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We all know that the Mahabharat was written by Ved-Vyas, but what many of us don't know is that Ved-Vyas was not the name of the person but the title. This title is given to the one who add/modify/delete the original Ved, Puranas and Epics. Ved-Vyas, the author of Mahabharat was actually named 'Krishna-Dwaipayan' and he got the title of Ved-Vyas. I want to know about who else were the other sages holding the same title. Please also specify the sources from where you get the information.

  • But Vyasa appeared also in this Kali Yuga, as he met Madhvacharya. This one may be Badarayana Vyasa. – Baldev Nov 24 '16 at 13:28
  • @Baldev can you please elaborate more on this and also the source from where you are referring. – Aby Nov 25 '16 at 13:44
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As I discuss in this answer, how the Vedas originated is that from time immemorial, sages known as Dhristas have heard sacred verses directly from the gods during a state of Tapasya (deep meditation). And then in every Dwapara Yuga, a sage called the Veda Vyasa takes this set of mantras and divides into the four books we call the Vedas (or more precisely the Samhitas of the Vedas). (By the way, contrary to what you said, the job of the Vyasa is just related to the Vedas; it's just that our current Vyasa did things other than that, like write the Mahabharata, Puranas, and Brahma Sutras.)

In the Vishnu Purana, the current (Krishna Dwaipayana) Veda Vyasa's father Parashara describes all the Veda Vyasas in the current Vaivasvata Manvantara:

Twenty-eight times have the Vedas been arranged by the great Rishis in the Vaivaswata Manwantara in the Dwápara age, and consequently eight and twenty Vyásas have passed away; by whom, in their respective periods, the Veda has been divided into four. In the first Dwápara age the distribution was made by Swayambhu (Brahmá) himself; in the second, the arranger of the Veda (Veda-vyása) was Prajápati (or Manu); in the third, Uśanas; in the fourth, Vrihaspati; in the fifth, Savitri; in the sixth, Mrityu (Death, or Yama); in the seventh, Indra; in the eighth, Vaśisht́ha; in the ninth, Sáraswata; in the tenth, Tridháman; in the eleventh, Trivrishan; in the twelfth, Bharadwája; in the thirteenth, Antaríksha; in the fourteenth, Vapra; in the fifteenth, Trayyáruńa 2; in the sixteenth, Dhananjaya; in the seventeenth, Kritanjaya; in the eighteenth, Rińa; in the nineteenth, Bharadwája; in the twentieth, Gotama; in the twenty-first, Uttama, also called Haryátmá; in the twenty-second, Veńa, who is likewise named Rájaśravas; in the twenty-third, Somaśushmápańa, also Trińavindu; in the twenty-fourth, Riksha, the descendant of Bhrigu, who is known also by the name Válmíki; in the twenty-fifth, my father Śakti was the Vyása; I was the Vyása of the twenty-sixth Dwápara, and was succeeded by Jaratkáru; the Vyása of the twenty-eighth, who followed him, was Krishńa Dwaipáyana. These are the twenty-eight elder Vyásas, by whom, in the preceding Dwápara ages, the Veda has been divided into four. In the next Dwápara, Drauńi (the son of Drońa) will be the Vyása, when my son, the Muni Krishńa Dwaipáyana, who is the actual Vyása, shall cease to be (in that character).

Note that we're currently living in the 28th Kali Yuga of the Vaivasvata Manvantara, so our Vyasa is Krishna Dwaipayana as you said. And the next Vyasa will be Drona's son Ashwatthama, as I discuss in this answer.

  • 1
    Why is only dwapara yuga chosen for editing and modifying scriptures? – Yogi Nov 6 '14 at 17:10
  • @Creator First of all, the task is not modifying the Vedas; the Vedic mantras are divine in origin and thus are not allowed to be modified. The task of the Vyasa is just to take the compile the Vedic mantras and divide them into the four books we call the Vedas (or more precisely the Samhitas of the Vedas). – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 6 '14 at 17:17
  • Yeah I know that upto Treta yuga there is only one veda Yajur veda, also our vyasa (krishna dwypiyana) is direct incarnation of Hari that's why he created extra texts you mentioned? – Yogi Nov 6 '14 at 17:22
  • @Creator Now as far as why the Vedas are divided in the Dwapara Yuga, it's because as the Yugas progress, the mental capacities of humans are reduced, so it becomes hard for humans to read the entire Vedas as a single work. So the Vedas are divided into four parts to be easier to read. This is what Parashara says in the chapter I linked to: "observing the limited perseverance, energy, and application of mortals, [Vishnu] makes the Veda fourfold, to adapt it to their capacities; and the bodily form which he assumes, in order to effect that classification, is known by the name of Veda-vyása". – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 6 '14 at 17:22
  • @Creator The Adi Parva of the Mahabharata says the same thing about why Vyasa divided the Vedas; it was the limited capacities of humans in later Yugas: sacred-texts.com/hin/m01/m01064.htm "And the learned Dwaipayana, beholding that virtue is destined to become lame by one leg each yuga (she having four legs in all) and that the period of life and the strength of men followed the yugas, and moved by the desire of obtaining the favour of Brahman and the Brahmanas, arranged the Vedas." – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 6 '14 at 17:32
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Though Keshav's answer gives names of previous Vyasas, Shiva Purana gives different names for some of the previous Vyasas.

Chapter 4&5 of Satarudrasamhita Section of Shiva Purana mentions that Shiva takes birth at the end of each Dvapara Yuga and lives in Kaliyuga. He will teach Yoga techniques to his four disciples and these four disciples helps people of Kaliyuga to liberate with help of these techniques. This will happen in every Kaliyuga of Vaivastara Manvantara of Seventh Varaha Kalpa (current Kalpa).

He says names of each Vyasa incarnated at the end of Dvapara Yuga.

  1. Svayamprabhu.
  2. Satya
  3. Bhaargava
  4. Angiras
  5. Savitr
  6. Mrtyu
  7. Satakratu
  8. Vasista
  9. Saarasvata
  10. Tridhaama
  11. Trivrta
  12. Satatejas
  13. Narayana
  14. Raksha
  15. Trayyaruni
  16. Deva
  17. Devakrtanjaya.
  18. Rtanjaya
  19. Bharadvaja
  20. Gautama
  21. Vaacassravas
  22. Susmaayana
  23. Trnabindu
  24. Yaksha
  25. Shakti
  26. Paraasara
  27. Jaatukarnya
  28. Dvaipayana
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    Let's compare the two lists. Swayamprabhu sounds close to Swayambhu. Satya is referred to in the Shiva Purana as a Prajapati. Sukracharya (aka Ushanas) is a Bhargava. Brihaspati is an Angirasa. Savitri and Mrityu are the same in both. Satakratu is a name of Indra. The 8th through 11th are the same. 12th through 14th look different. Trayyáruńa is the same in both. 16th through 18th look a bit jumbled. 19th and 20th are the same in both. 21 and 22 look jumbled again. Trinabindu is the same. 24 is different. 25 through 28 are the same. So they're more similar than they seem. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 8 '15 at 18:18
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    And I suspect that a lot of the ones that seem different are actually synonyms for the same person. It seems to me that for the most part, the two Puranas are giving the same basic list, just with different names for some of the figures. And there seem to be a couple transpositions in the ordering, which suggests that there was a transcription error in the manuscripts for at least one of the two Puranas. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 8 '15 at 18:21

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