On one auspicious day the writing of the great epic began. Sage Vyasa would compose some very difficult stanzas which he and his son Shuks would understand easily and not others. Though Ganesha was all knowing he would take a few seconds to get at the meaning. In the meantime Vyasa would compose one hundered thousand stanzas of the great epic. In thisepic we come across thousands of little stories. If we leave all these little stories this great epic has twenty four thousand stanzas to begin with the sage taught it to his son Shuka. Then he taught it to his other disciples. Thenhe composed another mega epic of the same story which had sixty lakhs stanzas. A version of the same with thirty lakhsstanzas was popularized by sage Narada in the world. Fifteen lakh stanzas of the epic were popularized by sageAsitha Devala in the Pithruloka and fourteen lakh stanzas by sage Shuka in the Gandharvaloka. The Mahabharatha withone lakh shlokas was popularized in this world of men by Vaishampayana, one of the disciples of Vyasa.
Srimad Bhagavatha Composed
Bhagwan Vedavyasa divided the Vedas into four. He brought to light eighteen Puranas and the same number of Upapuranas.He also composed the Mahabharatha , which is considered the fifth Veda. He laid a very strong foundation to Sanathana dharma by composing Brahma Sutras. He was a great sage engaged in severe tapas most of the time. He had a number ofdisciples. Sage Vyasa was not satisfied even after composing a sea of great literature which ordinary mortals cannoteven dream of doing. He was not happy and his mind was not at peace. He was all the time thinking that there was something wrong somewhere.
Once he was sitting on the banks of Yamuna meditating, Sage Narada made his appearence there. Vyasa got up and receivedthe divine sage in a fitting manner. With a smile Narada said,"O great Maharishi you do not need to have any kind ofworry, but you seem to be worried. If you can share the cause of your worry with me, you can do so."
Vyasa said,"O great Devarishi, I do not have peace of mind these days. I do not not know the reason for it. My onlyobject in life is to spread dharma. With this in view I composed great epics, but I feel there is something lacking.I do not know what it is!"
Narada said,"O great sage you have done great deeds. They are going to be of immense use to the world and there is little doubt about it. These epics have a lot of stuff relating to Dharma, Karma and Moksha, the Purusharthas. Butthere is one thing, that is the praise of the Lord and it occupies only one tenth of the epic. That is why you donothave peace of mind. You please compose an epic in which you include a lot of praise of the Lord and you will get peace."Narada left the palace seeking Vedavyasa's permission. Immediately Vedavyasa began to meditate on his new composition.He got enlightened as to what to do. He decided to compose a work which had devotion to God as the main theme. Thisbook came to be called Srimad Bhagvatha or Paramahmsa Samhithi. He taught it to his son Shuka first. He got the desiredpeace of mind.
Bhagwan Vedavyasa was an in carnation of Lord Narayana born to establish dharma in the world on a second footing. Itis believed that the world is still living unseen for the propagation of dharma. To the pure of heart, it is said, hereveals himself even today.
But unfortunately his son Shuka did not continue the family tradition. He was born as the son of Vyasa with the blessings of Lord Shankara. There was no one equal to him in wisdom, the knowledge of shastras and the power of detachment. Hewas always engaged in meditation of one God who had no gender. He would never stop meditating even for a minute. Henarrated Srimad Bhagavatha to Parikshith the grandson of Dharmaraja. He was as famous as his father as a devotee of God and he went a step ahead of his father in the matter of living in a life of detachment according to the Puranas. Heleft home for good, to attain salvation. Vedavyasa could not persuade him to return.The son reached the highest but the father remained an immortal for doing good to the world.
Ashwathama Balirvyaso Hanumamshcha Vibhishanah
Kripasch, Parashuramascha saptaite chirajeevinah
As it is said in the shloka cited above he is considered one among the seven Immortals.
In order to bring about the maximum welfare of the world he composed the Mahabharatha and Brahmasutras. He classified the Vedas in to four so that people can study these great books in the Kaliyuga. We come across a work by name Vyasabhashya onPatanjali's Yogasutras. There is a Smruthi in the name of Vyasa. Scholars say that the man who wrote this was a differentVyasa. But the division of the Vedas, composing of Vedantha Sutras and the great epic, the Mahabharatha were the worksof Krishnadwaipayana Vyasa and none else.
He was the greatest among sages and he is considered a Vibhutipurusha and this has been acknoledged by Sri Krishnain the Bhagwat Gita when he said,"muneenamapyaham Vyasah" - the best among the sages - Even today when orthodoxpeople do tharpana they chant "Kridhnadwaipana dayo Rishyah" at first.
Besides being a Vibhutipurusha, Vedavyasa was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and we have references to this effect inour Puranas. As a result of Gowthama's curse, all the sages lost their wisdom and the world came to be steeped indarkness. It was at such a time that Lord Narayana was born as Vedavyasa to light the world again with wisdom. Allthe puranas accept this.
Upanishads, Brahmasutras and Bhagavat Gita which are the sources of our vedantha Shastra form the crown of our spiritualliterature. The last two among them are vedavyasa's gifts. Even today holy men, when they observe Chaturmasya performpooja to Vedavyasa.
We can never conceive of the culture of this great land Bharatha without remembering Vedavyasa. The other greatsages were engaged in the task building about the welfare of the people of the world and our shastras take greatpride in achnowledging this with gratitude.
Vyasaya Vishnu rupaya, Vyasa rupaya Vishnava
Namovai Brahmanidhaya Vasishtaya namo namah