Vyasa – legendary author of Mahhabhasta, Vedas and Puranes, founder of Vedanta School

Vyasa is the legendary author of some of the most important works in the Hindu tradition.

In India, his birthday is celebrated with the Guru Purnimafestival, on Shukla Purnima’s birthday, in the month of Ashadha (June-July).

A number of traditions recognize him as the avatar of Vishnu

Vyasa is also considered to be one of the eight Chiranjeevin (immortals) who still live continuously, according to the general Hindu faith.

According to legend, Vyasa was the son of Parashasa and Prince Satyavati dasyu and grew up in the woods, living with the hermits who taught him the Vedas (India’s ancient sacred literature).

After that, he lived in the woods near the banks of the Saraswati River, becoming a teacher and priest,the father of a son and disciple, Shuka, and gathering a large group of disciples. He soon became one of the greatest rishis.

Rishi is a Vedic term for a fulfilled and enlightened person (Rishikesh is, for example, the city of Rishi).

Rishi composed the hymns of the Vedas. The post-Vedic tradition of Hinduism considers rishi as “great sadhu” or “wisewho, after intense meditation, realized the ultimate truth and eternal knowledge,which they composed in hymns. The soul of a Rishi is interpreted as manifesting wisdom directly from the universal source. According to the term in popular culture, one Rishi will never contradict another Rishi, their knowledge being directly revealed from God.

Vyāsa is a central figure and much revered in most Hindu traditions

He is sometimes called Veda Vyasa – the one who compiled the Vedas.

Living in Caves in the Himalayas, he is said to have divided the Vedas into the four traditional collections, composed the Puranes and, over a period of two and a half years, composed his great poetic work, Mahabharata.

The word “vyasa” means “to divide, to differentiate, or to describe“, therefore, he was called Veda Vyasa or “the one who separated Veda”, so that people could understand his divine knowledge.

Vishnu Purana suggests that Vyasa makes recurrent historical appearances to clarify the truth

The Hindu perspective of the universe is that it is a cyclic phenomenon that occurs repeatedly in existence and dissolves.

In every age of the third world (Dpara), Vishnu, in the person of Vyasa, to promote the good of mankind, divides Veda, who is accordingly than one, in many portions. Observing the limited persistence, energy and application of mortals, he makes Veda four times to adapt him to their capacities, and the body shape he assumes, in order to perform this classification, is known as Veda-vyasa.

Author of Mahhabhasata

Vyasa is traditionally known as the author of the Mahabharata (The Great War of the Bharata People).

In Hinduism, Mahābhārata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics in ancient India, the other being Rāmāyaρa. With over 74,000 verses, plus long passages in prose or about 1.8 million words in total, it is the longest epic poem in the world (about 10 times larger than the Iliad and Odyssey taken together), and the continuous recitation would take almost two weeks.

Author of Puranas

Vyasa is also credited with writing the 18 major, if not all, Puranes. His son Shuka is the narrator of Major Purana Bhagavata-Purana.

Author of Brahma Sutra

Sutra Brahma is attributed to Badarayana, making him the founder of the school-jewelry of Hindu philosophy, Vedanta. Although traditionally Vyasa is considered to be Badarayana who wrote The Sutras, many historians believe they were two different personalities.

Author of Yoga Bhashya

Vyasa is also credited with the author of Yoga-Bhashya, a comment about Yoga Sutras from Patanjali. This is technically impossible unless Vyasa is accepted as immortal because it is a later text.

Author of Arthashastre

The only non-religious book in which Vyasa makes a notable appearance is Arthashastra from Chanakya.

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