'Vyasa' does not signify
the name of any one person. It is a title. Every DwaparaYuga witnesses the birth of a
Vyasa. He bears the title till the next Dwapara Yuga comes. This Vyasa was actually
Krishna Dwaipayana - 'Krishna' because he was dark - coloured, 'Dwaipayana' because he was
born on an island in the Yamuna. He was called 'Veda Vyasa' for it was he who classified
the Vedas into four branches. His hermitage was in Badari and he was therefore
'Badarayana'. Thus, men called him by many names. Let us call him Vyasa.
There are many stories about him. All those stories tell us of his extraordinary
Vyasa grew into manhood shortly after his birth. He was already well versed in the
Vedas, the Shastras, the Purans, Poetry, History and other branches learning. He was ripe
with wisdom. After all, wasn't, he the son of a 'rishi'?
Vyasa bowed to his mother, touching her feet with his head. Satyavati touch his head
lovingly. Vyasa stood up with folded hands and said: "Mother, if ever you wish to see
me, please call me to y( mind and I shall come, no matter where I am."
I shall do so, my child," she said. He took leave of her and left for Badari for
his 'tapas'. Many years passed.
King Shantanu was ruling in his capital Hastinavati. One day he met Satyavati. He
married her. They had two Sons, Chitrangada and Vichitraveer. Chitrangada died very young.
Vichitraveerya died shortly after his marriage. He had two wives, Ambika and Ambalika.
Satyavati was unhappy because the dynasty itself would come to an end. She did not know
what to do. She remembered her son, the great Vyasa. He came to Hastinavati in no time and
greeted his mother. "Mother, what is the matter? I hope all is well with you. Why did
you call me? How can I serve you?"
Satyavati explained to him the cause of her anxiety. Vyasa blessed her two daughters-
in-law with two sons. Ambika I so gave birth to Dhritarashtra. Ambalika's n was called
Pandu. A waiting woman of the palace too got a son. He was named Vidura. He was a very
The Kauravas were the children of Dhritarashtra. The children of Pandu were called the
Pandavas. Without Vyasa, there would be no Kauravas, no Pandavas and no Mahabharata War -
of course, Mahabharata story, either.