Thus Vyasa was an eye-witness to
the happenings in the Dwapara Yuga. He was the eldest of the family. He led them on the
path of virtue and Dharma. He rebuked and corrected any one who did wrong. The good
honoured and respected him. The wicked feared him. He saw the rise of quite a number of
powerful kings and dynasties. Rishis could live for hundreds of years by the power of
'tapas' and 'yoga'. They could conquer old age and death if they so willed. Vyasa was one
such rishi. It is believed that he is still living in Badari.
It was Vyasa himself who gave the story of Mahabharata to mankind. That is another
Many years after the Mahabharata War, one day Lord Brahma came to Badari- kashrama.
Vyasa received him with due regard. They chatted for some time. Then Vyasa said,
"What brings you all the way to my hermitage?"
"There is something only you can do, sage."
"What is that?"
"You have witnessed the Mahabharata War, you knew intimately all the heroes who
lived in those days. You knew of everything that happened. It will be an excellent thing
if you write the story of the Mahabharata."
"That is true... But I need somebody who can take down the story. I wonder if
there is any one who can do it. Can you think of some one?" Vyasa asked.
"How about the clever boy, our Lord Ganesha? I think I can persuade him to accept
Vyasa agreed and Lord Brahma left in great joy. A few days later Lord Ganesha, or
Vinayaka, came to Vyasa's ashrama. He was riding on the back of his rat. Vyasa's eyes were
closed in meditation.
"Salutations, great sage!" Ganesha cried aloud. Vyasa opened his eyes.
"Oh, is it Ganesha? Come in, come in," said the sage and took him into the
"You know why I have come here asked the child-god.
"Oh, yes, I know. Lord Brahma has sent you, hasn't he?" smiled Vyasa.
"Yes, please begin the narration and I will take it down."
"All right," said the sage, 'We shall begin."
"But just a word, great sage."
'What is it?
"My Lord, you should not stop the narration at any point, The story must flow
without pause. I shall write it down as Smoothly as one gulps down a cup of water. If you
stop at any point, I will give up my job and go away" - Lord Ganesha spoke quietly.
Vyasa nodded his head in admiration. He was glad that he had found the right person for
the job. Vyasa himself was no ordinary man. He was all-knowing. He set his own conditions.
"Yes, I accept your conditions. But you should understand every word before you
set it down." Lord Vinayaka cheerfully accepted the challenge.
Thus began the composition of the story of Mahabharata. Vyasa went on dictating ; Lord
Ganesha took down faithfully. Even before Vyasa completed a stanza, Ganesha would finish
writing it. He would hustle Vyasa to go on with it.
The story of Mahabharata is very lengthy and complex. Its world is peopled by thousands
of heroic characters. It I Studded with many interesting episodes. It is no easy
task to narrate the story without pausing. Hundreds of interesting thing have to be
presented; it is not easy to keep up the narration without a moment', pause. The narrator
has to consider home to make something clear or how to make something else interesting.
But Vyasa was very clever.He hit upon a device. When ever Ganesha hustled him, he hurled a
difficult stanza at him. By the time the child-god understood it and wrote it down, Vyasa
would be ready with the next stanza. The stanzas over which Ganesha had to pause have come
to be called Vyasa Rahasya.