In his previous life, Vyasa was the Sage Apantaratamas, who was born when Lord Vishnu uttered the syllable “Bhu”. He was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Since birth, he already possessed the knowledge of the Vedas, the Dharmashastras and the Upanishads. At Vishnu’s behest, he was reborn as Vyasa. Sage Parashara was the father of Vyasa and the grandson of Sage Vashistha. Prior to Vyasa’s birth, Parashara had performed a severe penance to Lord Shiva. Shiva granted a boon that Parashara’s son would be a Brahmarshi equal to Vashistha and would be famous for his knowledge. Parashara begot Vyasa on Satyavati. She conceived and immediately gave birth to Vyasa. Vyasa turned into an adult and left, promising his mother that he would come to her when needed. Vyasa acquired his knowledge from the four Kumaras, Narada and Lord Brahma himself.