4. The birth of Veda Vyasa
From Sri Ganesha Purana by Dr.Akila Sivaraman
There was a time when worship of the Supreme Lord was on the decline on earth. None followed the noble ways of life prescribed in Vedic scriptures. Lord Brahma and Lord Vinayaka were quite distressed at the chaos prevailing everywhere. When they approached Lord Shiva for help , He directed Lord Vishnu to take necessary steps to collect Vedas and Puranas and propagate them on earth for people’s guidance.
On the bank of the river Ganges, there lived a noble sage by name Parasara. When he was going in a boat to the opposite bank of the river, he fell in love with the girl in the boat. Lord Maha Vishnu was born as their son, but very soon he went to Badrikashrama to lead a life of meditation.
In the ashrama, he acquired mastery over the four Vedas- Rig, Yejur, Sama and Atharvana. So, he was called Veda Vyasa. He proceeded next to learn all the eighteen puranas from Sanatkumara.
Veda Vyasa desired to render all the Puranas in verse form – i.e. Shlokas – so that people can easily learn them, get them to heart and recite them to their benefit. In fact, most of our religious texts have been handed down to generations as poetic verses only, as they lend themselves easily to be committed to one’s own memory and for repetition at our will and pleasure.
Unfortunately, Veda Vyasa found himself not competent for this task. Perplexed as he was, he sought the help and guidance of Lord Brahma.
“In order to help the people on the earth, to get to know Vedic Scriptures, I tried to render them as simple shlokas which could be easily memorized and chanted. Unfortunately, I do not find myself equal to the task. Kindly enlighten me as to where, why and how I have failed to do it”
Lord Brahma immediately mentioned the omission which was responsible for the failure. “At the beginning of all tasks, Lord Vinayaka is to be worshipped. He removes all obstacles and crowns every task with success. Right from Lord Shiva, the Lord Supreme, all of us have to pray to Lord Vinayaka for fulfilment of any endeavour in the proper direction and details.”
Veda Vyasa now repented for his serious mistake. He beseeched Lord Brahma himself to give him a detailed picture of Lord Ganesha’s greatness and glory.
Lord Brahma readily agreed to enlighten Veda Vyasa in detail about all the illustrious devotees who prayed to Lord Vinayaka and achieved great success in their lives.
The discourse on Lord Vinayaka thus began which serves as a real eye opener for all of us before we undertake any task.