Veda Vyasa was an Ancient Indian. (Sanatana Bharatiya). He was one of the important historians, astronomers and philosophers of the Dwapara Yuga. :: Vyasa’s Work :: When he was young, all the knowledge of the past was available as one single Veda. (Veda means -That which is known). But when he wanted to teach the Veda to his students, he found that no one student had the ability to learn it all. So he divided it into 4 vedas, Puranas, UpaPuranas. And he asked different students to learn different Vedas. He himself documented the Mahabharata an itihasa like the Valmiki Ramayana. He also felt that ordinary people would never be able to understand the Vedas and all that they meant. He thought the philosophy would be too hard. So he created the The Mahabharata. This was one big epic story that had all the stories of all the puranas and all the philosophy of all the Vedas and Upanishads. It had thousands of verses. It is a wonderful story that teaches us not only about the life and times Of Vyasa, his forefather and his descendants, but also about what is right and wrong, what is wise and foolish and what God is like and how God may be attained. At that time, there were some people who knew how to write. But Ganapati, the son of Parvati was the best and the fastest. So he asked Ganapati to write down The Mahabharata even as he composed it. Vyasa also composed one of the 18 original astronomical siddhantas. Devi Bhagavatham Kurma Puranam Linga Puranam Mahabharatam Matsya Puranam Siva Mahapuranam Srimad Bhagavatham Vishnu Puranam :: Vyasa’s Birth :: Vyasa was born to Parasara and Vasu’s daughter (Satyavati). He was born in the Tretha as the Dvapara Yuga was approaching and lived to see the early part of Kaliyuga. So he was a chiranjeeva, a long lived one. This is further proof that Sri Rama of the Tretha Yuga, when he was a child, may have seen Veda Vyasa : as given in the translation of the Yoga Vasishtam. It is further proof that Veda Vyasa was the 17th incarnation, with Sri Rama as the 18th as given in the 1st canto of the Bhagavatham. :: Vyasa’s Real Name :: He was born on an island of the Yamuna River. His father was sage Parasara and his mother was a fishergirl called Satyavati. He was a dark young one, so he was called Krishna and since he was born on an island or Dvipa, he was called Dwaipayana. So one of his names was Krishna Dwaipayana. Since he was the son of Parasara, he was also often called Parasarya. It is also interesting that his hero Krishna was dark and so was Krishnaa (Draupadi) :: Vyasa’s father :: Parasara wrote a book on astrology called the “Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra”. This is currently the most important book of Indian Astrology, though there are other books too. Vyasa grew up with Parasara and not with Satyavati. Parasara taught Vyasa everything that he knew, and that was a huge ocean in itself. Some of the Vedic Mantras that we recieved through Parasasara were placed in the first Mandala of the Rg Veda by Veda Vyasa. :: Vyasa’s grandfather :: Vasishtha Maharshi was Parasara’s grandfather. He is one of the SaptaRishis or seven important rishis. He was an expert in Astronomy, Yoga and Spirituality. He was a Guru of Sri Rama. Vyasa was very lucky to be born into a family like this, a family of brilliant rishis. Vasishta’s father was Brahma himself. Some people say that Vasishta was a ManasaPutra or Mind-Son of Brahma and not a biological son. Vyasa collected all of Vasishta’s hymns to the Agni, Indra, Saraswathi, Mitra, Varuna, Vayu, Vishnu, Brihaspati, and others and put them into the seventh Mandala of the Rig Veda. There are some hymns even to the frogs! Some hymns just praise the waters. This is not surprising. Once there was a huge flood and all the land was under water. At that time, Vishnu turned into a horned fish (dolphin?) and rescued Satyavrata Manu and the Saptarishis and brought them to the Himalayas. Vasishtha was one of those Saptarishis. (Did you know that there are fish fossils in the Himalayas? That is how they know that the India crashed into the Himalayas about 65 million years ago. But, by the time this story took place, the Himalayas were already in place and people already knew how to travel by boat. All they needed was a little warning time from Matsya, to collect seeds and wise men into a boat and a little help from Matsya to drag the boat to the northern side of the Himalayas. There are lots of pictures of boats in Mohenjadaro art. Since Vasishtha was one of the Saptarishis who came over by The Boat, Vyasa knew all the stories of the days before and after the flood directly from Vasishtha and Parasara. All this helped to make the Mahabharata, so perfect in all its details.) :: Vyasa’s Location :: Vyasa did most of his writing work on the banks of the river Saraswathi. You can see his cave near the beginning of the Saraswathi waterfall, 4 km from Badrinath. See Vyasa, Saraswathi and Yamuna. Unfortunately for us the river Saraswathi started drying up thousands of years ago and went underground in those ancient days. Today we can see the remnants of civilization on what was once the Saraswathi river bed. For a long time people thought that the Sarawathi was an imaginary river, but now, we know that it was a real river. I wish that the wonderful Saraswathi river that nourished and inspired so many ancient Indians had never become dry! :: Alternate Location :: Basar (originally, Vyasara) – Sri Gyana Saraswathi temple is situated on the banks of Godavari, in Adilabad district, Andhra Pradesh. It is 210 km from state capital Hyderabad and accessible by road and rail (nearest major station: Nizamabad, although Basar station also exists). The Sthala Purana states that the sage Vyasa wrote the Mahabharata on the banks of Godavari at this location, and thus the place came to be known as Vyasara. (Source) It might be associated with Vyasaraya and Vyasa.. But I need to investigate this idea. :: veda-vyasa-maharshiVyasa’s Students :: Veda Vyasa collected, consolidated, and classified the Veda into the 4 Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads. Different brahmans had different functions in a yajna. Vyasa taught each of these functionaries a different set of Veda Mantrams and asked them to perform the Yajnams together. So for a complete understanding, we need to study the Vedas all together with the gestures and the actions to be performed along with the yajnam. As per the Vishnu Puranam and Srimad Bhagavatam, Vyasa taught Rig Veda to Paila, Yajur Veda to Vaisampayana, Sama Veda to Jaimini, Atharva Veda to Angirasa also known as Sumanthu, Puranas and Itihasas to Romaharshana. (See Also : Division of one Veda into four and development of many S’akas or branches.) :: Vyasa’s Sons :: Vyasa’s son Suka, was such a pure and accomplished soul that many consider him greater than Vyasa himself. Suka grew up entirely in the forest without even a concept of sin. Vyasa had two sons for his step-brother, Vichitravarya through Niyoga. They were Pandu and Dhritarashtra whose sons the Pandavas and the Kauravas fought the Bharata war. He also had a wise son, called Vidura through a Dasi.