We commenced a huge project on “Life and Management Lessons from the Mahabharata” yesterday and have begun to witness a detailed introduction for the same. In fact, the “Ithihasa” called “Mahabharata” is so huge that our introduction would itself run into several episodes. Nevertheless, we shall go step by step and understand each and every context that is being spoken about here. We’ve to give importance to each and every detail in the Mahabharata because there would be an attached continuity to every small event that takes place, which would suddenly appear after hundreds of episodes! Hence, readers are requested to kindly take notes and understand each and every point that we discuss here. If we lose the continuity thread somewhere, it would be very difficult to catch up later on.
Saying thus, we had witnessed yesterday that the “Mahabharata” is one of the two important “Ithihasas” in our Sanaatana Dharma literature, which is authored by the great Sage Veda-Vyaasa. We’ve witnessed several times earlier that Sage Vyaasa was the person who compiled all the four Vedas – Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana together in a form that people like us can have access to and read them. We’ve to understand basically that the Vedas is a text that came directly from Bhagawan’s mouth and is an extremely complex text for normal people like us to understand. Since Sage Vyaasa played this important role of compiling the complex Vedas together and making it simpler for highly ignorant people like us, he is often referred to as Sage Veda-Vyaasa. In fact, Sage Vyaasa’s contributions are enormous, and are not just restricted to the Veda compilation. Authoring this Mahabharata text isn’t that easy either! We’re going to witness very shortly the enormity and size of this great text in detail. This is why, Sage Veda-Vyaasa is considered to be yet another incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu Himself in the form of a great Sage! Looking at the sheer magnitude of the work that is done, if not for Bhagawan Vishnu Himself, who else can author such a great “Ithihasa”?
Hence, Sage Veda-Vyaasa should be understood here as yet another divine incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu, apart from the ten incarnations that we already know. We’ve to understand here that Bhagawan Vishnu’s incarnations are not just restricted to the ten that we know. There are hundreds of incarnations, which aren’t prominently talked about for various reasons. For instance, even Sage Kapilaachaarya is considered as an incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu. We’ve seen this during our Ramayana project as well. Similarly here too, Sage Veda-Vyaasa is also considered as yet another divine incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu. Apart from Sage Kapilacharya and Sage Vyaasa, the Alwars and innumerable Aachaaryas including Shrimad Ramanuja are all in some way or the other, incarnations of Bhagawan in different forms and during different time periods. Every incarnation of Bhagawan has a purpose, and the purpose of Sage Veda-Vyaasa is thus here for all of us to witness! Hence, as we move into the great Ithihasa called Mahabharatam, we’ve to first bow down to Sage Veda-Vyaasa and pay our oblations and prayers to him, without whom, this great text wouldn’t be there in this world at all!
Although we can say that Sage Vyaasa authored the text, it is going to be very difficult for us to understand Sage Vyaasa’s language and complexity with which he writes things! This is where, we look into the detailed commentaries and “Vyaakyaanas” of various “Aachaaryas” who came after Sage Vyaasa, so that people like us who do not have any knowledge in Sanskrit and in our “Sanaatana Dharma” can also understand things lucidly. Hence, as we move further, let us bow down to all our “Aachaaryas” who have eased out the complexity with which Sage Vyaasa has composed this text. Had it not been for the Aachaaryas, today we would be struggling to figure out what is Sage Vyaasa trying to convey through which sloka and eventually we wouldn’t even be able to understand head or tail of this huge text!
Thus, as we bow down to Sage Veda-Vyaasa and the “Aachaaryas”, we now move into the main text, wherein we shall first start with a detailed description of the composition of the text. How is this Mahabharata text composed? What are the different parts in it? How many slokas are there in total? Let us wait to understand all these details in our next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂