Maharshi Veda Vyas and Son Suka Maha Muni

Maharshi Krishna Dvipayana Veda Vyas, son of Sage Parasara and Satyavati, got a desire to secure a child. With this wish, he performed severe ‘Tapasya’ addressed to Maha Devi and to Maha Deva Sankara for hundred years. Indra had suggested to Sankara that His prayers be kindly be approved as the Maharshi’s strict observance of further penance could not be continued any longer. Bhagavan Sankara appeared before Veda Vyasa and granted him the boon of getting a son who would be a rare example of Purity, Great Virtue and Spiritual Enlightenment. Veda Vyasa was carried away by what Sankara blessed and initiated the Agni Homa action by the ‘Arani’ process of rubbing wooden pieces to light up. Just then, the Celestial Apsara (nymph), Ghritachi made a flashy appearance and cast amorous looks at the Maharshi. Being unsure of the romantic reaction of the Maharshi who no doubt got disturbed in his mind about her presence, she took the form of a tempting Parrot and flew across the Homa Kunda; Maharshi could not resist his lust for the Apsara and discharged his masculinity on the wooden sticks meant for Arani. Thus emerged from the Arani Fire, a boy of extraordinary radiance and chiselled body features resembling Veda Vyasa himself, excepting for his nose; He was named ‘Suka’ at the Name Giving Ceremony, since the Apsara took the form of a parrot at the moment of relieving his lust. The Maharshi enjoyed supreme happiness in fondling the child and bringing him up. He was in fact born with full comprehension of the Holy Scriptures and added to this, Veda Vyasa’s early training and subsequent tutorship under Deva Guru Brihaspati made him an excellent ‘Jnani’. He learnt Vedas, Sastras, and the entire gamut of Scriptures beyond which there perhaps was left little that was worthy of imbibing. As the Brahmachari attained marriageable age, Maharshi Vyas desired to perform the wedding of Suka Muni who resisted the idea vehemently. He said that having been trained as an ascetic, he had no desire whatsoever to enter into married life. Veda Vyasa explained that that according to ‘Agamas’, the stage of ‘Garhastya’ or married life was an integral part of human life of the four chapters viz. ‘Brahmacharya’, ‘Garhastya’, ‘Vanaprasthya’, and ‘Sanyasa’ as that was a logical evolution of normal living. Vyasa said that the order of life was disturbed in his own example but that exception was not a rule. Moreover, he realised that he regretted his own action of remaining single and infringed the Laws of Nature as stressed in the Sciptures. Suka Muni counter-explained that human life was a very valuable achievement and as such he would rather abstain from the so-called pleasures, causing the inevitable pain, that ‘Samsara’ was a knife-edge existence of humanity and that he would prefer the skip-up of the Garhasthya phase in his limited existence. He further explained that the entire human existence was constanly engaged in a struggle to get released from the complicated net of ‘Maya’(Illusion) and in a virtual warfare against the ‘Arisht Vargas’or the Six Enemies of ‘Kama’ leading to and the logical resultants of ‘Krodha’(Anger/ Intolerance),‘Lobha’(Meanness or Possesivenes), ‘Moha’(Infatuation), ‘Mada’ (Arrogance) and ‘Matsarya’(Jealousy). Between the two steps of temptation of entering into the net and the desperation to break it out, there would be a wide abyss which would occupy successive cycle of births and deaths owing to the concepts of ‘Sanchita’ (latent), ‘Prarabdha’(Carry forward), and ‘Vartamana’(the Current Account) and to perpetuate the vicious ‘Kala Chakra’ (the Wheel of Time) further on would be a conscious stupidity, if not an ignorant folly, thus argued Suka Muni.He further stressed to Veda Vyasa that let alone normal human beings, but even Indra, Brahma, Vishnu or Maheswara could never exist in peace as Indra always kept protecting his throne from Asuras as he was their first target; Brahma had this entire creation as His ‘Samsara’ or His family; Vishnu no doubt had Maha Maya Lakshmi Herself as His partner but was fully engaged with the wily Demons’ atrocities to overcome and protect the balance of the entire Universe; Maheswar was constanly busy with the destruction of evil forces. Humanity without exception thus was persistently subject to want, struggle, helplessness, and pessimism. A householder’s plight to subsist along with a family had always led to cunning, meanness, hypocrisy and opportunism. Where was the time for ‘Karma Kanda’ to perform, let alone remember the name of the Super Force, when the full manifestation of Maya or Illusion was at an explosive point! The Maha Maya Sakti had for instance submerged a Maharshi like the illustrious Veda Vyasa- who had interpreted Vedas, created all the Eighteen Puranas and several Upa Puranas, and innumerable Scriptures of eternal value to mankind- had an intense sense of ‘Vyamoha’ or extreme possessiveness to his son, Suka and was bent on making him a ‘Grihasthi’ since that would be his dream of his son to wed a woman, procreate children and be an ideal householder!

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at