The Mahabharatha is a very big story. In fact it is one of the biggest stories every written. It is the story of the Pandavas and the Kauravas and tells about how good will win over evil.
Have you ever wondered who wrote the Mahabharatha?
It is believed that the Mahabharatha was written by the great sage Veda Vyasa. He was the grandfather of the Pandavas and the Kauravas. He had great powers of meditation and hence lived a very long life. He lived even after all his grandchildren – the Pandavas and the Kauravas had died.
Once when Veda Vyasa was meditating in the Himalayas, the God of creation – Lord Brahma appeared before him.
Brahma asked Veda Vyasa to write the story of Mahabharatha. Brahma told Veda Vyasa that as he had seen the entire story and knew all the characters intimately, he was the best person to write the story.
However Veda Vyasa was perturbed when he heard this. He knew that the Mahabharatha was a very complex story. He could not compose and write such a huge story at the same time. He needed somebody's help to write the story.
Brahma asked Veda Vyasa to ask Lord Ganesha – the elephant headed God, for help.
Veda Vyasa started meditating on Lord Ganesha. When Lord Ganesha appeared before him, Veda Vyasa saluted Lord Ganesha and told him of the reason of his meditation.
However Lord Ganesha was a very playful God. He came up with a mischievous idea.
He knew that Vyasa was capable of composing the epic at a very fast pace. In order to test Vyasa, he imposed a very novel condition. Once Veda Vyasa started narrating the epic, he would not stop. If Veda Vyasa stopped the narration at any time, Ganesha would stop writing and walk away from the whole project.
Veda Vyasa knew that Lord Ganesha being the God of Knowledge would take down the narration very fast. Though Veda Vyasa was confident that he could compose the epic at a very fast pace, he doubted whether he could match the speed of Lord Ganesha. He wondered how he could meet up to that condition, when he had a sudden idea.
He smiled and asked a favour of Lord Ganesha. He said that Lord Ganesha was not to write anything unless he understood the meaning of what was narrated to him.
Lord Ganesha smiled and accepted the condition.
Thus Veda Vyasa began narrating the story and Lord Ganesha wrote down the story accurately.
Whenever the sage needed some rest, he would compose a stanza with a very difficult meaning. Lord Ganesha would ponder over the meaning of the stanza, while the sage refreshed himself, or composed more stanzas.
However after the duo began writing the story, another complication arose.
The 'pen' with which Lord Ganesha started writing the story was not able to keep up with the pace of the two of them. Lord Ganesha was writing the story so fast that the pen broke! However Lord Ganesha did not stop writing, he just broke one of his tusks and started writing with it!
That is the reason Lord Ganesha is seen in most of the pictures with only one tusk and the broken tusk in his hand.
Thus, though the Mahabharatha was the longest story ever written, it was written in a total of three years!