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 The story of the birth of Vyas

The story of the birth of Vyas

The Stopping of Snake-Yajna by Aasteek and how the snakes were saved

Vyas was the son of Parashar and Satyavati and was born on the sands of River Yamuna. Parashar was the son of Shakti. Vyas was the grandfather of the Pandavas. As soon as Vyas was born he grew up to adulthood and knew the Vedas and the history of evolution. His knowledge was unique and whatever he knew, could not be learnt by anyone else by meditation, study of the vedas, fasting, self improvement, power and thoughts.

It was Vyas who had split the Veda into four parts. He was a great Brahmrishi, omnicient, truthful, purest of the pure and knew the essence of the Brahm.

It was with his blessings that Pandu, Dhritrashtra and Vidur were born to the two queens and the maid of King Shantanu.

Vyas attended the Snake Yajna of Janmejaya and entered the venue of the yajna with his disciples. He was welcomed by King Janmejaya who made him sit on a gold throne and prayed to him according to the rituals. Janmejaya was pleased to present his great-great-great-grandfather with the ritual gifts of the ceremony. All those present at the Yajna prayed to Vyas and he blessed all of them.

Then Janmejaya requested him to tell them the sequence of events as Vyas was present and saw the events of Mahabharata. Vyas turned to his disciple Vaishampayan and asked him to narrate the story of Mahabharata to the people present. So Vaishampayan started telling the story to the people present. He said, "I pay my respects to all who are present here with determination, thoughts and meditation and invoke all the learned Brahmins and scholars and start the tale of the omniscient Lord Vyasa. This history which has been rendered by Vyas is very pure and comprehensive. He said the story of the Pandavas in one lakh shlokas and those who tell andd listen to this story go to the heaven and acquire the status of god. This pure text is like the Veda and is the best among all the tales that can be recited. This text reveals the attainment of Wealth and Kama according to the laws of Dharma (good conduct) and also the means of attaining Moksha (salvation). Ones who listen and sing this epic are relieved of all their sins and that is why it is referred to as Jai (victory). Those who wish to attain victory over the world meaning those who wish to do good in the world should read and learn from this story. This is not only a Dharmshashtra (Book of Good Conduct), an Arthshashtra (Book of Economics), but also a Mokshashashtra (Book of Salvation). Those who listen to this story are relieved of impure thoughts, mental and physical sins. This story narrates the great birth of the clan of Bharata therefore it is called the Mahabharata. Those who know the source of this name are free of all sins. Vyas used to create this everyday after performing his daily ablutions and it took him three years to complete it. Like the ocean and mountains have mines of precious jewels in the same way this story is the mine of all other stories of wisdom. If one donates it one gets rewarded as if one has donated the whole earth. The theories about Dharma (good conduct), Artha (wealth) and Kama (desire) that are listed in this epic are the ones to be followed everywhere. What is not told here is not mentioned anywhere else. Therefore all of you who are present here, listen to this great epic with all your concentration."

Thus speaking Vaishampayan started narrating to the guests at Janmejaya's Snake Yajna, the great stories from the epic Mahabharata.


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