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Vyasa

From Academic Kids

Vyasa (Vyāsa in IAST transliteration) is an important figure in the Hindu religion and its literature. He is a rishi, but his status may be considered equal to that of gods and goddesses. He appears anachronistically in numerous texts from the classic to early modern period of Hinduism. He plays an important role in not only the literature but the belief of many Hindus. Vyasa also is called "Veda Vyasa," or "Splitter of the Vedas," the splitting being a feat that allowed mortals to understand the divine knowledge of the Vedas. The word vyaasa means split, differentiate, or describe.

He was the son of Satyavati, a ferryman's daughter, and the wandering sage Parashara. He was born on an island in the River Yamuna. He became the father of the princes Dhritarashtra and Pandu (by Ambika and Ambalika, the wives of King Vichitravirya). He also had a third son, Vidura, by a serving maid to the queens.

Vyasa thus was the grandfather of both the warring parties of the Mahabharata, the Kauravas and the Pandavas. He makes occasional appearances in the story as a spiritual guide to the young princes. He is also the narrator of the Mahabharata, and is said to have asked Ganesha to aid him in writing it down. It is said that Ganesha imposed a condition that Vyasa narrate the story without pause, and Vyasa made a counter-condition that Lord Ganesh understand the verse before he transcribed it. This is supposed to explain the complicated Sanskrit used in the Mahabharata.

He also divided the Vedas into four part for mankind, wrote all eighteen Puranas, especially the Bhagavata Purana and said to have written the Brahma Sutras, an important Vedantic text that reconciled seemingly contradictory verses of the Upanishads.

His name at birth was Kṛṣṇa . He is also known as Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana (the dark one born on an island) and in modern Indian languages may be known as Rishi Veda Vyaasa or, in some languages as Vyās. Other names include Pārāsarya.

Like Hanuman, he is said to be immortal and is one of the seven Chiranjeevin. Additionally, he is a secondary avatar of Vishnu. He is considered to be the ideal Brahmarishi, omniscient, truthful, purest of the pure and possessor of knowledge of the essence of Brahman.


A sage also named Veda Vyasa (ca. 650-850), obviously deriving the name from the more mythic rishi, wrote the oldest extant and most influential commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali called Yoga-Bhashya.

Topics in Hinduism
Shruti (primary Scriptures): Vedas | Upanishads | Bhagavad Gita | Itihasa (Ramayana & Mahabharata) | Agamas
Smriti (other texts): Tantras | Sutras | Puranas | Brahma Sutras | Hatha Yoga Pradipika | Smritis | Tirukural | Yoga Sutra
Concepts: Avatar | Brahman | Dharma | Karma | Moksha | Maya | Ishta-Deva | Murti | Reincarnation | Samsara | Trimurti | Turiya
Schools & Systems: Schools of Hinduism | Early Hinduism | Samkhya | Nyaya | Vaisheshika | Yoga | Mimamsa | Vedanta | Tantra | Bhakti
Traditional Practices: Jyotish | Ayurveda
Rituals: Aarti | Bhajans | Darshan | Diksha | Mantras | Puja | Satsang | Stotras | Yajna
Gurus and Saints: Shankara | Ramanuja | Madhvacharya | Ramakrishna | Vivekananda | Sree Narayana Guru | Aurobindo | Ramana Maharshi | Sivananda | Chinmayananda | Sivaya Subramuniyaswami | Swaminarayan | A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Denominations: List of Hindu denominations
Vaishnavism | Saivism | Shaktism | Smartism | Agama Hindu Dharma | Contemporary Hindu movements | Survey of Hindu organisations

es:Vyasa id:Byasa jv:Abyasa

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