Veda Vyasa (Krishna Dvaipayana) is popularly known as the author and a character in one of the greatest epics – “Mahabharata.” Veda Vyasa in the Sanskrit language means “one who classified the Vedas.” Veda Vyasa is also known to be the transcriber of Vedas and Puranas.
Here are some interesting facts about Veda Vyasa.
1. Birth of Veda Vyasa
Vyasa is also considered one of the seven Chiranjivi (long-lived, or immortals), who are still in existence according to Hindu belief. He was born by the end of Treta Yuga and observed the whole of Dwapar Yuga.
2. Birthplace of Veda Vyasa
There are two different views regarding his birthplace. One suggests that he was born in the Tanahun district in western Nepal. Vyas municipality of Tanahun district in Gandaki State is named after his birthplace.
Another view suggests that he was born on an island in the Yamuna River near Kalpi, Uttar Pradesh, India.
However, both stories say that he was born on an island made by River. He is also known as Dwaipayana, meaning ‘island-born.
3. Who was Veda Vyasa born to?
As a young woman, Satyavati met the wandering sage Parashara while ferrying the latter across a river. The sage requested Satyavati to satisfy his sexual needs. She agreed only after he promised to bless her with the boon of ‘virginity intact,’ lifelong youth, and a bodily fragrance as strong as that of a musk deer.
4. Is Veda Vyasa the avatar of Lord Vishnu?
According to the “Vishnu Purana,” “Veda Vyasa” is a title applied to the compilers of the Vedas who are avatars of Vishnu. Twenty-eight people with the title of “Veda Vyasa” have appeared so far. He is believed to be one of the 24 avatars of Lord Vishnu.
5. Did Veda Vyasa write his literacy alone?
Technically, Lord Ganesha wrote down all of Ved Vyasa’s literacy under Vyasa’s dictation. Ved Vyasa is credited with scripting the Vedic knowledge into the written form with Ganesha as his scribe. He divided Vedic knowledge into 4 Vedas for easy comprehension. Such division was done once every few sages to make it easier for the people to grasp the spiritual knowledge. Ved Vyasa was divided the Vedas for the 28th time.
6. What relation did he have with other characters in Mahabharata?
Mother of Veda Vyasa, Satyavati, later married King Shantanu, the father of Bhishma. Her father, chief of fishermen, imposed the condition that her sons would inherit the throne. By then, Shantanu had already declared Bhishma as the prince and heir to the throne. To get Shantanu out of distress, his son Bhishma pledged to serve Satyavati’s offspring. He was never to claim any right to the throne, which rightfully belonged to him. Therefore, Bhishma and Veda Vyasa are stepbrothers.
Satyavati had two sons, but eventually, both of them died one after the other. After the younger son, Vichitravirya, died, Satyavati requested Ved Vyasa to perform niyoga on Ambika and Ambalika, the two widows.
Niyoga is an ancient Hindu ritual of impregnating (whether physically or by projecting spiritual energy is unknown) a woman at her request to help her bear a child if the latter’s husband is dead or incapable of doing so.
7. Which festival is celebrated after Veda Vyasa?
The festival of Guru Purnima is dedicated to him. It is also known as Vyasa Purnima, for it is the day believed to be both his birthday and the day he divided the Vedas.