GANAPATI, THE SCRIBE
BHAGAVAN VYASA, the celebrated compiler of the Vedas, was
the son of the great sage Parasara. It was he who gave to the
world the divine epic of the Mahabharata.
Having conceived the Mahabharata he thought of the
means of giving the sacred story to the world. He meditated on
Brahma, the Creator, who manifested himself before him. Vyasa
saluted him with bowed head and folded hands and prayed:
"Lord, I have conceived an excellent work, but cannot
think of one who can take it down to my dictation.
Brahma extolled Vyasa and said: "O sage, invoke
Ganapati and beg him to be your amanuensis." Having said
these words he disappeared. The sage Vyasa meditated on
Ganapati who appeared before him. Vyasa received him with
due respect and sought his aid.
"Lord Ganapati, I shall dictate the story of the
Mahabharata and I pray you to be graciously pleased to write it
Ganapati replied: "Very well. I shall do as you wish. But
my pen must not stop while I am writing. So you must dictate
without pause or hesitation. I can only write on this condition."
Vyasa agreed, guarding himself, however, with a counter-
stipulation: "Be it so, but you must first grasp the meaning of
what I dictate before you write it down."
Ganapati smiled and agreed to the condition. Then the
sage began to sing the story of the Mahabharata. He would
occasionally compose some complex stanzas which would
make Ganapati pause a while to get at the meaning and Vyasa
would avail himself of this interval to compose many stanzas
in his mind. Thus the Mahabharata came to be written by
Ganapati to the dictation of Vyasa.