In today’s world if there is one thing that is being given as much importance as creation if not more is curation. Curation is the act of bringing together and preserving objects of importance. Curators are not interesting only from the historical perspective but also play a much greater in advancement of human evolution and development. Curation has always been in existence as a discipline but is receiving heightened recognition in the information era (rightly so). The primary reason for this recent recognition is the increased access to information.
Looking back in history it is fascinating to note that India housed probably the world’s earliest curator – The great sage Vyasa. To guess the period of Vyasa’s existence seems futile. But his contribution as a curator of the greatest body of knowledge known to the world is indisputable. Veda Vyasa is attributed with the act of bringing together and giving structure to the ancient wisdom that had been accumulated across generation by realized masters. He organized these works into four Vedas namely Rig, Yajur, Atharva and Sama
As discussed in an earlier blog (https://rajshankar.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/vedantic-wednesdays-structuring-of-vedas-technical-and-spiritual/) each Veda has four parts – the last of which is the Upanishads. It can be safely assumed that when Veda Vyasa compiled the entire knowledge base he realized that most average seekers would get overwhelmed by the vastness of this knowledge warehouse. Hence he added another work distilling the essence of the Upanishads. This distilled work by Vyasa is called Brahma sutras. Through the Brahma sutras, Vyasa attempts to provide a gist of the essential truths about Atman and Brahman, in a logical text that sets forth the philosophy systematically.
When someone refers to Vedanta apart from the Upanishads in many cases it includes two other texts namely Brahmasutras and the Bhagavad Gita. Vyasa also is seen to play a critical role in the context of Bhagavad Gita by scripting the Mahabharata while playing a role in it as well.
The three texts – the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras are referred to as the “Prasthana Traya” – the authoritative source of Vedantic philosophy. Understanding of Vedanta is considered incomplete without a complete study of these three works
So Vyasa’s role in preserving and making available the knowledge regarding the eternal truths for the future generation is immense!
Isn’t this enough to make him not only the world’s earliest curator but also the greatest?