BYASA (VYASA) The sage Byasa sings the Praises (of Guru Nanak Dev). He reflected on the Vedic Grammar. (Swayye Mahle Pahle Ke, p. 1390) Byasa narrates the sayings of Narada, ask Suka about it. (Maru Kabir, p. l J 03) Brahma, the son of Lotus (who sprang from the navel-lotus of Vishnu) and Byasa, the son of fish (fisher-woman Satyavati) performed austerities and became adorable. (Kama M. 4, p. 1309) Vyasa was a great Brahmin sage.

He was the son of the sage Parasara and Matsyodari (called Machhodari). His mother was bom of a fish, who had swallowed the semen of some sage. Parasara after his sexual contact with Machhodari named her as Yojana Gandhari (one whose body-fragrance spreads upto one Yojana i.e. about four miles). Yojana Gandhari was later on married to king Shantanu, the father of Bhishma Pitamaha and was named Satyavati. As mistress of Parasara, Yojana Ghandhari gave birth to Vyasa and as queen Satyavati she gave birth to two sons (both of them died young and childless).

Their widows namely Ambika and Ambalika through niyoga with Vyasa gave birth to the blind Dhritarashtra and Pandu. (See the entries Gangeva Pitama and Vidur). Vyasa performed great austerities in a forest and was also the father of the great sage Suka. He was a great author and compiler and is known as Veda Vyasa.

He is said to be the compiler of Mahabharata, the founder of Vedanta philosophy and the editor of the Puranas. In his works, he talks about the dynasties of the ancient kings and has recorded the sayings of many famous sages including Narada. His other name is Krishna Dwaipayana.

References :

1. Kohli, Surindar Singh ed, Dictionary of Mythological References in Guru Granth Sahib, 1993