The ‘Mahabharata’ remains a marvel in the literature of the world. Veda Vyasa was the sage who gave the world this Storehouse of realism, wisdom and compassion. And he was the guide to whom seven generations of the high and the humble looked up in hours of sorrow and darkness.
Vyasa is a central and revered figure in most Hindu traditions. He is also sometimes called Veda Vyasa (veda vyāsa), (the one who classified the Vedas in to four parts) or Krishna Dvaipayana (referring to his complexion and birthplace). He is the author as well as a character in the Mahabharata and considered to be the scribe of both the Vedas, and the supplementary texts such as the Puranas. A number of Vaishnava traditions regard him as an Avatar of Vishnu. Vyasa is sometimes conflated by some Vaishnavas with Badarayana, the author of the Vedanta Sutras. Vyāsa is also considered to be one of the seven Chiranjivins (long lived, or immortals), who are still in existence according to general Hindu belief. He is also the fourth member of the Rishi Parampara of the Advaita Guru Paramparā of which Adi Shankara is the chief proponent.
The festival of Guru Purnima, is dedicated to him, and also known as Vyasa Purnima as it is the day, which is believed to be his birthday and also the day he divided the Vedas
Vyasa appears for the first time as the author of, and an important character in the Mahabharata. He was the son of Satyavati, daughter of a ferryman or fisherman, and the wandering sage Parashara. He was born on an island in the river Yamuna. The place is named after him as Vedvyas, possibly the modern-day town of Kalpi in the Jalaun district of Uttar Pradesh. He was dark-complexioned and hence may be called by the name Krishna (black), and also the name Dwaipayana, meaning ‘island-born’.
Vyasa was grandfather to the Kauravas and Pandavas. Their fathers, Dhritarashtra and Pandu, adopted as the sons of Vichitravirya by the royal family, were fathered by him. He had a third son, Vidura, by a serving maid.