Episode # 15 – Sage Vyasa dictates the Mahabharata…. Bhagawan Ganesha writes… !!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Vyaasa and Bhagawan Brahma entering into a very important conversation wherein Bhagawan Brahma is trying to understand what is Sage Vyaasa having in mind, which he’s trying to document. Upon Bhagawan Brahma’s request, Sage Vyaasa outlines a detailed “Table of contents” for the entire Mahabharata text, wherein he briefs all the important aspects of “Dharma” that he has in store to talk about in the text. Upon hearing this from Sage Vyaasa, Bhagawan Brahma understands that documenting whatever Sage Vyaasa is having in mind is not going to be an easy task for anyone in this world to do. This prompts Bhagawan Brahma to suggest that the best person in this world who can document this is none other than Bhagawan Ganesha, who is the leader of all the “Ghanas”. Bhagawan Brahma thus instructs Sage Vyaasa to invoke Bhagawan Ganesha’s presence, with whose help, he can achieve the feat of documenting the entire Mahabharata text. 

As we’ve witnessed earlier itself, the version that Bhagawan Ganesha documented along with Sage Vyaasa contains about 60 Lakh slokas. However, what we have today is actually a condensed version of the text with just around 1.25 Lakh slokas (Including Hari Vamsam). The original version is believed to be available at Bhagawan Brahma’s “Satya Lokha”, wherein the lifespan of people there is enormously huge. We’ve seen this calculation during our previous Shri Vishnu Puraana and Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana projects. Readers can refer to these two for their ready understanding. Thus, the point here is that, the Mahabharata text that is available in our “Manushya Lokha” today is a far condensed version for our convenience. If we’re unable to understand and comprehend even this, what for are we living in this world? 🙂 Let us think about it as we commence proceedings. 

Moving on further, as per Bhagawan Brahma’s instruction, Sage Vyaasa invokes the presence of Bhagawan Ganesha and it is with His divine help, the Mahabharata text is going to be documented. Bhagawan Ganesha arrives at Sage Vyaasa’s ashram and Sage Vyaasa briefs Him the task in hand. Upon hearing from Sage Vyaasa, Bhagawan Ganesha replies thus, “Oh Sage! I’m ready to help you write down the entire text, but for one condition – You should continuously dictate the text non-stop for me and I shall keep on writing whatever you say. The moment you stop the dictation process, I shall stop writing then and there and leave!” Sage Vyaasa accepted Bhagawan Ganesha’s condition as he is quite confident that he has everything crystal clear in his mind. If one has to sequence around 60 Lakh slokas with such high level of thought process and clarity, we shall imagine how knowledgeable Sage Vyaasa was. This is a typical characteristic, not only of Sage Vyaasa, but also of many erstwhile great sages. The power of penance that each of them possessed, enabled them to have such a crystal clear thought process, which in turn enabled them to document such great texts! We’ve already witnessed a similar example in the form of Sage Shukaachaarya for the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana and in the form of Sage Paraashara for the Shri Vishnu Puraana.

As Bhagawan Ganesha is about to start writing thus, something struck Sage Vyaasa’s mind. He thought within himself thus, “Oh! This Bhagawan Ganesha has asked us to oblige to His condition, isn’t it? Why shouldn’t I put forth a condition from my end? Afterall this is something that is coming out of my intellect and the power of penance, isn’t it?” Thinking thus, Sage Vyaasa replies to Bhagawan Ganesha, “Oh Bhagawan Ganesha! Just like how I obliged your condition, here is a condition from my side – As you write down the text in the “Sloka” format, you should make sure that you’re documenting whatever I have in my mind. You should not interpret the slokas and write in the way you want. The messages that each sloka would convey should be from my thought process and not yours!” Since this is ultimately Sage Vyaasa’s masterpiece, Bhagawan Ganesha too accepts the condition and was about to begin. 

At this point, we should understand one important thing – By getting this condition approved from Bhagawan Ganesha, Sage Vyaasa made sure that he dictates around 8,800 slokas for which neither himself nor Bhagawan Ganesha would understand and interpret the meaning! In other words, out of the so many lakh slokas, we cannot understand and infer the meanings for around 8,800 slokas! In fact, Sage Vyaasa himself claims this point. This is not something that I’m telling! 🙂 Sage Vyaasa himself says thus, “Of these 8,800 slokas, the meaning of these can perhaps be understood only by my son or by Sanjaya”! We can see here that Sage Vyaasa is invoking the name of Sanjaya. Sanjaya, as many of us might be knowing, was King Dhirdiraashtra’s most trusted minister. Sanjaya is considered to be one of the most highly knowledgeable persons in King Dhirdiraashtra’s cabinet, and also amidst the entire Mahabharata text. More than the knowledge part, one striking aspect of Sanjaya is that he doesn’t have even an iota of bad intentions in him. He doesn’t have even an iota of pride, jealousy, etc. in him. He was as pure as gold! This purity of Sanjaya is what attracted Sage Vyaasa to invoke Sanjaya’s name here and explain that perhaps if Sanjaya comes forward a bit, he might be able to understand the meaning of these 8,800 slokas. In fact, this is also the main reason why Bhagawan Krishna liked Sanjaya the most, out of many other people that we’re going to witness as part of the Mahabharata text. 

Thus, coming back to the context here, Sage Vyaasa gets this one condition approved by Bhagawan Ganesha. As He is getting ready to write, Bhagawan Ganesha thinks within Himself for a split of a second! It is within this split of a second did Sage Vyaasa dictate hundreds of slokas sequentially! We can imagine at what speed the dictation is going. As Sage Vyaasa dictated thus, Bhagawan Ganesha is quickly documenting everything that he’s saying! This process goes on for the next three years! It is thus, the Mahabharata text was written, and today, we had the divine opportunity to understand this process! We shall wait till the next episode to continue this further and subsequently dive into what exactly Bhagawan Ganesha writes! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at International School of Business & Media, Pune, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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