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Bhagwan Veda Vyas

Bhagwan Veda Vyas

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Published by Prashanth Vaidyaraj
The life and times of Bhagwan Veda Vyas and his contribution to Indian literary texts
The life and times of Bhagwan Veda Vyas and his contribution to Indian literary texts

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Prashanth Vaidyaraj on Aug 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Bhagawan Veda Vyasa
Whenever we remember the cultural and literary history of Bharat, the name of Maharishi Veda Vyasa will be among the foremost mentions. He was not only atreasure house of knowledge but was also creator and a protector of ourancient culture and traditions. He was one of the greatest seers with utmostwisdom and insight of the 'Dwapara Yuga'. Even today when we take his namewe feel the adrenaline rush in us, shows his importance and greatness. Suchwas his personality.'Veda Vyasa' was not his own ororiginal name. It was a title given tohim out of respect. His originalname was 'Krishnadvaipayana'. Hewas born on an island in the Yamuna river and was dark skinned(Krishna) and hence the name. Afew years after his birth he startedto live the life of an ascetic in theforests. Though he was living thelife of an ascetic, he had to returnto normal life owning to the requestfrom his mother to help thewidowed wife of his brother,Vichitraveerya, to bear a male childand continue the lineage.Hence he was not only the progenitor of Dritarashtra and Pandu but also of Vidura. Veda Vyasa's father was the famous Maharishi Parashara and Satyavati.Duly Krishnadvaipayana was also at times called Paraasharya (son of Parashara) and Satyavati Suta (son of Satyavati). Since he undertook penanceand 'tapasya' in the Badarikashrama in the Himalayas for long years, he alsocame to be known as 'Baadaraayana'.
His immense insight into the culture, traditions and conditions of those days,he observed that the knowledge of the great Vedas was dispersed andscattered. Hence he took up the huge task of re-arranging and organizing theVedas and classified them into 4 Vedas, now famous as Rig Veda, Yajur Veda,Saama Veda and Atharvana Veda. Being a self-driven man with immenseknowledge and foresight, Krishnadvaipayana was not satisfied with the fame hehad gained with the classification of the 4 Vedas that were disorganized andagglomerated. He further re-organized each of the Vedas and divided them into4 categories 'Samhita', 'Brahmana', 'Aaranyaka' and 'Upanishad'.'Samhitas' contained the metrical (mantra) text of each of the Vedas,'Brahmanas' contained commentaries detailing the performance of the rituals,'Aaranyakas' contain the mantras relating to the mental conditioning of thepeople in Vanaprasthashrama(ascetics) and 'Upanishads' contain theknowledge of 'Brahman' and philosophical musings on the nature of 'Brahman'. The Vedas also contained the 'Upasanas' that describes the systematic practiceof meditating and attaining the all-pervading 'Brahman'. The humongous taskof classifying the Vedas into 4 and each in-turn into four purposeful categorieswhich was undertaken by Krishnadvaipayana, earned him the sobriquet of 'Veda Vyasa'. 'Vyasa' literally means people who classify and hence he was theone who classified the Vedas appropriately he came to be known as 'VedaVyasa'. This has been an unparalleled and tremendous achievement.
'ििििििि िििििि ििििििि ि ििििििि िििििििि ििििििििि’ |
As a result of this achievement Veda Vyasa was respectfully called as
Veda Vyasa.Even after such a huge accomplishment and service rendered by theclassification of the Vedas, Veda Vyasa thought that he had not done enoughtowards the growth of 'Dharma' in the society and common people. The reasonbeing, the Vedas were not perceivable by all and was not in the grasp of eachand everyone in the society. He thought that the Dharmic principles would beeasily perceivable and apprehensible to all if it was in the form of stories.Hence he conceived and wrote the Puranas in Sanskrit, which were more in the
form of stories than verse. This was easily understandable by people of allsections of the society. Veda Vyasa is credited as the author of the eighteenPuranas and another eighteen Upa-Puranas, even though a few of them mighthave been written by other authors under his guidance. The Puranas haveplayed a major role in bringing the common people into the Dharmic fold andmake them adhere to the principles of Dharma. Among the eighteen Puranas,the 'Bhagawata' Purana has been respectfully called the 'Purana Ratna' or the'Jewel among Puranas'.Bhagawan Veda Vyasa, out of his sheer love for humanity and due to his self-drive, brought together the abstruse and inscrutable philosophy in the Vedas inthe form of 'Sutras', which are a collection of aphorisms in the form of amanual. Probably such a task would not have been possible by anyone elseother than Veda Vyasa, the reason being his vast knowledge coupled with hisconcern for the world and vision for the common man. By authoring theVedanta Sutras, a commentary on the philosophy espoused in the Upanishads,Veda Vyasa has done tremendous service to mankind. His Sutras, also knownas the Brahma Sutras, are counted as one of the three canonical texts of Hinduphilosophy known as 'Prasthanatrayas', other two being the Upanishads andthe Bhagavad Gita.Mahabharata was an extraordinarywork of Bhagawan Veda Vyasa. Eventhough the epic is mainly about theduels between the Pandavas and theKauravas, it has been dubbed as the‘Panchama Veda’ or the fifth Vedaowning to its importance. Consideringits relevance and humongousimportance it is called an ‘Udgrantha’or a closely knitted text.

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