In this section, I am providing general information - combination of a glossary, listing of great personalities, locations & geographical landmarks, history - in general any subject related to India.  I have gathered the information from various sources - books, magazines, internet, word of mouth.

General information about India - V

Vedas are the ancient Hindu Books of Knowledge, the basis of Hindu Dharma.  They have not been authored by a single person, but are a compilation of various mantras as revealed by different rishis and for this reason Vedas are also called Shruti, meaning revealed.  The mantras were passed on from generation to generation.  There are two sections : Samhita and Brahmana. The Samhitas consist of prayers in metrical hymns called Mantras, and is also referred to as Mantra section. The Brahmanas are more of a commentary on these hymns, and are in prose form. 
The mantras of Vedas were revealed to different Rishis at different points of time which were collected & compiled into four parts (Rig, Yajur, Sama & Atharva) by one of the greatest sages of all times - Sri Veda Vyasa. Later he gave each of these Vedas to one of his disciples to carry them forward. Rig Veda was given to Paeil, Yajur Veda to Vaishampayan, Sama Veda to Jaimini, and the Atharva Veda to Sumantu. 
Source - Excerpt from All About Hinduism by Sri Swami Sivananda

Vyasa Bhaaratham   
Maha rishi Veda Vyaasar saw the entire Mahaa Bhaaratham through his inner vision.  He wanted to preserve it for the welfare of the future generations.  Lord Brahma advised him to ask Lord Ganesha to write it down as he composed the verses.  Lord Ganesha is said to have used his tusk to write the Maha Bharatham on the Himalayas. 

It comprises of 18 parvas (parvam) - Adi parvam, Sabha parvam, Vana parvam, Virata parvam, Udyoga parvam, Bhishma parvam, Drona parvam, Karna parvam, Shalya parvam, Sauptika parvam, Stri parvam, Shanti parvam, Anushasana parvam, Asvamedhika parvam, Ashramavasika parvam, Mausala parvam,  Mahaprasthanika parvam, Swargarohana parvam. 
Harivamsa parvam dealing with the life of Lord Krishna is not covered in the 18 parvams of Mahabharatham. 

These 18 parvams contain 98 sub parvams of 2,382 chapters.  There are a total of 96,635 slokas that are available now.  Vyasar is said to have composed 60 lakh shlokams. 

Read the story - Vinayagar wrote the Bharatham



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