Veda Vyasa is one of the holiest figures in
. He is the man who divided the Vedas into four and taught four of his principal disciples one each. India
He taught Paila the Rig Veda: Vaishampayana the Yajur Veda, Jaimini the Sama Veda and Sumantu the Atharva Veda. He then taught the Puranas to Lomaharshana.
Veda Vyasa is also credited with having written the Mahabharata. He is also the narrator of the world’s greatest epic and also a figure in it.
He is also called
Krishna Dvaipayana-the word Dvaipayana refers to his complexion and also the place of his birth- and is a scribe of both the Vedas and the Puranas.
Vyasa is also considered to be the kala-avatara or part-incarnation of Vishnu himself. Madhwacharya equated him with Badarayana, the compiler of the Vedanta Sutras. He is also considered to be one of the seven Chiranjivis (long lived or immortals), who are still in existence. Shaivites consider him to be the fourth rishi of the Adwaitha Parampare of which Shankara is the chief proponent. He is one of the few to have a festival after him. It is called Guru Poornima or Vyasa Poornima. This is the day on which Vyasa was born and also the day on which he divided the Vedas.
Vyasa was grandfather to the both the Pandavas and th Kauravas. Both Pandu, father of the Pandavas, and Dhritarashtra, father of Kauravas, were his sons as was Vidura.
Madhwacharya went to Badari twice and met Veda Vyasa and Narayana too. It was Veda Vyasa who taught him the holy scriptures which later came down to us in the form of Dwaitha philosophy.
The Srimadhwavijaya by Narayana Panditacharya has given us perhaps the most evocative and comprehensive description of Vyasa and Hari himself as seen by Madhwa. Several chapters in the work are devoted to the description of Vyasa.
Veda Vyasa is born every Dwapara Yuga to divide the Vedas and disseminate their knowledge. In the present era, there have been twenty-eight dwapara yugas and, therefore, there are twenty-eight individuals who have held the title of Veda Vyasa.
The Kurma Purana gives the names of these 28 as:
(1) Svayambhuva Manu.