In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Vaishampayana starting proceedings to describe King Janame-Jaya’s past. Upon the king’s request of understanding his past and why did the famous Kurukshetra war take place, Sage Vaishampayana has to now explain the entire background as to what all conspired and how all the events one after the other led to the Kurukshetra war. In these lines, Sage Vaishampayana has to commence from the birth of all the people involved in this accord. But before that, as Sage Vyaasa was the person who had documented all these events, Sage Vaishampayana pays tribute to him before commencing the Mahabharata narration. As he commences thus, there is an important message that Sage Vaishampayana is conveying here. We’ve to discuss that in a bit of a detail as we progress, because, only with this, we would be able to understand what happens next.
As Sage Vaishampayana commences proceedings, he introduces Sage Vyaasa to everyone as the grandfather of the Paandava brothers. As Sage Vaishampayana goes on describing Sage Veda-Vyaasa, he explains that Sage Vyaasa was Sage Paraashara’s son, and after Sage Vyaasa comes Sage Shukaachaarya. However, suddenly Sage Vaishampayana quips here that Sage Vyaasa is also the grandfather of the Paandavas. We might suddenly wonder, how is this possible, and where did this loop come from! We might also have the doubt whether the Paandavas were the sons of Sage Shukaachaarya. The answer is “No” as we all know. The father of the Paandava brothers was King Paandu. King Paandu was born as a son to King Vichitraveerya. If that is the case, King Vichitraveerya should have been the grandfather of the Paandavas, isn’t it? Then where did the connection between Sage Vyaasa and the Paandavas come from?
Now here comes the intricate and important detail – King Vichitraveerya was unable to have children, due to some curse that he had accumulated in his past. Paandu and Dhirdiraashtra were born due to the divine grace of Sage Vyaasa. The mothers of these children were Ambika and Ambaalika respectively. Thus, Sage Vyaasa was involved in the birth of Paandu to Ambika and Dhirdiraashtra to Ambaalika. We’re going to witness this story later on in great detail, but for now, let us understand this intricate detail that Sage Vyaasa was indirectly responsible for the birth of Paandu and Dhirdiraashtra. If such is the case, Sage Vyaasa would automatically become the grandfather to the Paandava brothers, isn’t it? This is why, Sage Vaishampayana explains here that Sage Vyaasa was the “Pita-maha ” (Grandfather) of the Paandavas.
As Sage Vaishampayana was explaining this in brief, King Janame-Jaya was shell-shocked! Several questions ran through his mind now. Was he the great grandson of the great Sage Vyaasa himself? How can this be possible? If “yes”, how fortunate was he in his life? King Janame-Jaya wanted to know more details of this connection between himself and Sage Vyaasa. As Sage Vyaasa also was looking on, King Janame-Jaya asked Sage Vyaasa to explain about this more. Upon this, Sage Vyaasa too was extremely happy that this little boy was eager to understand all of this in detail and he blessed Sage Vaishampayana to explain everything to King Janame-Jaya in detail. With this, Sage Vaishampayana is going to explain the entire connection between Sage Vyaasa, how he came to the rescue of Ambika and Ambaalika and how Paandu and Dhirdiraashtra took birth. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall continue this discussion in the next episode to understand more! Stay tuned! 🙂