Badarayan, more commonly known as Bhagwan Veda Vyas is Sanatan Dharma's adi (first) acharya. He was born on Ashadh Purnima, of parents Parashar rishi and mother Satyavati. His dark complexion also rendered him the name Krishna. Further, because of his birth on an island - dwip - in the middle of the river Yamuna, he was conferred the name Dvaipayan. Hence the name Krishna Dvaipayan Vyas. Being a descendent of the Badari family, he is also called Badarayan. He is one among the renowned twelve chiranjivis - long-lived personalities of Sanatan Dharma, which include: Hanumanji, Bali, Parshuram, Ashwatthama, Krupa, Vibhishan and others.
In the beginning, there existed only one Veda. Vyasji then simplified and divided this into four: Rig, Sam, Yajur and Atharva (Vachanamrut Vartal-18). Hence, he became known as Veda Vyas. For the lay people he then composed 17 Purans. Through these, in the form of stories, different groups of people were then able to consolidate their devotion to their revered deities.
Vyasji then composed the Itihas text 'Maha- bharat,' to propagate the principles of dharma, arth, kam and moksha. As he uttered the aphorisms, Ganeshji scribed them. This text is also glorified as the fifth Veda or panchmo vedaha with Vyas' name, Krishna Dvaipayan Vyas. Among the philosophical sections of the Mahabharat, the Bhagvad Gita is considered the crest-jewel. Gita is contained in the Bhisma Parva, Chapters 23 to 40.
Vyas studied under great scholars like Parashar, Vasudev and Sanakadik rishis. He established his ashram in the recesses of the Himalayas, at the confluence of the sacred rivers, Saraswati and Alaknanda, near the pilgrim place of Shamyapras. Here he taught the Vedas to four pupils: Paila, Vaishampayan, Jaimini and Sumantu. His sons, born from his thoughts - a phenomenon known as sankalp putras - included: King Pandu, father of the Pandavs; Dhrutrashtra, father of the Kauravs; Vidurji and Shukdevji.
After composing such staggering voluminous scriptures he still experienced discontentment at heart. He divulged this to Narad rishi, who is considered to be God's 'mind'. Naradji replied, "Though you have written extensively on dharma, arth, and kam you have not dealt with moksha and the knowledge of the self. This is not possible without the manifest form of God. Today, he manifests as Shri Krishna. Therefore, compose a sacred text narrating Shri Krishna's glory and which will inspire bhakti in the hearts of devotees. This is the only work left for you. Only by glorifying such divine episodes will your discord be alleviated. There is no other way."
Vyasji, then composed the eighteenth Mahapuran, the Shrimad Bhagvat, also known as Satvati Shruti - the Veda of the Vaishnavs.
Veda Vyas also composed the Vedant Sutras, also synonymously known as : Uttar Mimansa, Brahma Mimansa, Brahma Sutra, Badarayan Sutra, Vyas Sutra and Sharirak Sutra.
Sanatan Dharma's fundamental belief is that the Vedas are sanatan - eternal - and apaurusheya - not composed by any human entity. At the beginning of every cosmic cycle of Brahma, God utters the divine words through Brahma's mouth. Later, at various periods different rishis, through divine grace, realise these divine words, known as sakshat darshan. They then teach their realised knowledge orally to their pupils. In this manner the tradition is handed down the ages. Later, this knowledge is scribed using letters. Through this five-fold manner: i) eternal existence of Vedic knowledge ii) vocalisation of Vedic knowledge iii) darshan (realisation) of Vedic knowledge iv) the propagation of this 'heard' Vedic knowledge and v) the compilation by scribing of Vedic knowledge, mankind is graced with Vedic knowledge.
At the end of Brahma's cosmic period, the Vedic knowledge in its gross (sthul) form apparently disappears, only to reappear in Brahma's next cycle of creation. Hence, in reality, Vedas are eternal and so in Bharatvarsh's true tradition and belief the question of dating hardly arises.
Hence the dates and periods attributed by Western so-called intellectuals and Indians swayed by them are totally preposterous; a deliberate, subtly malicious attempt to ridicule the sacred and eternal heritage of Bharat. Even their interpretations of the true and sacred meanings of the scriptures are flagrantly warped and often shallow. Without the bona fide guru's guidance this is but natural. Though many claim to have studied the texts in Sanskrit, they do not have the faintest inklings of the basics. Most copied their predecessors or Indian scholars whose thinking and bent of mind was also 'colonialised.' The most notorious among the Europeans was Max Muller, who, solely on whim, extremely reluctantly placed the dating of the Rig Veda at 1200 BCE, and the Upanishads at mere 800 to 600 BCE!
By astronomical observations of planetary movements the exact date of the beginning of Kali-yug of has been verified. From this, by simple arithmetic, the date of the Mahabharat and Brahma Sutras can be calculated.
i. Kali-yug: 3,102 years BCE - 20 February at 2hours 27 minutes and 30 seconds. The astrologer, Bailey, concurred, "The calculation of the Brahmins is so exactly confirmed by our own astronomical tables that nothing but actual observation could have given so correspondent a result." (Theology of the Hindus by Count Bjornstjerna, p.132.)
This amounts to 3102 + 2002 (CE) = 5,104 years.
ii. The Mahabharat War: began 36 years prior to the start of Kali-yug (or when 36 years of Dwapar-yug remained).
This means 5,104 + 36 = 5140 years ago.
iii. Shrimad Bhagvat: its first discourse was related by Shukdevji to King Parikshit 30 years after Shri Krishna's departure (Padma Puran, Uttarkhand 198-71.) i.e. 30 years into Kali-yug - 3082 BCE.
iv. From this it can be inferred that Vyasji composed the Shrimad Bhagvat prior to 3082 BCE. And, as mentioned earlier, the Mahabharat was written after the Bhagvat, since the Gita (part of Mahabharat, Bhisma Parva. Ch.23 to 40) also mentions the Brahma Sutras and vice-versa. They can both be contemporaneous or within a short period of each other - post 3082 BCE (c. 5084 years ago).
Hence the periods assigned to the writing of the Brahma Sutras by western and eastern scholars listed below, can be seen to be wholly ludicrous!
A.B.Keith - 200 BCE
Jacobi - 250 to 450 BCE
Frazer - 400 BCE
Max Muller - 300 BCE
Hiriyanna - 480 BCE
Dasgupta - 200 BCE
Veda Vyas and Bhagwan Swaminarayan
Bhagwan Swaminarayan has upheld Veda Vyas and the scriptures written by him as supremely authoritative. Of the eight scriptures that He cites in the Shikshapatri (93-95) and Vachanamrut Vartal-18 as authoritative, five are by Vyasji; four Vedas, Vedant Sutras, Shrimad Bhagvat, Vidurniti (Mahabharat, Udyog Parva 33-40) and Bhagvad Gita.
He praises Vyasji in eleven Vachanamruts: Gadhada I-39, Kariyani-6, Loya-4, 9, 18, Gadhada II-6, 9, 21, 64, Vartal-18 and Gadhada III-10. In Gadhada II-21, He cites the essence of all Vyasji's works; that for the liberation of the jiva, God is the creator, sustainer and destroyer of the cosmos. In Vartal-18 and Gadhada III-10 He lauds Vyasji as the greatest of all acharyas; not comparable to Shankar, Ramanuja and all others, because all of them have based their beliefs and established their sampradays on Vyasji's works whereas Vyasji does not need to rely upon anyone else to be authoritative. To a Vedanti (in Gadhada I-39) and a scholar of the Madhva Sampraday (Gadhada III-10) He emphatically commands them to quote from Vyasji's scriptures to clarify certain beliefs. To the Madhvi scholar, He further requests reference from the Bhagvat because, "It is the essence of the Vedas, Purans and Itihas scriptures," and also from the Gita, which is the more authoritative part of the Mahabharat. Too overwhelmed by Maharaj's logical reasoning, both scholars failed to answer Him!
Finally, in the Swamini Vato (1/35), Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami cites Vyasji's essence and principle after his deep reflection of his texts:
Alodya sarva shastrani vicharya cha punaha punaha,
Idamekam sunishpannam dhyeyo Narayano Harihi.
i.e. after repeatedly reflecting on all the scriptures, I have arrived at one principal conclusion; that life's goal is to attain Bhagwan Narayan.
In remembrance and glory of Veda Vyas as the first and foremost acharya and guru of Sanatan Dharma, the festival of Guru Purnima is celebrated annually on Ashadh Punam, also known as Vyas Purnima, when one's spiritual guru is offered pujan.
(Total 4 lakh aphorisms)