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Vaishampayana (Sanskrit: वैशंपायन, Vaiśampāyana) was the traditional narrator of the Mahabharata, one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India from Takshashila, modern-day Taxila, Pakistan, where he narrated the epic poem for the first time. He was an ancient Indian sage who was the original teacher of the Krishna Yajur-Veda. The Ashvalayana Grihya Sutra mentions him as Mahabharatacharya. He is also mentioned in the Taittiriya Aranayaka and the Ashtadhyayi of Pāṇini.
He was a pupil of Vyasa, from whom he learned the Jaya, the original 8,800 verses of the Mahabharata. He later expanded the Jaya to 24,000 verses under the name Bharata, which he recited to King Janamejaya at his sarpa satra (snake sacrifice). The Harivamsa is also said to have been recited by him. The full 100,000 verses of the Mahabharata was not complete until several centuries later.
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