Bhagwan Parashuram and Maharishi Ved Vyas ji
Vyasa (Devanagari: व्यास, vyāsa) is a central and revered figure in most Hindu traditions. He is also sometimes called Veda Vyasa (वेद व्यास, 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.
IN The Mahabharta
Vyasa appears for the first time as the author of, and an important character in the Mahābhārata. 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.
Hindus traditionally hold that Vyasa categorised the primordial single Veda into four. Hence he was called Veda Vyasa, or “Splitter of the Vedas,” the splitting being a feat that allowed people to understand the divine knowledge of the Veda. The word vyasa means split, differentiate, or describe.
It has been debated whether Vyasa was a single person or a class of scholars who did the splitting. The Vishnu Purana has a theory about Vyasa. The Hindu view of the universe is that of a cyclic phenomenon that comes into existence and dissolves repeatedly. Each cycle is presided over by a number of Manus, one for each Manvantara, that has four ages, Yugas of declining virtues. The Dvapara Yuga is the third Yuga. The Vishnu Purana (Book 3, Ch 3) says:
In every third world age (Dvapara), Vishnu, in the person of Vyasa, in order to promote the good of mankind, divides the Veda, which is properly but one, into many portions. Observing the limited perseverance, energy, and application of mortals, he makes the Veda fourfold, to adapt it to their capacities; and the bodily form which he assumes, in order to effect that classification, is known by the name of Veda-vyasa. Of the different Vyasas in the present Manvantara and the branches which they have taught, you shall have an account. Twenty-eight times have the Vedas been arranged by the great Rishis in the Vaivasvata Manvantara… and consequently eight and twenty Vyasas have passed away; by whom, in the respective periods, the Veda has been divided into four. The first… distribution was made by Svayambhu (Brahma) himself; in the second, the arranger of the Veda (Vyasa) was Prajapati…
Vyasa is traditionally known as author of this epic. But he also features as an important character in it. His mother later married the king of Hastinapura, and had two sons. Both sons died without issue and hence their mother asked Vyasa to go to the beds of the wives of her dead son Vichitravirya.
Vyasa fathers the princes Dhritarashtra and Pandu by Ambika and Ambalika. Vyasa told them that they should come alone near him. First did Ambika, but because of shyness and fear she closed her eyes. Vyasa told Satyavati that this child would be blind. Later this child was named Dhritarāshtra. Thus Satyavati sent Ambālika and warned her that she should remain calm. But Ambālika’s face became pale because of fear. Vyasa told her that child would suffer from anaemia, and he would not be fit enough to rule the kingdom. Later this child was known as Pāndu. Then Vyasa told Satyavati to send one of them again so that a healthy child can be born. This time Ambika and Ambālika sent a maid in the place of themselves. The maid was quite calm and composed, and she got a healthy child later named as Vidura. While these are his sons, another son Śuka, born of his wife, sage Jābāli’s daughter Pinjalā (Vatikā), is considered his true spiritual heir. He makes occasional appearances in the story as a spiritual guide to the young princes.
In the first book of the Mahābhārata, it is described that Vyasa asked Ganesha to aid him in writing the text, however Ganesha imposed a condition that he would do so only if Vyasa narrated the story without pause. To which Vyasa then made a counter-condition that Ganesha must understand the verse before he transcribed it.
There is an ashram of vedavyasa in Vedhagiri. It is believed that pandavas visited vyasa at vedhagiri and got advise during there vanavasa (exile period). The remnants of the ashram is still there on the top of Vedhagiri hill.
 Vyasa’s Jaya
Vyasa’s Jaya, the core of Mahābhārata is structured in the form of a dialogue between Dhritarashtra (the Kuru king and the father of the Kauravas, who opposed the Pāndavas in the Kurukshetra War) and Sanjaya, his advisor and chariot driver. Sanjaya narrates each incident of the Kurukshetra War, fought in 18 days, as and when it happened. Dhritarāshtra sometimes asks questions and doubts and sometimes laments, knowing about the destruction caused by the war, to his sons, friends and kinsmen.
In the beginning Sanjaya gives a description of the various continents of the Earth, the other planets, and focuses on the Indian Subcontinent and gives an elaborate list of hundreds of kingdoms, tribes, provinces, cities, towns, villages, rivers, mountains, forests etc. of the (ancient) Indian Subcontinent (Bhārata Varsha). He also explains about the ‘military formations adopted by each side on each day, the death of each hero and the details of each war-racings. Some 18 chapters of Vyasa’s Jaya constitutes the Bhagavad Gita, the sacred text of the Hindus. Thus, this work of Vyasa, called Jaya deals with diverse subjects like geography, history, warfare, religion and morality.
 Ugrasrava Sauti’s Mahābhārata
The final version of Vyasa’s work is today’s Mahābhārata, structured as a narration by Ugrasrava Sauti who was a professional story teller, to an assembly of (rishis) like Saunaka. Bharata[clarification needed] is embedded inside it, and within it Jaya.
 Reference to writing
Within the Mahābhārata, there is a tradition in which Vyasa wishes to write down or inscribe his work:
The Grandsire Brahma (creator of the universe) comes and tells Vyasa to get the help of Ganapati for his task. Ganapati writes down the stanzas recited by Vyasa from memory and thus the Mahābhārata is inscribed or written. Ganapati could not cope with Vyasa’s speed and he misses many words or even stanzas.
There is some evidence however that writing may have been known earlier based on archeological findings of styli in the Painted Grey Ware culture, dated between 1100 BC and 700 BC. and archeological evidence of the Brahmi script being used from at least 600 BC.
The difficulty faced by Ganapati (Ganesha) in writing down Mahābhārata as described in the tradition, could be real, and was most probably faced by those people who first attempted to write it down as some reciter recited it continuously. This is because, the reciter will not be able to stop in the middle of recitation and then resume it, as the lines are committed to his memory as a continuous recording.
 In the Puranas
 In Buddhism
Within Buddhism Vyasa appears as Kanha-dipayana (the Pali version of his name) in two Jataka tales: the Kanha-dipayana Jataka and Ghata Jataka. Whilst the former in which he appears as the Bodhisattva has no relation to his tales from the Hindu works, his role in the latter one has parallels in an important event in the Mahabharata.
In the 16th book of the epic, Mausala Parva, the end of the Vrishnis, clansmen of Vyasa’s namesake and Krishna is narrated. The epic says: One day, the Vrishni heroes .. saw Vishvamitra, Kanwa and Narada arrived at Dwaraka. Afflicted by the rod of chastisement wielded by the deities, those heroes, causing Samba to be disguised like a woman, approached those ascetics and said, ‘This one is the wife of Vabhru of immeasurable energy who is desirous of having a son. Ye Rishis, do you know for certain what this one will bring forth?Those ascetics, attempted to be thus deceived, said: ‘This heir of Vasudeva, by name Samba, will bring forth a fierce iron bolt for the destruction of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.
The important Bhagavata Purana (book 11) too narrates the incident in a similar manner and names the sages as Visvāmitra, Asita, Kanva, Durvāsa, Bhrigu, Angirâ, Kashyapa, Vâmadeva, Atri, Vasishthha, along with Nârada and others – it does not explicitly include Vyasa in the list.
The Ghata Jataka has a different version: The Vrishnis, wishing to test Kanha-dipayana’s powers of clairvoyance, played a practical joke on him. They tied a pillow to the belly of a young lad, and dressing him up as a woman, took him to the ascetic and asked when the baby would be born. The ascetic replied that on the seventh day the person before him would give birth to a knot of acacia wood which would destroy the race of Văásudeva. The youths thereupon fell on him and killed him, but his prophecy came true .
 In the Arthashastra
The only non-religious book in which Vyasa has an interesting entry is the Arthashastra of Chanakya (Kautilya). In chapter 6 of the first Department, it says:
‘Whosoever is of reverse character, whoever has not his organs of sense under his control, will soon perish, though possessed of the whole earth bounded by the four quarters. For example: Bhoja, known also by the name, Dándakya, making a lascivious attempt on a Bráhman maiden, perished along with his kingdom and relations; so also Karála, the Vaideha… Vátápi in his attempt under the influence of overjoy to attack Agastya, as well as the corporation of the Vrishnis in their attempt against Dwaipáyan.
This reference matches the Jataka version in including Vyasa as the sage attacked by the Vrishnis, though Vyasa does not die here.
 Author of Brahma Sutra
The Brahma Sutra is attributed to Badarayana — which makes him the proponent of the crest-jewel school of Hindu philosophy, i.e., Vedanta. Vyasa is conflated with Badarayana by Vaishnavas with the reason that the island on which Vyasa was born is said to have been covered by Badara (Indian jujube/Ber/Ziziphus mauritiana) trees. Apart from Adi Shankara who refers to these two separately rather than as a single individual, many modern historians also think these were two different personalities.
The life history of Ved Vyas is an
interesting one. The author of the great epic Mahabharata, Ved Vyas was the
first and greatest acharya of Sanatan Dharma. He is responsible for classifying
the four Vedas, wrote the 18 Puranas and recited the great Mahabharata. In
fact, the Mahabharata is often called as the fifth Veda. The most important and
the most glorified section is the Bhagwad Gita, the lesson recited to Arjuna by
Lord Krishna on the battlefield. The biography of Ved Vyas is very vivid and
makes an interesting read.
Around some 5000 years ago, he was born on an island on the holy river Yamuna. His father was Parashar Rishi, a sage and his mother was Satyavati. He taught the Vedas to his pupils with ardent devotion and dedication. It is said that Mahabharata is the 18th Puran that was written by Ved Vyas. He fathered four famous sons, Pandu, Dhritarashtra, Vidur and Sukhdev. Ved Vyas received knowledge from great sages like Vasudeva and Sanakadik. He described that the most important goal in one’s life is to attain Narayana or the Divine Supreme.
Apart from the Mahabharata, he also wrote the Brahmasootra, one of his shortest theologies on Hindu philosophy. It is said that Ved Vyas is immortal and he never died. Seeing the widespread violence in today’s times, he is said to have retreated into some remote village in Northern India. The life of Ved Vyas is an example to all in the modern times on how to be selfless and devote oneself entirely to Lord in order to attain Nirvana.
Vyas Name Meaning and hstory
Indian (northern states): Hindu ( Brahmin) name , from Sanskrit Vyasa ‘compiler’. This was the name of Sanskrit sage said to have compiled Mahabharata.
The Bias are strictly endogamous and practice clam exogamy. Their clans are referred to as gotras, and theoretically all gotra claim descent from a respected saint or rishi. Among the larger gotras are the Gautam, Kaushik, Angira, Vashishth, Garags , Bhardwaj,and Sandal.etc.
The traditional occupation of the Bias is that of village priests. A small number were large landowners, but most of the communities are petty landowners. Like other Brahmin groupings, they have been more successful in taking up higher education, and generally are economically well off.
HISTORY & INFORMATION ABOUT VYAS AUDICHAY
Most of the Audichchya Brahmins are located in Gujarat State. Their history of origin as Audichchya Brahmins can be traced from around the year 950 AD only. It was in the year 942 AD that Mulraj Solanki captured the throne of Anhilpur Patan after murdering his maternal uncle Samant Sinh Chawda, Then ruling king. In the olden days there were two crimes, considered the worst crimes. These crimes were (1) murdering a ruling king & (2) murdering a priest. In India the punishment and atonement for these crimes was self immolation by burning or by drowning.
So naturally Mulraj’s murdering the reigning king, even though it was rightly propagated as inevitable & most necessary, for saving the kingdom, by his supporters, found no takers from the kingdom’s Shrimali Brahmin priests. These priests had come to Gujarat along with the Chawada kings, from Shrimal/Bhinnmal situated in the southern part of present day state of Rajasthan. The Shrimali Brahmins were the official priests of the kingdom. Their function included Dharma & justice. They refused to give blessings to Mulraj and to annunciate him as the king. No amount of persuading, cajoling, coxing or threatening had any effect on those Brahmins. If the priests coroneted him as a king, Mulraj was ready to perform a Rudra Yagna and also to build Rudramahal, a huge temple of Rudra (Shiv) as atonement. But the priests would not budge.
It was also important for Mulraj to be coroneted as a king since, if the throne was left vacant for a long time there would be a chaos. Several Chawdas had already started pressing their claim to the throne. The enemies of the kingdom on the border had started preparations for conquest of Gujarat. An immediate action was needed if the kingdom was to be retained. But the Shrimali priests, even after explaining the circumstances, were practically unanimous in not accepting Mulraj’s reasons and credentials. Mulraj had to find another way to overcome this situation.
Mulraj & his minister Madhav came upon a brilliant idea. Chawda kings had come from Shrimal & their priests were Shrimali Brahmins. Mulraj was from Kanyakubja (Kanoj) located in the fertile lands of Ganga & Yamuna rivers, so if priests from that area could be persuaded to come and enthrone Mulraj as a king, perform Rudra Yagna and stay in Gujarat as the kingdom’s priests, two birds could be killed with a single stone. First Mulraj would now be a legitimate king and secondly the influence of Shrimali Brahmins would be curtailed and even nullified. It was decided to import and lure learned & intelligent Brahmin families in large numbers, offering them land and positions as the official kingdom priests. They immediately set to work. Several ministers under the leadership of Madhav were sent to the various important cities and areas in plains of rivers Ganga & Yamuna where there were educated & prominent Brahmins who could be persuaded to come to Gujarat for permanent settlement. To avoid a conspiracy, they also ensured that Brahmins came from different places and not from a single place.
When this big caravan of 1037 Brahmin families reached Siddhpur Patan, they were royally received by the king and his people. In India in those days, gradually Brahmins had started being known by the place of their stay or origin, and not by the Gotras as in the past. . So this big group of Brahmins consisting of various Gotras was officially named Auduchchya BrahminsIn Sanskrit, Audichchya means from the northern direction. The list of Gotras, place of origin and places donated to Brahmin families by King Mulraj Solanki after their arrival at Shri Sthal, subsequently known as Siddhpur Patan, is as under.
Number of families Place of original stay of families Places donated Gotra
• 105 Planes of rivers Ganga & Yamuna From Sihore & Siddhpur areas: Jamdagni, Vatsas, Bhargav(Bhrugu), Droan Dalabhya, Mandavya, Maunash, Gangayan, Shankruti, Paulatsya, Vashstha, Upmanu,
• 100 Chuvan Ashram Total Udvahak, Parashar, Laudhkshi, Kashyap,
• 100 Sarau river planes Two Bhardwaj, Kaudinya,Garg, Vishvamitra,
• 100 Kanyakubja Hundred Kaushik, Indrakaushik, Shantatap, Atri,
• 100 Hardwar area And Audalak, Krushnaatri, Shwetaatri, Chandraatri
• 100 Naimasharanya Seventy Atrikahshik, Gautam, Autathya, Krutsas, Aangirash,
• 200 Kurukshetra Four Shandilya, Gaubhil, Piplad, Agatsya,
• 132 Pushkar area villages (Agatsya,Mahendra) Not in Audichchyas
On arrival at Siddhpur Patan, they were visited by Shrimali Brahmins (Ex Rajya Gurus) who explained their reason for boycotting Mulraj’s coronation. Out of 1037 families,
37 families saw the truth in the reasoning of the Shrimali Brahmins and decided not to participate in the king’s plans. They went in a group and intimated their decision & reason to Mulraj. Since they went about in a Group they were known as Tolakiya Audichchya Brahmins.
The rest came to be known as Audichchya Sahasra Brahmins, since they were 1000 in numbers.
It might appear that only greed dominated these 1000 Brahmin families but on the other side i.e. King Mulraj Solanki’s view, explained to Brahmins, and should also not be over looked.
A strong kingdom was imperative to
maintain & stabilize Dharma and civilization as well as trade &
prosperity of the nation. It is a well known fact that under slavery, Dharma,
civilization, prosperity decline, making the nation poor and a laughing stock.
History proved this to be true as the Solanki kingdom flourished for nearly
three hundred years. Gujarat was the last and well fought bastion of Hindu
kings, to fall against the Islamic onslaught of India in 1297. With the
conquest by Delhi Islamic hordes, the prosperity not only of Solankies &
Audichchya Brahmins but of entire Gujarat was lost.
Perhaps it will not be out of place at this juncture to explain the word Gotra which has been predominantly used in the above history of Audichcya Brahmins. Veda is considered to be the oldest known treaty about religion. Hindu religion believes that even though the eternal truth is one, there are many ways in which it can be interpreted. Since time immemorial, Seven Rushis have put up their interpreted version and understanding about Vedas.
The name of these Rushis is Jamdagni, Gautam, Atri, Vishvamitra, Vashistha, and Bharadwaj & Kasyap. They are known as Saptrashis. Agatsya the eighth Rushi is also accepted as a Rushi who have contributed in understanding of Vedas.
Each Rushi had his version of Vedas, their meaning, rituals about mode of achieving knowledge about the ultimate peace (Nirvan) and God, sholkas (hymns) for praising Supreme Being etc. The groups of followers of each Rushi’s methodology are known by that Gotra which is normally in the name of that Rushi and or his important disciples. This definitely tends to narrow down horizons of knowledge of followers.
The Guru Gita is a Hindu scripture authored by the sage, Vyasa. It is a part of the larger Skanda Purana. It describes a conversation between the Hindu God, Lord Shiva and his wife, the Hindu Goddess Parvati, in which she asks him to teach her about the Guru. Shiva answers her by describing the Guru principle, the proper ways of worshiping the Guru and the methods and benefits of repeating the Guru Gita.
Important Back Ground Audichay Brahmins ( vyas)
According to historical records, The Audichaya Brahmins were brought to Gujarat between 962 and 965 A.D. by Hindu King Mulraj Solanki , (A.D. 961-996), the ruler of Anhilpur Patan . ‘Audich’ in Sanskrit means ‘North’. So the Brahmins invited by King Mulraj from Northern India came to be known as ‘Audichya Brahmans’.
The Audichaya Brahman families invited from different regions of Northern India consisted of 105 from Prayag Kshetra. 100 from the Ashram of Chavyan Rishi, 100 families from the bank of the river Saryau; 200 from Kannauj, 100 ‘Kashi Kshetra’ 100 ‘Haridwar’: 100 from ‘Kurukshetra’: 100 from ‘Naimishaaranya’; and 132 from Pushkar Kshetra.
Thus, a total of 1037 families of learned Brahmins were invited for participation in the Rudra Mahalaya and Rydra Yagna performed by Prince Mulraj Solanki. It is said that a group of 1000 Audichaya Brahman accepted the gifts offered by King Mulraj and their descendents are known as Audichaya Shastra Brahmins.
The remaining group of 37 Brahmins stood aside and refused to accept the King’s gifts, but instead gifted their boon from the Yagna to the King. These Brahmins were known as Tolakia – or Tolak as they had formed a group and stood aside from the rest of the Brahmins who had accepted the King’s gifts.
Even today, the Audichya Tolak Brahmins do not accept any gifts from any body. King Mulraj and his ministers divided them into different groups according to their merit and their Vedic Knowledge.
Gotras’. The ‘Gotras’ (in alphabetical order) are : Angiras, Artio, Audalals, Bhardwaj, Bhargava, Chandatri, Dalabhya, Dron, Gabhil, Gangayan, Garga, Gautam, Hirnyagarbha, Kashyap, Kaudinya, Kaushik,Kaushish, Krushnatri, Kutsas, Laugashi, Mandakya, Maunas, Parashas, Paulastya, Pipplad, Sankratrutya, Sankruit, Shaunak, Shandilya, Swetatri, Udalak, Udvah-Audvah, Upmanu, Vashishtha, Vatsa.
There are more than sixty different ‘ataks’ (Surnames) among the Audichaya Brahmans. These atak names which are used as surnames are based on their profession and field of proficiency. The most common among them are Dave, Pandya, Thaker, Upadhhyaya, Trivedi, Jani , Pandit, Acharya, Raval, Joshi etc. Vyas were the rarest. Earlier there were only 16 Surnames but in course of time the number went up to 60.
The Brahmans who studied and taught the Vedas to other Brahmans were known as Acharya. The Brahmans who study and teach the Vedas in different regions come to be known as Upadhyaya, and are also referred to as Oza, Pundit, Pathak and Panda. The Brahmans serving Rajput Kings at the marriages of princes and princesses were call Purohits irrespective of their original surnames. Brahmans residing in Panchal Pradesh were called ‘Pancholi’ while those who were well versed in Astrology are known as Joshi. Thakar Brahmans were those who gave up their original vocation to manage their villages. The Brahmans who possessed the knowledge of all the four Vedas were known as Chaturvedi, those who possessed the knowledge of three Vedas become Trivedi or Tripathi and those familier only with two Vedas are called Dwivedi and Dave. The Brahmans doing clerical work were called Mehta and those who were experts in making preparations of Yagna were called Yagnik. The Brahmans possessing knowledge of all the Vedas and Puranas were called Vyas. One can understand that the community self perception of its status is on a pride in occupying the highest position in the varna hierarchy.
The Sahasras have among them two sub-division which are purely geographical i.e., Sihoras and Sidhpurias named after the respective towns. Ten other sub-castes or castes are mentioned as having originated with the Audichya Brahmins (Desai, Dandhavya Audichya Brahmin and Ghangoli Audichya among them.)
The Audichaya Brahmin have a wide distribution but their main concentration is in Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Kheda, Bharuch, Surendranagar, SabarKantha, and Panchemahal districts.
Many Audichya brahmin families have migrated to Rajasthan in search of jobs and other lively hood. Udaipur, Jaipur and Kota, the former princely states in Rajasthan, were preferred places outside Gujarat. In Udaipur, the area called as Baiji Raj Ki Brahmpuri, more popularly known as Chhoti Brahmpuri has a large concentration of Audichya Brahmins.They include Yagnik [Jani],Dave, Vyas, Dixit, Shukla and Mehta families. Formerly most of them were engaged in temple services.
Only few families particularly members of Yagnik & Vyas family were in state serviceas Rajya Sabha advisors. The community is proud of having freedom fighters also as its members viz. Shri Manoharlal Ganpatlal Yagnik and shri Ichchha Shankar Sharma. Today, the level of higher education has gone up. There are University Professors, Doctors, Engineers and young generation is finding a place in the techno-world.
The Audichya Brahaman are pure vegetarians. They use rice, wheat, bajra (Millet) and Jowar as their staple food. They take a wide variety of pulses of which tuvar is most popular. All locally available vegetables including roots and tubers find a place in their diet which also includes milk and its products. On festive and ceremonial occasions a variety of sweets, ladwa, dudh pak (rice boiled in milk) suo, pure farsan (fried preparations) are prepared.
The Audichaya Brahman practices endogamy at the community level and exogamy at the gotra level. The community is characterized by an internal social hierarchy with those belonging to Siddhpur occupy the highest position, followed by those of the Zalawad region and below them are those belonging to the Sihor-kathiawad region. Formerly, these sections had commenced relations but did not exchange brides. Now these restrictions are not observed, but they follow sapinda and pravar exogamy.
Monogamy is the norm. Widow marriage is prohibited. The normal age for girls for marriage was between 18 to 25 years and the marriage age for boys ranges from 21-28 years. Dowry in the form of gift are given as ‘streedhan’ to the daughter. Junior sororate is in practice. Marriage alliances are largely settled by negotiations.
The symbols of marriage for women include the wearing of ‘mangalsutra’, toerings and the bindi on the forehead. The rule of residence is partrilocal though neolocal is also present. Divorce is customarily not permissible, but one can get divorce through law courts. Reason for divorce include barenness, maladjustment and chronic sickness. In case of divorce, children usually become the responsibility of the father.