“(Rishi) Shaunaka said, ‘O Sauti (Son of Soota), you have narrated to me this extensive and great history starting from the child of Bhrigu. O son of Soota, I have been much pleased with you. I ask you again, to recite to me, O son of Soota, the history composed by Vyaasa (Mahabharata). The varied and wonderful narrations that were recited among those Mahatma Sadasyas (members in English) assembled at Sarpa Satra, in the intervals of their duties of that long-extending ceremony, and the objects also of those narrations, I desire to hear from you, O Sauti! Therefore recite, all those to me fully.’
“Sauti said, ‘Dwijas, in the intervals of the duties (Karma in Sanskrit), spoke of many things founded upon the Vedas. But Vyaasa recited the wonderful and great history called the Bharata.’
“Shaunaka said, ‘That sacred history called the Mahabharata, spreading the fame of Paandavaas, which Krishna-Dwaipaayana (Rishi Vyasa), asked by (King) Janamejaya, caused to be duly recited after the completion of the (Sarpa Satra) yagna. I desire to hear duly. That history has been born of the ocean-like mind of Maharishi (Vyaasa) of soul purified by yoga. O foremost of good men, O son of Soota, recite it to me, for my thirst has not been satisfied by all you have said.’
“Sauti said, ‘I shall recite to you from the beginning of that great and excellent history called the Mahabharata composed by Vyaasa. O Dwija (Rishi Shaunaka), listen to it in full, as I recite it. I myself feel a great pleasure in reciting it.’”
SRIMAD MAHABHARATA > AADI PARVA > AADIVAMSHAAVATARANA PARVA > CHAPTER 59 – THE GREAT HISTORY
Shaunaka asks the son of Soota to narrate Mahabharata that was composed by Maharishi Vyaasa and revealed to the world of humans during the intervals of Sarpa Satra performed by Janamejaya.