁ sāyujyaṁ gataḥ so ’tra viṣṇv-aṁśaḥ so ’pi vā bhavet
tasmād āveśa evāyam iti kecid vadanti ca
“It is said in the Mahābhārata that a sage named Apāntaratamā, who had extinguished internal ignorance, became Dvaipāyana Vyāsa. This means that the sage merged into the īśvara form of Dvaipāyana, or that he was an aṁśa of Viṣṇu.”
Commentary by Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa:
“This is related in the Nārāyaṇīya of the Mahābhārata. Apāntaratamā was an austere brāhmaṇa who had extinguished ignorance. He (saḥ) merged into Lord Dvaipāyana (atra) or can be regarded as an aṁśa of Viṣṇu (in the manner that Droṇa and Dharā were amśas of Nanda and Yaśodā and merged into them when they appeared on earth with Kṛṣṇa). Because of this, some say that Vyāsa is an āveśāvatāra, like the Kumāras.”
HG Gopīparāṇadhana Prabhu translates the same text 83 as follows:
“We hear from scripture that the sage Apāntaratamā became Dvaipāyana Vyāsa. Apāntaratamā may have merged with Dvaipāyana, or else he was also a partial expansion of Lord Viṣṇu. Therefore some authorities say that Dvaipāyana is an āveśa incarnation.”
HG Kuśakratha Prabhu’s translation of the same verse differs somewhat:
“In the scriptures it is said that Apāntaratamā Muni became Dvaipāyana Vyāsa. Is Vyāsa a jīva who attained sāyujya-mukti, or is he an aṁśa-avatāra of Lord Viṣṇu? Some say he is an āveśa-avatāra.”
Since Śrīmān Kuśakratha Prabhu didn’t have and use Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa’s commentary in his translation, he naturally thought that sāyujya here refers to sāyujya-mukti, but with the help of Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa’s commentary we understand that it refers to the merging of sage Apāntaratamā with Lord Dvaipāyana, who is an aṁśa of Viṣṇu, in the same manner as the demigod portions of eternal residents of Vṛndāvana merged with Goloka Vrajavāsīs during Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes on earth. This merging is the reason why some say that Dvaipāyana Vyāsa is a śaktyāveśa-avatāra, but actually he is Lord Nārāyaṇa Himself. In the same way one may refer to Nanda Mahārāja and Mother Yaśodā as demigods (since Droṇa and Dharā merged with them) although in reality they are Kṛṣṇa’s eternal parents from Goloka.
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī leaves no doubt that Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa is viṣṇu-tattva in his Śrī Tattva-sandarbha 16.1 (English translation by HG Gopīparāṇadhana Prabhu):
“The Skanda Purāṇa says, ‘These others make use of small collections of ideas they have carved out from the infinite sky of Vyāsadeva’s mind. They take advantage of these borrowed ideas like people who pick up things discarded from someone else’s house.’ In the same vein is the statement of Parāśara Muni in Śrī Viṣṇu Purāṇa (3.4.2–5.): ‘Then during the period of the twenty-eight Manu, the great master, my son Vyāsa, divided the one Veda with four divisions into four separate books. In the same way as he, the brilliant editor of the Vedas, arranged their entire text into various books, so have other Vyāsas in the past, including myself. O best of brāhmaṇas, you can understand that in each of the rotations of the cycles of four yugas a different Vyāsa organizes the branches of the Vedas. But know that Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa is the Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa Himself. Who else on this earth, Maitreya, could be the author of the Mahābhārata?’”
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī continues (16.2):
“In the Skanda Purāṇa we read, ‘Knowledge in this world was originally generated from Lord Nārāyaṇa. In Kṛta-yuga it remained intact. In Tretā-yuga it became somewhat corrupted, and in Dvāpara-yuga altogether so. When knowledge had thus gradually transformed into ignorance because of Gautama Ṛṣi’s curse, the confused demigods headed by Brahmā and Rudra went to ask protection from Nārāyaṇa, the faultless provider of shelter. Informed of what they needed Him to do, He, the Personality of Godhead and greatest of mystics, descended to earth as the son of Parāśara in the womb of Satyavatī. In that form Lord Hari Himself restored the neglected Vedas.’”
Gopīparāṇadhana Prabhu comments: “Just as infinite space is all-accommodating, so the mind of Veda-vyāsa encompasses everything there is to know. Vedic ṛṣis are greater than ordinary mystics of other cultures who comprehend something of the Absolute Truth and its energies for their own self- realization, but cannot express their experiences coherently for the benefit of others. The Vedic sages are not only mystics but expert communicators as well; they systematically teach practical means by which persons entangled in material life can also become self-realized. Of these sages, Dvaipāyana Vyāsa is incontestably the greatest. His own father, Parāśara Ṛṣi, student of Maitreya Ṛṣi and narrator of the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, attests to this. Previously, in the twenty-sixth Dvāpara-yuga of this Vaivasvata-manvantara, Parāśara himself was Vyāsa, editor of the Vedas. As an incarnation of Nārāyaṇa, however, Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana excels all other Vyāsas. He best knows the whole purpose of the Vedas.”
Thus, the śāstras (Viṣṇu Purāṇa and Skanda Purāṇa) and the ācāryas (Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī and Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa) are consistent in the opinion that Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa is Lord Nārāyaṇa Himself or viṣṇu-tattva.
Some devotees have argued in the past (see http://www.dandavats.com/?p=3279) that opinions of the ācāryas on this matter differ and that our Śrīla Prabhupāda held the position that Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa is a śaktyāveśa-avatāra and thus jīva-tattva. To support this they cite quotes such as:
“So Vyāsadeva, he is also living entity, although he is empowered, so apaśyat puruṣaṁ pūrṇam, he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And māyāṁ ca tad-apāśrayam, and the back side is māyā.” (Lecture, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.7.2–4 Durban, October 14, 1975)
But, the reality is that Śrīla Prabhupāda was not specific in this or any other similar statements, he never mentions Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa as a śaktyāveśa-avatāra or jīva-tattva but is always using a generic term Vyāsadeva that is used for the post of Vyāsadeva in general. To infer that Śrīla Prabhupāda specifically refers to Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa, without him ever saying it, would be inappropriate, since it would make his words contradict śāstra and the previous ācāryas. How could Śrīla Prabhupāda ever contradict Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, a great scholar and ācārya to whom he dedicated his Bhagavad-gītā As It Is? Thus we can safely conclude that whenever Śrīla Prabhupāda referred to Vyāsadeva as a śaktyāveśa-avatāra or jīva-tattva, he meant the post of Vyāsadeva in general, and not specifically Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa.

VYASADEVA: L’incarnazione letteraria di Dio
posted Jun 1, 2011, 10:58 AM by Manonatha Dasa
Migliaia d’anni fa egli s’impegnò per rendere accessibile
a noi oggi, la conoscenza più importante

di Satyaraja Dasa

L’antico saggio Vyasadeva, ossia Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa, era il figlio divino di Parasara Muni e Satyavati.
Secondo la tradizione Vaisnava, la sua missione fu quella di dividere in parti il Veda originale (Vyasa significa “dividere”) e di scrivere testi supplementari per mettere in evidenza il messaggio principale: la devozione a Krsna.
Questa tradizione vedica ci dice che prima dell’apparizione di Vyasa, cinquemila anni or sono la gente poteva ricordare i Veda anche ascoltando una sola volta e poteva capirne anche le implicazioni.
Nell’epoca attuale invece, nota come Kali-yuga, le persone sono spiritualmente meno acute e la durata della vita e la memoria si sono ridotte. Perciò Vyasa discese in questo mondo per mettere i Veda in forma scritta e per diffonderli dopo averli resi accessibili alla comprensione dell’uomo moderno.
Egli compì questa potente impresa recitando centinaia di migliaia di difficili versi sariscriti senza mai interrompersi e intanto i versi venivano scritti da Ganesa, il suo scriba.
È attribuita a Vyasadeva non soltanto la sistemazione dei Veda in quattro opere distinte (Rg, Sama, Yajur e Atharva), ma anche la composizione di molti corollari vedici compreso il Mahabharata e lo Srimad-Bhagavatam, la crema di tutti i testi vedici.
Lo Srimad-Bhagavatam informa che Vyasa si senti depresso dopo la compilazione del canone vedico ed avvicinò il suo maestro spirituale, Narada, per poter comprenderne la ragione.
Narada gli rispose che nell’affrontare la vasta complessità dei Veda, aveva trascurato la vera essenza: la glorificazione del nome, della fama, della forma, delle qualità e dei divertimenti del Signore Supremo, Krsna.
Subito Vyasa s’impegnò a colmare questa lacuna scrivendo lo Srimad-Bhagavatam, che a ragione può essere considerato il pinnacolo della tradizione letteraria dei Veda.
Dopo aver compiuto quest’opera imponente di stabilire i Veda in forma scritta, corredata da spiegazioni letterarie, Vyasa si preoccupò di trasmettere questi libri in un’età che evita la conoscenza spirituale.
Insegnò quindi i quattro Veda a quattro discepoli: a Paila, il Rg Veda; a Vaisampayana, lo Yajur Veda; a Jaimini, il Sama Veda; e a Sumantu, l’Atharva Veda.
Egli insegnò anche le storie dell’Itihasa-Purana a Romaharsana Suta e a Sukadeva Gosvami, il figlio di Vyasa che fu il primo a recitare pubblicamente lo Srimad-Bhagavatam. Tutti questi valenti devoti del Signore diventarono esperti nei loro rispettivi Veda e trasmisero questa conoscenza ai loro numerosi discepoli.
Così il messaggio si trasferì da maestro a discepolo nella successione di maestri.

LE QUALITÀ DI VYASA
Dalla letteratura vedica apprendiamo le qualità straordinarie di Vyasadeva.
Egli è identificato nel Mahabharata e nei Purana come Bhagavan, ossia la Persona Suprema, e talvolta Egli è definito un’incarnazione di Narayana.
Nella Bhagavad-gita, Krsna afferma d’essere Vyasa tra i saggi (10.37) e Arjuna cita Vyasa come un’autorità a proposito dell’identità di Krsna. (10.13).
Srila Prabhupada risolve la possibile confusione riguardo all’identità di Vyasa:
Vyasa è Dio solo nel senso che è uno saktyavesa-avatara, un jiva eternamente liberato (un’anima come noi, non il Signore Supremo), in modo particolare investito di potere grazie a un’opulenza degna di Dio.
Sia nel Mahabharata sia nei Purana Vyasa è definito:
1) un rsi, un veggente,
2) un rtvij, ossia un prete,
3) un tapa-svin, o un asceta,
4) uno yogi, ossia un mistico
5) un guru.
I Purana e il Mahabharata riferiscono esempi sull’abilità di Vyasa nel prevedere il futuro.
Lo Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.4.16-33) asserisce che egli previde il Kali-yuga incombente con la relativa conseguente degradazione.
Nella letteratura dell’Itihasa-Purana egli viene citato ripetutamente come rtvij, ossia un “prete”.
Nel Mahabharata egli celebrò per i Pandava importanti rituali vedici, e fu sacerdote in carica durante i sacrifici Rajasuya e Asvamedha.
Nel Mahabharata Vyasa è citato come modello di ascetismo.
Egli esibì molti poteri mistici -inclusa la sua conoscenza sovrannaturale di passato, presente e futuro- il che si dice fosse il risultato delle sue penitenze e austerità.
Egli è in grado di apparire e scomparire secondo la sua volontà e di elargire favori e anche di annullare maledizioni.

IL GURU ORIGINALE
Come preminente maestro di conoscenza vedica, Vyasadeva è considerato il guru originale.
Secondo il Mahabharata egli era noto come guru per coloro che condividevano con lui la conoscenza vedica -Paila, Jaimini, Vaisampayana, Sumantu, Romaharsana Suta, Sukadeva e altri, si riferivano tutti a lui come “il guru”.
Vyasa aveva una relazione informale di guru con i cinque principi Pandava che lo consideravano il loro “benevolo consigliere” (mantri priyahitah). In tutti i corollari vedici, Vyasa agisce come perfetto guru dando istruzioni a grandi personalità che appaiono in quei testi.
Fu lui a instillare nel cuore di Sukadeva Gosvami il messaggio del Bhagavatam.
Srila Prabhupada si riferisce a Vyasadeva definendolo “il precettore spirituale di tutto il genere umano”.
In onore di Vyasa i Vaisnava celebrano una festa annuale nel giorno dell’anniversario della nascita del loro maestro spirituale, giorno noto come Vyasa-puja.
Il guru autentico è il rappresentante di Vyasa, il guru perfetto.
Vyasa è inoltre considerato per tradizione uno dei sette ciran-jiva, o persone immortali (gli altri sono Asvatthama, Bali, Hanuman, Vibhisana, Krpa e Parasurama).
È detto che ancora oggi Egli può essere trovato in una caverna dell’Himalaya, da ricercatori d’eccelso merito.

Satyaraja Dasa è un discepolo di Srìla Prabhupada e anche un regolare collaboratore di Back to Godhead (Ritorno a Krishna). Ha scritto numerosi libri sulla coscienza di Krsna. Vive a New York con sua moglie.

VYASA. The sage Vyasa who is the author of the MahaBharata.

1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in the following order: Brahma-Vasistha-Sakti-Parasara-Vyasa.

2) Birth. Vyasa was born to hermit Parasara by a fisherwoman named Kali. His name when he was a child was Krsna. As his birth took place in an island (Dvipa ) he got the name Krsnadvaipayana. After dividing the Vedas he got the name Vedavyasa. He is the composer of Mahabharata, one of the greatest books in worldliterature. The births of great men, generally will be wonderful. Behind the birth of Vyasa also there is a wonderful story.

As has already been mentioned, Kali, a fisherwoman was the mother of Vyasa. There is a story about this Kali also. When king Vasu of Cedi went to the forest for hunting, he saw the coition of animals and he had seminal discharge. The king sent that semen to his queen. But on the way it fell in the river Kilindi and was eaten by a fish. This fish was a celestial maid named Adrika transformed to fish by a curse. The fish conceived and got into the net of a fisherman, who lived on the banks of Kalindi. When this fish was cut open a male and a female infant were seen inside. The male child was given to the king himself. The fisherman brought up the girl naming her Kili. As the girl had the gandha ( smell) of matsya (fish), she got the name `Matsya-gandhi’, also. This fisherman was also a ferryman. Kill used to help her father in ferrying people across the river Kalindi. She grew up and became a young woman.

Once the hermit Parasara came by that way to go to the other side of the river. At that time, the fisherman who has been taking people across the river, was sitting on the bank of the river and having his meals. As soon as Para’sara came, the innocent fisherman-the fosterfather of Matsyagandha-called her, who was standing

close by and ~sked her to take the hermit across the

river. The hermit got into the boat. Matsyagandha began to row the boat. The beauty of the damsel sitting in front of him and the little waves of the river, combined together had the effect of arousing passion is the hermit. He became sexually excited and sat close to her. Discerning his intention she moved away from him and prayed to him humbly not to violate her chastity. She repeated her prayer. The hermit Parasara creared an artificial fog around the boat. The smell of fish was gone from her and the fragrance of Musk took its place. The hermit created an artificial island in the middle of the river. They got down on the island and acted a love drama. She became pregnant. Parasara said to her. “Beautiful girl ! Even after your confinement you shall remain a virgin. A son, who will be a portion of Visnu, a man of purity, famous throughout the three worlds, highly learned, the teacher-priest of the whole world, shall be born to you. He will divide the Vedas and will be exalted by the people of the world.”

After this the great hermit took his bath in Yamunaand went away. The pregnancy of Kali was completed instantly and she gave birth to a very handsome boy in that island of Yamuna. As soon as he was born, he grew up and became a hermit radiant with devotion and assuming a vow of purity and abstinence he said to his mother. “Mother ! You can go anywhere, as you please. You need have no worry on my account. I am about to go for penance. When anything unpleasant happens to you, just think of me. The moment you wish to see me, I will be there by you. I wish you a happy life. I am going.” Saying thus the brave boy walked away. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 2; Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapters 60 to 63) .

3) Spiritual life.

i) Introduction. Two sides, the spiritual as well as the material, are seen in the life of Vyasa. It was after the marriage of ~antanu, a king of the Lunar dynasty, with his mother Kali, otherwise known as Satyavati, that Vyasa came into contact with Hastinipura. Participating in all the vicissitudes of the Pandavas and the Kauravas was the worldly side of the life of Vyasa. But the major part of his life was spent in living as a hermit in his hermitage in the forest with a large group of disciples; teaching them the Vedas. A small description of that spiritual life is given below

ii) In the forest. We do not see Krsnadvaipayana, who had grown up to a youth at the time of his birth, for many years after his departure, bidding adieu to his mother. He might have been living with hermits in the forests, learning Vedas from them. After this he appears on the banks of river Sarasvati as a teacher and Priest. As he was doing penance there, he saw two sparrows, legs and beaks red, without even down feathers, crying for food, and the parent birds, with the utmost care and tenderness feeding them. They flew about here and there and gathered food and came back quickly. Because of joy at the sight of their parents, the little ones opened their ruby-red mouths with cries and throbbing. They kissed the young ones and fed them. The young sparrows hid tinder the wings of their father and mother and enjoyed the surroundings by thrusting out their heads and looking on all sides.

iii) Birth of son. Seeing this, the paternity instinct in him was aroused. He understood that love of children was merely for the sake of love; that this love was pure and simple. Moreover there is the maxim that a man without a son has no right to aspire for heaven. Sad and silent, thinking of these things he walked on unwillingly and reached the vicinity of the Himalayas. Still, he was doubtful. He began to consider about the deity, before whom he had to do penance for the fulfilment of his wish. He could not decide. As he was sitting in thought, Narada came there. From the talk of Vyasa, Narada knew that childlessness Nvas the cause of his sorrow. Narada advised him that for the attainment of Purusarthas (objects of life) penance was to be done before Devi. Accepting that advice, Vydsa went to a place near Mahamcru to do penance.

When Vydsa began penance, the celestial maids also commenced their work of hindering the penance. It was Ghrtaci who confronted Vyasa. She took the form of a parrot of five colours and flew in front of Vyasa. The hermit was excited at the beauty of Ghrtaci and sat forgetting himself. As he sat there thinking of the infatuating beauty of the parrot, seminal discharge occurred to him. He became a slave to this infatuation, when he was engaged in making fire by attrition. In this amorous state of mind he was quite unaware of the seminal discharge or its falling on the pieces of wood used for attrition. He continued attrition. Then a very bright, divine person appeared from the pieces of wood. At the birth of a person, without attachment to a womb, all the worlds were delighted. The hide of black antelope, water pot, hermit’s rod etc. fell from the sky. Birth rituals and ceremonies, according to the custom, were conducted by Vyasa. As he was born from the semen discharged at the sight of the Suka (parrot) the infant was named Suka. As soon as he was born 8uka began to grow by divine power and shortly became a boy of shining radiance. After investiture with the Brahma-string, the boy was sent for education to the hermitage of Brhaspati, the teacher of the devas. Suka completed his education with Brhaspati and having performed Samavarta and offering of gift to the teacher, he returned home to his father.

iv) Disciples. Suka commenced advanced study under his father Vyasa. Besides Suka, Vydsa had disciples such as Vaisampayana, Suta, Paila, Jaimini and others also, living with him. The hermitage of Vydsa soon grew up to be a great educational institution, with plenty of disciples.

v) Separation of son. In the meanwhile Suka married and lived the life of a householder in the hermitage of his father, for a time. Then forsaking his family and his father, Suka went to the peak of Kailasa and began to do penance meditating on Siva. At last he became a divine person who had obtained complete attainments, and breaking the top of the peak open, he rose up into the sky and shone there as a second Sun. The devas who saw Suka rising up by breaking the peak of Kailasa and staying up in the sky, praised him.

This untimely separation of his son had undermined the firmness of the mind of Vyasa. Filled with grief, he left his hermitage and wandered here and there calling out his son by name. He could not find his son. At last he reached the peak of Kailasa where his son had been doing penance. Standing there he called aloud his son by name cryingly. Paramas iva appeared before the lamenting father and consoled him. Thus getting a little bit of peace of mind, Vydsa returned to his hermitage

and lived there. The sorrowing Vyasa, was made still more sorrowful by the departure of his beloved disciples, Asita, Devala, Vaigampayana, Sumantu, Jaimini and others who had been living in the hermitage and who had departed, having finished their education. All the surroundings of the hermitage seemed to him filled with pain. At last he thought about his mother. (Devi Bhagavata Skandha 1).

4) His terrestrial life.

i) Preface. Within this period many changes had taken place in Hastinapura and the bank of Yamuna. Santanu the king of the Lunar dynasty had married Gaiigadevi, who had disappeared after giving the king a son named Devavrata (Bhisma). Bhisma grew up. Once Santanu was hunting in the forest when he was attracted by the sweet smell of musk. Tracing the origin of that smell, the king reached the fisherman’s but on the banks of the Yamuna. That smell proceeded from Kasturigandha (Satyavati) the mother of Vyasa. The king fell in love with her. He returned to- the palace, sad and silent. Learning the cause of his father’s sadness, Devavrata went to the fisherman’s but and took gatyavati to the palace to be given to his father. Devavrata had taken a vow that the kingdom would be given to the son born to Satyavati and that he would remain unmarried, throughout his life. Because he had taken so terrible a vow, Devavrata came to be called Bhisma from that day onwards.

Two sons named Citrangada and Vicitravirya, were born to Santanu. Citrangada died when he was young. Vicitravirya married Ambika and Ambalika, daughters of the King of Kasi. Vicitravirya also died before any children were born to him. It seemed as if the family was about to become extinct. At this juncture Satyavati thought about her son Vyasa.

ii) Vydsa in Hastindpuri. The mother thought about him, and instantly he reached Hastinapuri. Because of her compulsion, two sons were born, one each to Ambika and Ambaiika from Vyasa. The son of Ambika was Dhrtarastra and the son of Ambalika was Pandu. Vidura was the son born to Vydsa by their maid.

iii) Vydsa and the Kauraaa-Pandaaas. From this time onwards we see Vydsa as the spiritual teacher of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Behind all the movements of these two families we could see the hand of Vyasa. Thus though he came to Hastinapuri and gave advice to the members of the family frequently, his main abode was his hermitage. Vyasa’s contact with Hastinapura could be seen up to the Mahaprasthana (the great departure) of the Pandavas. In all the administrative affairs up to this period, Vydsa also had a part. The situations in which Vydsa had taken part in the lifevoyage of the Kauravas and the Pandavas are given below.

(i) Vydsa gave the boon that hundred sons would be born to Gandhari. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 114, Stanza 8).

(ii) Vydsa cut the mass of flesh given birth to by Gandhari into a hundred pieces and kept them in hundred pots. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 114, Stanza 17).

(iii) Vydsa consoled Gandhari by telling her that over and above hundred sons a daughter also would be born to her. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 115, Stanza 16).

(iv) Vyasa consoled the Pandavas who had been living in the forest with their mother Kunti, after the

death of Pandu their father. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 155, Verse 5) .

(v) On another occasion Vyasa came to the Pandavas and told them the stories of the previous births of PaficalL(Adi Parva, Chapter 168).

(vi) Vyasa rendered all possible help to the Pandavas to marry Paficali. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 195) .

(vii) Very often Vyasa was a member o#’ the council of Dharmaputra. (IyI. B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 11).

(viii) It was Vyasa who sent Arjuna to the north, Bhimasena to the east, Sahadeva to the south and Nakula to the west for regiona1 conquest. (M. B. Sabha Parva, Daksinatyapatha, Chapter 26 ).

(ix) Vyasa engaged himself in making various arrangements in the Rajasuya (sacrifice of royal consecration) of Yudhisihira. (M. B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 33, Stanza 34).

(x) At the end of the Rajasuya, Vyasa predicted the future of Yudhisthira. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 1).

(xi) When the Rajasuya ended, Vyasa anointed Yudhisthira. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 53, Stanza 10) .

(xii) Vyasa advised Dhrtarastra to prevent Duryodhana from doing injustice. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapters 7 and 8) .

(xiii) When the Pandavas were living in the Dvaitavana (forest) Vyasa visited them and taught Yudhisthira the art of Pratismrti. (M.B. Vana Parva,Chapter 36, Stanza 24 ).

(xiv) He sent Safijaya to Dhrtarastra to tell him about

the greatness of Arjuna and gri Krsna. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 69, Stanza 11 ).

(xv) He gave Safijaya the power of having the eye of a seer penetrating beyond time and space (Divya drsti): (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 2, Stanza 10) .

(xvi) Vyasa consoled Yudhisthira who was stricken with grief in the course of the battle of Bharata. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 71, Stanza 23) .

(xvii) When Yudhisthira cried over the death of Ghatotkaca in the battle of Bharata, Vyasa came to Yudhisthira and consoled him. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 183, Stanza 58) .

(xviii) He talked to Asvatthama about the greatness of Siva and Sri Krsna. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 201,

Stanza 56) .

(xix) When Satyaki was about to kill Safijaya, Vyasa turned him back from the attempt and rescued Safijaya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 29, Stanza 39) .

(xx) Vyasa argued and established that the act of cursing Asvatthama on the part of Sri Krsna was correct. (M.B. Sauptika Parva, Chapter 16, Stanza 17) .

(xxi) Vyasa prevented Gandhari from her intention to curse the Pandavas. (M.B. Stri Parva, Chapter 14, Stanza 7)

(xxii) When the battle of Bbarata was over, Vyasa advised Yudhisthira about matters regarding the administration of the country.

(xxiii) Yudhisthira felt grieved at the death of relatives and friends in the battle of Bharata and he decided to commit suicide. But Vyasa dissuaded him from that attempt. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 27, Stanza 28).

(xxiv) Vyasa walked to the place where Bhisma lay on the bed of arrows and visited him. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 5 ).

(xxv) Vyasa advised Yudhisthira to perform Aivamedha (horse sacrifice). (M.B. Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 3, Stanza 8) .

(xxvi) Vyasa advised the Pandavas to go to King Marutta for wealth when the battle of Bharata was over. (Asvamedhika Parva, Chapter 3, Stanza 20).

(xxvii) Vyasa consoled Uttara, who was lamenting over the death of her husband. (AgvamedhaParva, Chapter 62, Stanza 11).

(xxviii) He consoled Arjuna who was crying over the death of his son. (A’svamedha Parva, Chapter 62, Stanza 14) .

(xxix) Vyasa advised Yudhisthira on the various arrangements which were to be made for the conducting of horse-sacrifice. (Asvamedhika Parva, Chapters 62 to 72).

(xxx) Vyasa went to Dhrtarastra, who had gone to the forest after the Bharata-battle and pacified him. (M.B. Asramavasika Parva, Chapter 28) .

(xxxi) Vyasa brought the spirits of those who died in the Bharata-battle. to the surface of the river Ganges, by the power of his penance and Dhrtarastra and the others saw them. (See under Dhrtarastra, Para 7) .

(xxxii) At the instruction of Vyasa, all the Ksatriya widows immersed themselves in the river Ganges and everyone of them entered the world of her husband. (M.B. A~ramavasika Parva, Chapter 33, Stanza 18):

(xxxiii) When the Yadu-clan was completely destroyed, Arjuna went to the hermitage of Vyasa and talked with him. (Mausala Parva, Chapter 8) .

(xxxiv) Vyasa had been an adviser of King Janamejaya. (See under Janamejaya).

5) Saving a worm. Once a wicked man took rebirth as a worm. This worm was crawling in haste for life in front of a cart coming at great speed. He saved the worm and gave it Brahminhood, and in the next birth it became a Brahmin who lived in peace and comfort. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 117).

6) The literary life of Vyasa. Towards the close of his life Vyasa again entered the caves of Himalayas. Vyasa who had steered through a very wide and rough sea of life, was in a position to understand clearly the various sides of human life. In the mind of that sage, who sat in deep contemplation in the eternally silent caves of the Himalayas, the events of his past life began to line up one after the other. From that inward instigation the Puranetihasas (the Myths and legends) took form. It might have been during this period that Vyasa divided the Vedas and composed Puranas and Upapuranas.

One does not go wrong in saying that it was the composing of the Mababharata that brought Vyasa very close to the later generations. The stories of the Kauravas and the Pandavas, flowed through his mind as a river flows down crushing down the banks on either side. A scribe was necessary to take there down in the form of verses. Vyasa informed Brahma of this need. Brahma replied “Ganapati is the only person capable of taking down every thing that you sing.” Accordingly Vyasa thought of Ganapati, who came to the side of Vyasa, and he informed Ganapati of his need. Ganapati said that he was willing to do the work on condition that Vyasa would go on singing unceasingly, so that he might not have to stop the iron pen. Vyasa said that while he would be singing the poems without stopping, Ganapati should not take down this and that without grasping the meaning. Both agreed to this condition and the composing of the Mahabharata commenced. Within two years and a half the great poetic work was finished. The great disciples of Vyasa, such as Vaisampayana, Jaimini and such others sang them and learned them by heart and published them in the world. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 1).

7) Many Vyasas. It is stated in the Puranas that in every Manu’s age, a Vyasa will be born. It is mentioned in Visnu Puran a, Arizsa 3, Chapter 3, as to who were the persons who took birth as Vyasa in a particular Manu’s age and which were the Vedas and branches of Vedas they had divided. It is given below: During the age of’ Mann Vaivasvata, in each of the past Dvaparayugas, the Veda had been divided by great hermits, twentyeight times. Twentyeight VedaVyasas have passed, each of whom had divided the Veda into four parts in each Dvapara Yuga. It was Brahma himself who had divided the Veda into four in the first Dvaparayuga. Prajapati was the Vedavyasa in the second Dvaparayuga. In the third, Vyasa was the teacher-priest gukra; in the fourth Brhaspati; in the fifth the Sun; and in the sixth the all powerful Dharmaraja. It was Indra in the seventh, Vasistha in the eighth, Sarasvata in the ninth, and Tridhama in the tenth. It was Trisikha in the eleventh, Bharadvaja in the twelfth, Antarik,,-a in the thirteenth, Varni in the fourteenth, Trayyaruna in the fifteenth, Dhananjaya in the sixteenth, Kratunjaya in the seventeenth and Jaya in the eighteenth. Next Bharadvaja comes as Vedavyasa and Gautama after Bharadvaja. It was hermit Haryatma who was the next Vyasa, and then comes Vajasravas. The Next Vyasa was Trnabindu born in the clan of Somasusma. He was followed by Rksa. otherwise called Valmiki born in the family of Bbrgu. 9akti is the Next Vyasa. After that Parasara, then jatukarna and then Krsnadvaipayana. They are the twentyeight Vedavyasas. Each one of these had divided the Veda which had been one at the beginning of each Dvaparayuga, into four Vedas. It is Asvatthama, the son of Dropa, who is going to be the Vedavya-,a of the coming Dvaparayuga.

8) Other details.

(i) Most of the scholars are of opinion that the period of Vyasa was between 1800 and 1500 B.C.

fruits of giving thousand cows as alms, (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 83, Stanza 93) .

(ii) Apantaratamas was the rebirth of Vyasa. (See VyOMARI. An eternal Visvadeva (deity concerned under Apantaratamas) .

(iii) In Mahabharata, the word Krsna, Krsnadvaipayana, Dvaipayana, Satyavatisuta, Satyavatyatmaja, Parasarya, Parasaratmaja, Badarayana, Vedavyasa etc. are used as synonyms of Vyasa.

( iv) The word Vyasa means he who describes elaborately.

“He became Vyasa because he had described al1 the Vedas”. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 63, Stanza 88). Vyas=describe (Differentiate the branches and divide).

VYASA. The sage Vyasa who is the author of the MahaBharata.

1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in the following order: Brahma-Vasistha-Sakti-Parasara-Vyasa.

2) Birth. Vyasa was born to hermit Parasara by a fisherwoman named Kali. His name when he was a child was Krsna. As his birth took place in an island (Dvipa ) he got the name Krsnadvaipayana. After dividing the Vedas he got the name Vedavyasa. He is the composer of Mahabharata, one of the greatest books in worldliterature. The births of great men, generally will be wonderful. Behind the birth of Vyasa also there is a wonderful story.

As has already been mentioned, Kali, a fisherwoman was the mother of Vyasa. There is a story about this Kali also. When king Vasu of Cedi went to the forest for hunting, he saw the coition of animals and he had seminal discharge. The king sent that semen to his queen. But on the way it fell in the river Kilindi and was eaten by a fish. This fish was a celestial maid named Adrika transformed to fish by a curse. The fish conceived and got into the net of a fisherman, who lived on the banks of Kalindi. When this fish was cut open a male and a female infant were seen inside. The male child was given to the king himself. The fisherman brought up the girl naming her Kili. As the girl had the gandha ( smell) of matsya (fish), she got the name `Matsya-gandhi’, also. This fisherman was also a ferryman. Kill used to help her father in ferrying people across the river Kalindi. She grew up and became a young woman.

Once the hermit Parasara came by that way to go to the other side of the river. At that time, the fisherman who has been taking people across the river, was sitting on the bank of the river and having his meals. As soon as Para’sara came, the innocent fisherman-the fosterfather of Matsyagandha-called her, who was standing

close by and ~sked her to take the hermit across the

river. The hermit got into the boat. Matsyagandha began to row the boat. The beauty of the damsel sitting in front of him and the little waves of the river, combined together had the effect of arousing passion is the hermit. He became sexually excited and sat close to her. Discerning his intention she moved away from him and prayed to him humbly not to violate her chastity. She repeated her prayer. The hermit Parasara creared an artificial fog around the boat. The smell of fish was gone from her and the fragrance of Musk took its place. The hermit created an artificial island in the middle of the river. They got down on the island and acted a love drama. She became pregnant. Parasara said to her. “Beautiful girl ! Even after your confinement you shall remain a virgin. A son, who will be a portion of Visnu, a man of purity, famous throughout the three worlds, highly learned, the teacher-priest of the whole world, shall be born to you. He will divide the Vedas and will be exalted by the people of the world.”

After this the great hermit took his bath in Yamunaand went away. The pregnancy of Kali was completed instantly and she gave birth to a very handsome boy in that island of Yamuna. As soon as he was born, he grew up and became a hermit radiant with devotion and assuming a vow of purity and abstinence he said to his mother. “Mother ! You can go anywhere, as you please. You need have no worry on my account. I am about to go for penance. When anything unpleasant happens to you, just think of me. The moment you wish to see me, I will be there by you. I wish you a happy life. I am going.” Saying thus the brave boy walked away. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 2; Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapters 60 to 63) .

3) Spiritual life.

i) Introduction. Two sides, the spiritual as well as the material, are seen in the life of Vyasa. It was after the marriage of ~antanu, a king of the Lunar dynasty, with his mother Kali, otherwise known as Satyavati, that Vyasa came into contact with Hastinipura. Participating in all the vicissitudes of the Pandavas and the Kauravas was the worldly side of the life of Vyasa. But the major part of his life was spent in living as a hermit in his hermitage in the forest with a large group of disciples; teaching them the Vedas. A small description of that spiritual life is given below

ii) In the forest. We do not see Krsnadvaipayana, who had grown up to a youth at the time of his birth, for many years after his departure, bidding adieu to his mother. He might have been living with hermits in the forests, learning Vedas from them. After this he appears on the banks of river Sarasvati as a teacher and Priest. As he was doing penance there, he saw two sparrows, legs and beaks red, without even down feathers, crying for food, and the parent birds, with the utmost care and tenderness feeding them. They flew about here and there and gathered food and came back quickly. Because of joy at the sight of their parents, the little ones opened their ruby-red mouths with cries and throbbing. They kissed the young ones and fed them. The young sparrows hid tinder the wings of their father and mother and enjoyed the surroundings by thrusting out their heads and looking on all sides.

iii) Birth of son. Seeing this, the paternity instinct in him was aroused. He understood that love of children was merely for the sake of love; that this love was pure and simple. Moreover there is the maxim that a man without a son has no right to aspire for heaven. Sad and silent, thinking of these things he walked on unwillingly and reached the vicinity of the Himalayas. Still, he was doubtful. He began to consider about the deity, before whom he had to do penance for the fulfilment of his wish. He could not decide. As he was sitting in thought, Narada came there. From the talk of Vyasa, Narada knew that childlessness Nvas the cause of his sorrow. Narada advised him that for the attainment of Purusarthas (objects of life) penance was to be done before Devi. Accepting that advice, Vydsa went to a place near Mahamcru to do penance.

When Vydsa began penance, the celestial maids also commenced their work of hindering the penance. It was Ghrtaci who confronted Vyasa. She took the form of a parrot of five colours and flew in front of Vyasa. The hermit was excited at the beauty of Ghrtaci and sat forgetting himself. As he sat there thinking of the infatuating beauty of the parrot, seminal discharge occurred to him. He became a slave to this infatuation, when he was engaged in making fire by attrition. In this amorous state of mind he was quite unaware of the seminal discharge or its falling on the pieces of wood used for attrition. He continued attrition. Then a very bright, divine person appeared from the pieces of wood. At the birth of a person, without attachment to a womb, all the worlds were delighted. The hide of black antelope, water pot, hermit’s rod etc. fell from the sky. Birth rituals and ceremonies, according to the custom, were conducted by Vyasa. As he was born from the semen discharged at the sight of the Suka (parrot) the infant was named Suka. As soon as he was born 8uka began to grow by divine power and shortly became a boy of shining radiance. After investiture with the Brahma-string, the boy was sent for education to the hermitage of Brhaspati, the teacher of the devas. Suka completed his education with Brhaspati and having performed Samavarta and offering of gift to the teacher, he returned home to his father.

iv) Disciples. Suka commenced advanced study under his father Vyasa. Besides Suka, Vydsa had disciples such as Vaisampayana, Suta, Paila, Jaimini and others also, living with him. The hermitage of Vydsa soon grew up to be a great educational institution, with plenty of disciples.

v) Separation of son. In the meanwhile Suka married and lived the life of a householder in the hermitage of his father, for a time. Then forsaking his family and his father, Suka went to the peak of Kailasa and began to do penance meditating on Siva. At last he became a divine person who had obtained complete attainments, and breaking the top of the peak open, he rose up into the sky and shone there as a second Sun. The devas who saw Suka rising up by breaking the peak of Kailasa and staying up in the sky, praised him.

This untimely separation of his son had undermined the firmness of the mind of Vyasa. Filled with grief, he left his hermitage and wandered here and there calling out his son by name. He could not find his son. At last he reached the peak of Kailasa where his son had been doing penance. Standing there he called aloud his son by name cryingly. Paramas iva appeared before the lamenting father and consoled him. Thus getting a little bit of peace of mind, Vydsa returned to his hermitage

and lived there. The sorrowing Vyasa, was made still more sorrowful by the departure of his beloved disciples, Asita, Devala, Vaigampayana, Sumantu, Jaimini and others who had been living in the hermitage and who had departed, having finished their education. All the surroundings of the hermitage seemed to him filled with pain. At last he thought about his mother. (Devi Bhagavata Skandha 1).

4) His terrestrial life.

i) Preface. Within this period many changes had taken place in Hastinapura and the bank of Yamuna. Santanu the king of the Lunar dynasty had married Gaiigadevi, who had disappeared after giving the king a son named Devavrata (Bhisma). Bhisma grew up. Once Santanu was hunting in the forest when he was attracted by the sweet smell of musk. Tracing the origin of that smell, the king reached the fisherman’s but on the banks of the Yamuna. That smell proceeded from Kasturigandha (Satyavati) the mother of Vyasa. The king fell in love with her. He returned to- the palace, sad and silent. Learning the cause of his father’s sadness, Devavrata went to the fisherman’s but and took gatyavati to the palace to be given to his father. Devavrata had taken a vow that the kingdom would be given to the son born to Satyavati and that he would remain unmarried, throughout his life. Because he had taken so terrible a vow, Devavrata came to be called Bhisma from that day onwards.

Two sons named Citrangada and Vicitravirya, were born to Santanu. Citrangada died when he was young. Vicitravirya married Ambika and Ambalika, daughters of the King of Kasi. Vicitravirya also died before any children were born to him. It seemed as if the family was about to become extinct. At this juncture Satyavati thought about her son Vyasa.

ii) Vydsa in Hastindpuri. The mother thought about him, and instantly he reached Hastinapuri. Because of her compulsion, two sons were born, one each to Ambika and Ambaiika from Vyasa. The son of Ambika was Dhrtarastra and the son of Ambalika was Pandu. Vidura was the son born to Vydsa by their maid.

iii) Vydsa and the Kauraaa-Pandaaas. From this time onwards we see Vydsa as the spiritual teacher of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Behind all the movements of these two families we could see the hand of Vyasa. Thus though he came to Hastinapuri and gave advice to the members of the family frequently, his main abode was his hermitage. Vyasa’s contact with Hastinapura could be seen up to the Mahaprasthana (the great departure) of the Pandavas. In all the administrative affairs up to this period, Vydsa also had a part. The situations in which Vydsa had taken part in the lifevoyage of the Kauravas and the Pandavas are given below.

(i) Vydsa gave the boon that hundred sons would be born to Gandhari. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 114, Stanza 8).

(ii) Vydsa cut the mass of flesh given birth to by Gandhari into a hundred pieces and kept them in hundred pots. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 114, Stanza 17).

(iii) Vydsa consoled Gandhari by telling her that over and above hundred sons a daughter also would be born to her. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 115, Stanza 16).

(iv) Vyasa consoled the Pandavas who had been living in the forest with their mother Kunti, after the

death of Pandu their father. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 155, Verse 5) .

(v) On another occasion Vyasa came to the Pandavas and told them the stories of the previous births of PaficalL(Adi Parva, Chapter 168).

(vi) Vyasa rendered all possible help to the Pandavas to marry Paficali. (M. B. Adi Parva, Chapter 195) .

(vii) Very often Vyasa was a member o#’ the council of Dharmaputra. (IyI. B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 11).

(viii) It was Vyasa who sent Arjuna to the north, Bhimasena to the east, Sahadeva to the south and Nakula to the west for regiona1 conquest. (M. B. Sabha Parva, Daksinatyapatha, Chapter 26 ).

(ix) Vyasa engaged himself in making various arrangements in the Rajasuya (sacrifice of royal consecration) of Yudhisihira. (M. B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 33, Stanza 34).

(x) At the end of the Rajasuya, Vyasa predicted the future of Yudhisthira. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 1).

(xi) When the Rajasuya ended, Vyasa anointed Yudhisthira. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 53, Stanza 10) .

(xii) Vyasa advised Dhrtarastra to prevent Duryodhana from doing injustice. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapters 7 and 8) .

(xiii) When the Pandavas were living in the Dvaitavana (forest) Vyasa visited them and taught Yudhisthira the art of Pratismrti. (M.B. Vana Parva,Chapter 36, Stanza 24 ).

(xiv) He sent Safijaya to Dhrtarastra to tell him about

the greatness of Arjuna and gri Krsna. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 69, Stanza 11 ).

(xv) He gave Safijaya the power of having the eye of a seer penetrating beyond time and space (Divya drsti): (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 2, Stanza 10) .

(xvi) Vyasa consoled Yudhisthira who was stricken with grief in the course of the battle of Bharata. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 71, Stanza 23) .

(xvii) When Yudhisthira cried over the death of Ghatotkaca in the battle of Bharata, Vyasa came to Yudhisthira and consoled him. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 183, Stanza 58) .

(xviii) He talked to Asvatthama about the greatness of Siva and Sri Krsna. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 201,

Stanza 56) .

(xix) When Satyaki was about to kill Safijaya, Vyasa turned him back from the attempt and rescued Safijaya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 29, Stanza 39) .

(xx) Vyasa argued and established that the act of cursing Asvatthama on the part of Sri Krsna was correct. (M.B. Sauptika Parva, Chapter 16, Stanza 17) .

(xxi) Vyasa prevented Gandhari from her intention to curse the Pandavas. (M.B. Stri Parva, Chapter 14, Stanza 7)

(xxii) When the battle of Bbarata was over, Vyasa advised Yudhisthira about matters regarding the administration of the country.

(xxiii) Yudhisthira felt grieved at the death of relatives and friends in the battle of Bharata and he decided to commit suicide. But Vyasa dissuaded him from that attempt. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 27, Stanza 28).

(xxiv) Vyasa walked to the place where Bhisma lay on the bed of arrows and visited him. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 5 ).

(xxv) Vyasa advised Yudhisthira to perform Aivamedha (horse sacrifice). (M.B. Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 3, Stanza 8) .

(xxvi) Vyasa advised the Pandavas to go to King Marutta for wealth when the battle of Bharata was over. (Asvamedhika Parva, Chapter 3, Stanza 20).

(xxvii) Vyasa consoled Uttara, who was lamenting over the death of her husband. (AgvamedhaParva, Chapter 62, Stanza 11).

(xxviii) He consoled Arjuna who was crying over the death of his son. (A’svamedha Parva, Chapter 62, Stanza 14) .

(xxix) Vyasa advised Yudhisthira on the various arrangements which were to be made for the conducting of horse-sacrifice. (Asvamedhika Parva, Chapters 62 to 72).

(xxx) Vyasa went to Dhrtarastra, who had gone to the forest after the Bharata-battle and pacified him. (M.B. Asramavasika Parva, Chapter 28) .

(xxxi) Vyasa brought the spirits of those who died in the Bharata-battle. to the surface of the river Ganges, by the power of his penance and Dhrtarastra and the others saw them. (See under Dhrtarastra, Para 7) .

(xxxii) At the instruction of Vyasa, all the Ksatriya widows immersed themselves in the river Ganges and everyone of them entered the world of her husband. (M.B. A~ramavasika Parva, Chapter 33, Stanza 18):

(xxxiii) When the Yadu-clan was completely destroyed, Arjuna went to the hermitage of Vyasa and talked with him. (Mausala Parva, Chapter 8) .

(xxxiv) Vyasa had been an adviser of King Janamejaya. (See under Janamejaya).

5) Saving a worm. Once a wicked man took rebirth as a worm. This worm was crawling in haste for life in front of a cart coming at great speed. He saved the worm and gave it Brahminhood, and in the next birth it became a Brahmin who lived in peace and comfort. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 117).

6) The literary life of Vyasa. Towards the close of his life Vyasa again entered the caves of Himalayas. Vyasa who had steered through a very wide and rough sea of life, was in a position to understand clearly the various sides of human life. In the mind of that sage, who sat in deep contemplation in the eternally silent caves of the Himalayas, the events of his past life began to line up one after the other. From that inward instigation the Puranetihasas (the Myths and legends) took form. It might have been during this period that Vyasa divided the Vedas and composed Puranas and Upapuranas.

One does not go wrong in saying that it was the composing of the Mababharata that brought Vyasa very close to the later generations. The stories of the Kauravas and the Pandavas, flowed through his mind as a river flows down crushing down the banks on either side. A scribe was necessary to take there down in the form of verses. Vyasa informed Brahma of this need. Brahma replied “Ganapati is the only person capable of taking down every thing that you sing.” Accordingly Vyasa thought of Ganapati, who came to the side of Vyasa, and he informed Ganapati of his need. Ganapati said that he was willing to do the work on condition that Vyasa would go on singing unceasingly, so that he might not have to stop the iron pen. Vyasa said that while he would be singing the poems without stopping, Ganapati should not take down this and that without grasping the meaning. Both agreed to this condition and the composing of the Mahabharata commenced. Within two years and a half the great poetic work was finished. The great disciples of Vyasa, such as Vaisampayana, Jaimini and such others sang them and learned them by heart and published them in the world. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 1).

7) Many Vyasas. It is stated in the Puranas that in every Manu’s age, a Vyasa will be born. It is mentioned in Visnu Puran a, Arizsa 3, Chapter 3, as to who were the persons who took birth as Vyasa in a particular Manu’s age and which were the Vedas and branches of Vedas they had divided. It is given below: During the age of’ Mann Vaivasvata, in each of the past Dvaparayugas, the Veda had been divided by great hermits, twentyeight times. Twentyeight VedaVyasas have passed, each of whom had divided the Veda into four parts in each Dvapara Yuga. It was Brahma himself who had divided the Veda into four in the first Dvaparayuga. Prajapati was the Vedavyasa in the second Dvaparayuga. In the third, Vyasa was the teacher-priest gukra; in the fourth Brhaspati; in the fifth the Sun; and in the sixth the all powerful Dharmaraja. It was Indra in the seventh, Vasistha in the eighth, Sarasvata in the ninth, and Tridhama in the tenth. It was Trisikha in the eleventh, Bharadvaja in the twelfth, Antarik,,-a in the thirteenth, Varni in the fourteenth, Trayyaruna in the fifteenth, Dhananjaya in the sixteenth, Kratunjaya in the seventeenth and Jaya in the eighteenth. Next Bharadvaja comes as Vedavyasa and Gautama after Bharadvaja. It was hermit Haryatma who was the next Vyasa, and then comes Vajasravas. The Next Vyasa was Trnabindu born in the clan of Somasusma. He was followed by Rksa. otherwise called Valmiki born in the family of Bbrgu. 9akti is the Next Vyasa. After that Parasara, then jatukarna and then Krsnadvaipayana. They are the twentyeight Vedavyasas. Each one of these had divided the Veda which had been one at the beginning of each Dvaparayuga, into four Vedas. It is Asvatthama, the son of Dropa, who is going to be the Vedavya-,a of the coming Dvaparayuga.

8) Other details.

(i) Most of the scholars are of opinion that the period of Vyasa was between 1800 and 1500 B.C.

fruits of giving thousand cows as alms, (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 83, Stanza 93) .

(ii) Apantaratamas was the rebirth of Vyasa. (See VyOMARI. An eternal Visvadeva (deity concerned under Apantaratamas) .

(iii) In Mahabharata, the word Krsna, Krsnadvaipayana, Dvaipayana, Satyavatisuta, Satyavatyatmaja, Parasarya, Parasaratmaja, Badarayana, Vedavyasa etc. are used as synonyms of Vyasa.

( iv) The word Vyasa means he who describes elaborately.

“He became Vyasa because he had described al1 the Vedas”. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 63, Stanza 88). Vyas=describe (Differentiate the branches and divide).

Visnu o jiva?

Srila Vyasadeva is Visnu or jiva?

By Madana-mohana dasa

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

This complilation of quotes is meant to clarify Srila Prabhupadaís view on Srila Vyasadevaís ontological status.

We may safely say that while various acaryas differ in their views on the ontological status of Krsna-dvaipayana Vyasadeva, Srila Prabhupada seems to be very clear and unequivocal that Vyasa is a **liberated jiva** especially empowered by Krsna through Narada Muni to compile Srimad Bhagavatam.

Please note that that Srila Prabhupada is specifically talking about our current Krsna-dvaipayana Vyasa and not a generic Vyasa of other divya-yugas, as one may argue. This is clear from the following quote:

Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.2-4

Durban, October 14, 1975

So Vyasadeva, he is also living entity, although he is empowered, so apasyat purusam purnam, he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And mayam ca tad-apasrayam, and the back side is maya.

***

and he makes another clear statement about Vyasa as jivatattva in the following letter:

Letter to: Jayadvaita

Los Angeles
12 July, 1970

ÖRegarding your second point, all incarnations should be proper nouns and therefore capitalized. It does not matter whether they are Visnutattva or jivatattva, saktyavesa-avatara. or plenary expansion. The incarnations listed however may be classified as follows:

Visnutattva: Kapila, Nara Narayana, Rama, Balarama, Krsna, the Purusas, the Boar, Yajna, Rsabha, Matsya, Kurma, Dhanvantari, Mohini and Kalki.

Jivatattva (empowered): Narada, Vyasa, Buddha, Kumaras, Dattatreya, Prthu and BhrgupatiÖ

***

and therefore all his other statements on the topic are perfectly consistent with the ones above:

SB 1.1.7 purp.:

Srila Vyasadeva is designated herein as the Personality of Godhead because he is the authorized empowered incarnation.

***

SB 1.3.43 purp.:

And prior to His departure from this material world, He empowered Sri Vyasadeva through Narada to compile the messages of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and thus both the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad-Bhagavatam are like torchbearers for the blind people of this age.

***

Cc Adi 1.91 purp.:

This verse appears in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.2). The words maha-muni-krte indicate that Srimad-Bhagavatam was compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva, who is sometimes known as Narayana Maha-muni because he is an incarnation of Narayana. Vyasadeva, therefore, is not an ordinary man but is empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He compiled the beautiful Bhagavatam to narrate some of the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees.

***

CC Adi 20.123 purp:

As the saktyavesa-avatara Vyasadeva, Krsna teaches the conditioned soul through the Vedic literatures.

***

Adi 1.67

brahma visnu siva tina gunavatare gani
sakty-avesa sanakadi, prthu, vyasa-muni

TRANSLATION
Brahma, Visnu and Siva are qualitative incarnations. Empowered incarnations are those like the Kumaras, King Prthu and Maha-muni Vyasa [the compiler of the Vedas].

***

Madhya 20.122

PURPORT: Out of His causeless mercy and compassion, Krsna has compiled various Vedic literatures in His incarnation as Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva is a saktyavesa-avatara of Lord Krsna. He has very kindly presented these literatures to awaken the conditioned soul to his senses.

***

Madhya 21.104

PURPORT: Krsna has many pastimes, of which His pastimes in Goloka Vrndavana (the gokula-lila) are supreme. He also has pastimes in the Vaikunthas, the spiritual world, as Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. In His pastimes in the spiritual sky, He lies down in the Causal Ocean as Karanarnavasayi, the purusa-avatara. His incarnations as a fish, tortoise and so on are called His causal incarnations. He incarnates in the modes of nature as Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and Lord Visnu. He also incarnates as empowered living entities like Prthu and Vyasa. The Supersoul is His localized incarnation, and His all-pervasive aspect is the impersonal Brahman.

***

TLC 19

Vyasadeva, who is an incarnation of the power of Narayana, has compiled the Vedanta-sutra (nyaya-prasthana)Ö

***

Lecture on SB 1.16.22

It is saidÖ Vyasadeva, before writingÖ Writing book is not a whimsical, whatever I like. No. You must be empowered by superior authority; then you can deliver the right things. So Vyasadeva was empowered by his guru, Narada.

***

Bhagavad-gita 2.26

Los Angeles, December 6, 1968

So Vyasadeva, he was liberated soul. So in clean heart, clean mind, he experienced, he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and maya, tad-apasrayam, and maya standing behind Him. Maya is darkness. Maya cannot stand before Krsna. Just like darkness cannot stand in front of the light. Now here is light. There is no darkness. In the backside youíll find some darkness. Is it not? Not in the front. So maya cannot stand before Krsna. Maya stands behind Krsna. So if you put always Krsna or if you are always Krsna consciousness, then maya cannot touch you. Krsna surya-sama maya haya andhakara, yahan krsna tahan nahi mayara adhikara. So Vyasadeva, in clear consciousness, in Krsna consciousness, he saw Krsna and this maya.

Srila Jiva Goswami acknowledges the ambiguity of Srila Vyasadevaís ontological status in the following passage in Krsna-sandarbha while not showing preference to any of them:

Krsna-sandarbha

Anuccheda 21

tatah saptadase jatah
satyavatyam parasarat
cakre veda-taroh sakha
drstva pumso ëlpa-medhasah

tatah-thereafter; saptadase-in the seventeenth incarnation;
jatah-advented; satyavatyam-in the womb of Satyavati; parasarat-by Parasara Muni; cakre-prepared; veda-taroh-of the desire tree of the Vedas; sakhah- branches; drstva-be seeing; punsah-the people in general; alpa-medhasah-less-intelligent. spastam-the meaning is clear.

The seventeenth incarnation is described in the next verse of
Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.21):

ìThereafter, in the seventeenth incarnation of Godhead, Sri Vyasadeva appeared in the womb of Satyavati through Parasara Muni, and he divided the one Veda into several branches and sub-branches, seeing that the people in general were less intelligent.î*

Sarva-samvadini Comment

tatah ity asya purva-janmany apantaratamatva-sravanad avesa iti kecit. tat-samyujyad ayam saksad amsa evety anye.

tatah iti asya-in this verse beginning with the word ìtatahî;
purva-janmani-in his previous birth; ap-antaratamatva-within the water; sravanat-from the scriptures; avesah-empowered incarnation; iti-thus; kecit-some; tat-samyujyat-from being one with the Lord; ayam-he; saksat- directly; amsah-a part; eva-certainly; iti-thus; anye- others.

Some say Vyasa is an empowered incarnation because there is description of his previous birth as the sage Apantaratama, as described in some scriptures, and others claim that he is actually visnu-tattva, a direct expansion of Lord Visnu.

Srila Rupa Goswami in Laghu-bhagavatamrta seems to acknowledge the difference of opinions over this question as well while not making any definite statement himself:

Laghu-bhagavatamrta 1.3.84:

Text 81

sri-vyasah tatraiva

ìtatah saptadase jatah
satyavatyam parasarat
cakre veda-taroh sakha
drstva pumso ëlpa-medhasahî iti

sri-vyasah- #Vyasadeva; tatra-there; eva-certainly; tatah-therefore; saptadase-in he seventeenth incarnation; jatah-advented; satyavatyam- in the womb of Satyavati; parasarat-by Parasara Muni; cakre- prepared;
veda-karoh-of the desire tree of the Vedas; sakhah- branches; drstva-be seeing; pumsah-the people in general; alpa-medhasah-less intelligent; iti-thus.

Lord Vyasa is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.21:

ìThereafter, in the seventeenth incarnation of Godhead, Sri Vyasadeva appeared in the womb of Satyavati through Parasara Muni, and he divided the one Veda into several branches and sub-branches, seeing that the people in general were less intelligent.î*

Text 82

ìdvaipayano ísmi vyasanamî
iti saurir yad ucivan
ato visnu-pruanadau
visesenaiva varnitah

dvaiapayanah-Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa; asmi-I am; vyasanam-among compilers of the Vedas; iti-thus; saurih-Lord Krsna; yat-which; ucivan-said;
atah-therefore; visnu-purana-in the Visnu Purana; adau-and other Vedic literatures; visesena-specifically; eva-certainly; varnitah- described.

Lord Krsna Himself said: ìOf dividers of the Veda I am Dvaipayana.î In Visnu Purana and other scriptures He is also described in this way.

Text 83

yatha

ìkrsna-dvaipayanam vyasam
viddhi narayanam smrtam
ko hy anyah pundarikaksan
mahabharata-krd bhavetî

yatha-just as; krsna-dvaipayanam vyasam-Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa; viddhi- please know; narayanam-Lord Narayana; smrtam-is described in the Vedic literatures; kah-who?; hi-indeed; anyah-other; pundarika-aksat-than the lotus eyed Supreme Personality of Godhead; mahabharata-of the Mahabharata; krt-the author; bhavet-may be.

For example (Visnu Purana 3.4.5 explains):

ìKnow that Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa is Lord Narayana. Who, other than the lotus-eyed Supreme Lord, could have written the Mahabharata?î

Text 84

sruyate ëpantaratama-
dvaipayanyam agad iti
kim sayujyam gatah so ëtra
visnu-amsah so ëpi va bhavet
tasmad avesa evayam
iti kecid vadanti ca

sruyate-described in some Vedic literatures; apantaratama-as Apantaratama Muni; dvaipayanyam-Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa; agat-became; iti- thus; kim-whether; sayujyam-sayujya-mukti; gatah-attained; sah-he; atra- here; visnu-of Lord Visnu; amsah-portion; sah api-he; va-or; bhavet-may be; tasmat-therefore; avesa-avesa-avatara; eva-certainly; ayam-he; iti- thus; kecit-some; vadanti-say; ca-also.

In the scriptures it is said that Apantaratama Muni became Dvaipayana Vyasa. Is Vyasa a jiva who attained sayujya-mukti, or is He an amsa-avatara of Lord Visnu? Some say He is an avesa-avatara.

However, Srila Rupa Goswami later lists Srila Vyasadeva among other prabhava-avataras of the Lord and thus, seemigly, describes him as a visnu-tattva:

Laghu-bhagavatamrta 1.4.45

Prabhava-avataras and Vaibhava-avataras

The personal forms of Lord Hari that are less than His paravastha form are called by different names according to the differing degrees of their powers.

Texts 46 and 47

prabhavas ca dvidha tatra
drsyante sastra-caksusa
eke nati-cira-vyakta
nati-vistrta-kirtayah
te mohini ca hamsas ca
sukladyas ca yuganugah

apare sastra-kartarah
prayah syur muni-cestitah
dhanvantary-rsabhau vyaso
dattas ca kapilas ca te

prabhavah-prabhava-avataras;a ca-also; dvidha-of two kinds; tatra-there; drsyate-are seen; sastra-of the scriptures; caksusa-by the eyes; eke-some; na-not; ati-very; cira-for a long time; vyaktah-manifested; na-not; ati-very; vistrta-expanded; kirtayah-fame; te-They; mohini-Mohini; ca-and; hamsah-Hamsa; ca-and; sukla-Sukla; adyah-beginning with; ca-also; yuga-anugah-yuga-avataras; apare-others; sastra-of the Vedic literatures; kartarah-authors; prayah-generally; syuh-are; muni-cestitah-sages; dhanvantari-Dhanvantari; rasabhau-and Rasabha; vyasah-Vyasa;
dattah-Dattatreya; ca-also; kapilah-Kapila; ca-and; te-they.

With the eye of the scriptures the prabhava-avataras are seen to be of two kinds. The first kind is briefly manifest and not very famous. Among them are Mohini, Hamsa, and the yuga-avataras beginning with Sukla. The second kind are authors of scriptures. Generally they are great sages. Among them are Dhanvantari, Rsabha, Vyasa, Dattatreya, and Kapila.

However, in his earlier editions of Caitanya-caritamrta Srila Prabhupada makes it clear that even saktyavesa-avataras are sometimes listed as prabhava-manifestations:

Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter 2 [Handwritten]

Now the author of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita turns towards the description of the Personality of Godhead Krishna in His innumerable expansions. Primarily He expands Himself in two categories namely Vilas and Prakash. The Prakash Forms are divided into prabhava and baibhava or Forms who are full potential like Shri Krishna and Forms who are partially potential less than Shri Krishna. Prabhava is in relation with potencies but Baibhava is in relation with excellencies. Such potential Prabhava manifestations are also of two varieties, one of them is an external feature and the other is temporary. For examples of ìMohiniî ìHansaî ìSaklaî manifestations are temporary and in terms of a particular age only. The other Prabhavas are not very famous in material estimation and they are for example like ìDhanwantariî ìRishavaî ìVyasî ìDattatreyaî ìKapila.î Examples of Baibhava Prakash are like ìKurmaî ìMatsaî ìNara Narayanî ìVarahaî ìHayagrivaî ìPrishnigarvaî ìValadevaî ìVibhuî ìYajnaî ìSatyasenaî ìHariî ìVaikunthaî ìAjitaî ìVamanaî ìSarbabhoumaî ìRishavaî ìViswa(?)î ìDharmasetuî ìSudhamaî ìJogeswarî ìVrihatvaniî etc.

The Vilas Forms are sixteen in number.

And the incarnations are of two varieties namely ìShaktaveshî (empowered) and ìAmsaî (Part) These incarnations also do come within the categories of Prabha and Baibhava manifestations. So also the characters of the empowered incarnations.

According to Vidvan Gauranga Prabhu, Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana in his commentary on SB opines that Srila Vyasadeva is visnu-tattva with no difference between his body and the soul. Baladeva also favors this opinion in his commentary on Laghu-bhagavatamrta.

This opinion has its legitimate place due to the ambiguity acknowledged by Srila Jiva Goswami and Srila Rupa Goswami.

However, it seems that whatever Srila Vyasadevaís ontological status may be, he himself chose to make it irrelevant for the readers of Srimad Bhagavatam.

What he did make relevant, however, is that he depicted himself as a humble and obedient disciple of his spiritual master. This is how he chose to portray himself in the highest Vedic pramana, Srimad Bhagavatam ó and even the accomplishment of this masterpiece he humbly ascribes to Srila Narada Muniís instructions and blessings.

On the other hand, as Srila Prabhupadaís followers, we are supposed to accept Srila Prabhupadaís side on the issue, which is ó Srila Krsna-dvaipayana Vyasadeva is a saktyavesa-jiva empowered by Krsna through Narada to compile Srimad Bhagavatam.

Even though, as we said, his ontological status is irrelevant for the readers of SB, it is relevant for SP’s followers to accept Srila Prabhupada’s views on all matters, including this one, as final.

Adi parva
Sri Vyasadeva is the original speaker of the Maha-bharata. He is also the one who dictated what his own disciple, Vaisampayana, will narrate to King Janamejaya. This is his genealogy: Brahma – Vasistha – Saktri – Parasara – Vyasa. The story of his birth will be told later with much details.

For PDF click here

Vyasa, meaning
see under personalities
compiler, arranger, a man who throws together or orders
El nombre Vyasa se puede dividir en dos términos: #vi e #asa. Para las reglas de la gramática sánskrita cuando estas dos palabras se unen nace el nombre vyasa. Vi tiene significados múltiples. Dos son particularmente interesantes para nosotros.
Vi (=visesa) significa “especificar”.
Vi (= vigata) que significa sin una cualidad determinada, o también lo que se ha perdido.
Asa se refiere a los significados védicos, o al conocimiento.

Italiano

3) Vyasadeva

Non si può trattare di vaishnavismo e neanche di letteratura vedica se non si parla del più fulgido intelletto che la storia dell’umanità abbia mai avuto: Sri Vyasadeva. Figlio del saggio

133

Parashara e di Satyavati (colei che avrebbe poi dato due figli al celebre re Shantanu), Vyasa è una figura fondamentale e i momenti salienti della sua vita vengono narrati in una delle sue stesse opere, il Maha-bharata. Chi desidera conoscere meglio la figura di questo potente saggio deve leggere questo libro.

Prima della sua venuta nessuna scrittura veniva messa per iscritto. Fu lui a inaugurare il sistema di assicurare la conoscenza in questo modo, osservando con occhi profetici quanto la gente di Kali-yuga (la nostra era, quella più degradata) avrebbe perso le sue naturali facoltà mnemoniche. Dando un ordine e una forma a una conoscenza che discendeva da millenni prima di lui, trascrisse i quattro Veda, i Purana, le Upanishad e compilò la sconfinata epica chiamata Maha-bharata. Ma questi non sono i soli testi che preservò da una sicura distruzione. Vyasadeva fu un perfetto commentatore di tutto lo scibile umano e divino. La parte filosofica è trattata nel Vedanta-sutra, l’opera filosofica più discussa della storia del pensiero indiano.

Per gli ignoranti la sua vita è pura leggenda, ma non possono esibirne le prove. Se non altro i Vaishnava hanno dalla loro le parole delle scritture le quali, tra le altre informazioni, dicono che egli sia ancora vivo sulle Himalaya, ancora impegnato a mettere per iscritto un sapere che proviene dai mondi trascendentali.

Le sue tesi sono indiscutibilmente di stampo Vaishnava: per nulla si discostano dalle tesi promosse dai devoti di Krishna. Avvalora questa tesi il fatto che il testo basilare di questa tradizione

è lo Srimad-Bhagavatam, che Vyasadeva ha definito “il frutto maturo dell’albero dei Veda”. Infatti egli stesso non si dichiarava soddisfatto del mastodontico lavoro che aveva fin lì svolto, organizzando i Veda, i Purana e le Upanishad. Il suo maestro, Narada, gliene spiegò le ragioni (ci si riferisca al libro Bhakti-yoga, dello stesso autore).
A ragione dunque i Vaishnava affermano che tutta la conoscenza vedica o, per meglio dire, il suo siddhanta, le sue conclusioni più corrette, si possono trovare nel Bhagavata.

Qualcuno potrebbe obiettare: se Vyasa avesse voluto indicare Krishna come il Dio supremo, non avrebbe potuto essere più esplicito? Perché ha poi scritto il Vedanta-sutra, dove forse si arriva alle stesse conclusioni (come hanno dimostrato i maestri Vaishnava come Madhva, Ramanuja e Baladeva Vidyabhushana) ma attraverso sentieri interpretativi molto tortuosi? Il Bhagavatam e il Vedanta-sutra sembrano provenire da autori diversi, tanto il loro stile differisce. La risposta è che ogni maestro insegna non per se stesso ma per una platea, e il suo scopo è condurre verso le medesime conclusioni differenti tipi di persone, che necessitano linguaggi e tipi di approccio diversi. Questa è la ragione per la tanta differenza esistente tra i testi vedici.

 

 

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