The Suta who was narrating the story of the Srimad Bhagavatham to Shaunaka Rishi said that in the Dwapara Yuga, which was the period of time before the present Kali Yuga, Sri Veda Vyasa who is a manifestation of Sri Vishnu was born to the sage Parashara and the fisherwoman Satyavati also called Matsyagandha.
Just after sunrise, the sage was sitting alone and contemplating about how in the passage of time, the culture and lifestyle of people had deteriorated. Materials had lost their power, people lacked faith, they were wanting in intelligence and their life span too had reduced. The sage through his divine vision contemplated how people had become devoid of good fortune.
He realised that the means for purification was through the Vedic rituals and he compiled all the books of knowledge into four Vedas—the Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. He also compiled the itihasas and puranas, which were considered to be the fifth Veda. The divine rishi then spread this knowledge through his disciples, themselves great rishis.
He realised that women, people who had given up spiritual practices and people who were constantly engaged in material pleasures and joys, were not in tune with Vedic disciplines for evolution of the mind. They were engaged in actions that were born of ignorance. For the welfare and benefit of those people he composed the great epic poem called the Mahabharata consisting of one lakh verses.
Yet, as he was contemplating by the riverside, he realised that his heart was not content. “What it is that is mentioned in this eternal discipline of the mind that I have not expounded?” he thought to himself. As he was ruminating in this way, Sage Narada who was invoked by the agitated Rishi came towards his hermitage. Sri Veda Vyasa immediately got up to receive, worship and adore the rishi who has free access to all the three worlds of the waking, dream and deep sleep states of existence.
The divine sage inquired of his physical, emotional and intellectual health. He acknowledged the great works of compilation done by Veda Vyasa. “Yet, what is that which is lacking in you that keeps you so unhappy?”
Vyasa agreed that indeed as the sage pointed out, he had produced phenomenal works of literature and religion but his heart was not experiencing peace.
The great detective that Narada was realised the reason for the sage’s restlessness; he immediately said that he had indeed written a lot about the different disciplines of the mind, the pursuit of different goals in life, on the different pleasures and how to pursue and achieve them. He, however, did not sufficiently write books that praised the Supreme Being. He did not tell stories of praise of the Lord. When we cease to praise and glorify the Supreme Being that is the very cause of all this existence, then the mind will know no real peace.
The author is Acharya, Chinmaya Mission, Tiruchi firstname.lastname@example.org