Srimad Bhagavatam 12.06.48-50 - A divine language to explain the ultimate Divinity (download mp3)
by Radha Gopinath Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
asminn apy antare brahman
vedaṁ cakre catur-vidham
O brāhmaṇa, in the present age of Vaivasvata Manu, the leaders of the universe, led by Brahmā and Śiva, requested the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the protector of all the worlds, to save the principles of religion. O most fortunate Śaunaka, the almighty Lord, exhibiting a divine spark of a portion of His plenary portion, then appeared in the womb of Satyavatī as the son of Parāśara. In this form, named Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa, he divided the one Veda into four.
rāśīr uddhṛtya vargaśaḥ
catasraḥ saṁhitāś cakre
mantrair maṇi-gaṇā iva
Śrīla Vyāsadeva separated the mantras of the Ṛg, Atharva, Yajur and Sāma Vedas into four divisions, just as one sorts out a mixed collection of jewels into piles. Thus he composed four distinct Vedic literatures.
When Lord Brahmā first spoke the four Vedas with his four mouths, the mantras were mixed together like an unsorted collection of various types of jewels. Śrīla Vyāsadeva sorted the Vedic mantras into four divisions (saṁhitās), which thus became the recognizable Ṛg, Atharva, Yajur and Sāma Vedas.