By Swami Harshananda
Kumāra-Vyāsa literally means ‘the young or junior Vyāsa’.
The Rāmāyana and the Mahābhārata have influenced the psyche of people to such an extent over the last two millennia that works in many vernaculars, either a summary or the imitation or adopting them as the basis, have been composed. The most well-known Mahābhārata in the Kannada language is the Karnāta-bhārata-kathāmañjari. It is more popularly known as Kumāra Vyāsa Bhārata or Gadugina Bhārata.
Nāraṇappa was the author of this work. He lived most probably during the period CE 1350 to 1425. He belonged to a village near Gadag in Northern Karnataka. He was a devotee of Vīranārāyaṇa, the deity of the chief temple there. He was probably a vaiṣṇava of the Bhāgavata school. His work is a poetical composition in the well-known meter called ‘bhāminīṣaṭpadi. It is in ten parvas or books or sections and covers the entire story of the Mahābhārata. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the chief hero in this work. Its literary quality has been highly eulogized. Airāvata is another poetical work attributed to him. It deals with the heroic exploits of Arjuna, the Pāṇḍava hero.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore