[Excerpts from articles and commentaries by Swami Chinmayananda]
VYASA is the Pivotal Truth, the Substratum, the very Rock-Foundation of the entire spring of the Indian Culture based on the Vedantic Philosophy. Vyasa is a great poet-philosopher and has become an institution representing the Hindu heritage. He was a great student of the Vedas and a Man of Realisation. Not only was Vyasa’s intellect mighty, but he was completely tolerant, holding in his embrace of love the entire universe of living beings. No scriptural study or Vedic chanting is ever started without prostrations unto this greatest of Seers. If we must attribute Hinduism to any single individual there is none else to whom we can most appropriately attribute its present existence and past glories except to Veda Vyasa.
Vyasa was not merely a man of realisation and perfection, but was also one who had the spirit of adventure to serve his generation throughout his life. He was a revivalist who contributed the maximum to the Hindu Renaissance of that critical era. He was the most daring religious revolutionary that ever appeared on the horizon of Hindu cultural history. Vyasa was one of the sages who had a vast vision of the past and the great imagination to see the future both of which he brought forth in order to tackle the problems of decadence in his immediate present.
Hinduism came to face a great crisis in its spiritual and cultural history created by a decadent society and its own misinterpretations of its great culture. A restatement of the scriptural truths, in a language and spirit understandable to the people, was the demand of the age and Vyasa came to answer this call. At such a crucial juncture in our spiritual history that we find the advent of the great revolutionary reformer, the poet-philosopher, Vyasa. He retrieved the life-giving gems of wisdom that lay almost unnoticed in the bowels of the then existing social confusions and life’s commotions. He collected the Vedic passages and for the first time edited them into four written volumes which constitute today the four great Vedas of the Hindus: the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharvana Veda, and thereafter gave us the dialectics of Vedanta in his Brahma Sutras. Himself a great man of realisation, this ancient seer had both the mastery in the theoretical science of religion in Hinduism and also the practical experience of the Supreme.
Vyasa was a complete artist. Unhurriedly he works on; nowhere is he hasty. In almost every stanza, he not only exhibits his literary mastery over the use of words, but also employs them with such precision that often his simple-looking words, in their right context, talk volumes to all careful students. The versatile genius of Vyasa never left anything that he touched without raising it to the most sublime heights of sheer perfection with his rare capacity of composing incomparable poetry, unique prose-diction, chaste descriptions, artistic literary designs, original innovations both in thought and form. A brilliant philosopher, a consummate man of wisdom, a genius in worldly knowledge — now in the palace, now in the battle field, now in Badrinath, now among the silent snowy peaks — strode the colossus, Sri Vyasa, as an embodiment of what is best in the Hindu tradition and in the Aryan culture. Yet, Vyasa’s philosophical thought is not sectarian or creedal. It is not a philosophy only for Hindus. It is universal in its application and is addressed to all mankind. Such an all round genius has not yet been reported ever to have born, lived or achieved in the History Globe!!
व्यासाय विष्णु रूपाय व्यासरूपाय विष्णवे I
नमो वै ब्रह्मनिधये वासिष्ठाय नमो नमः II
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