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Significance of Integer 4

An article contributed by Geetha Vasudevan

1)  Very Firstly, the Yugas are 4 in number namely
Krita yugam with               1,728,000 years
Treta yugam with              1,296,000 years.
Dvapara yugam with            864,000 years.
Kali yugam   with                432,000 years.

These four yugas follow a time line ratio of (4:3:2:1)

2)It is understood the Lord appears in different colors in different yugas
In Tretha yuga,  he assumed the white (swetha) colour
In Krithya yugam he took Pravesa (Pavazha) colour
In Dwapara Yuga he assumed the Green (Margatha) colour
In kali yuga, he took the form of dark blue colour

which is explained by Thirumaishai alwar with pasuram "Paalin neermai sempon neermai, paseeyin pasumpuram..............."

The adiseshan or the ananthan also  has taken in diff avatars in different  yugas

Ananthah Prathamam Roopam, Threthaya Lakshmanascha Tathah |
Dwapare Balabadrascha, Kalou Kaschit Bhavishyathi ||

The meaning of the Sloka is

In Kritha Yuga (First) it is Adhi Seshan (The Snake bed of Lord)
In Thretha Yuga it was Lakshmana (Brother of Lord Sri Rama)
In Dwapara Yuga it is Balarama (Brother of Sri Krishna) and
In Kali Yuga it is Ramanuja the Adhi Seshan Avathara in the form of human.

3)Vedas are also 4 in number namely, These 4 fold vedas establish the supremacy of Maha Vishnu

1) Rig Veda
2)Yajur Veda
3)Sama veda
4)Adharva Veda

4))Naalayeera Divya prabandhan/aruli cheyal (4000 verses) is divided into 4 parts

1)Mudhal aayiram
2)Periya thirumozhi

5)Nammalwar has blessed us with 4 prabandhams equivalent to 4 vedas

1)THIRU-VIRUTTAM -- being the essence of Rig Veda
2)THIRU-ASIRIYAM -- being the essence of Yajur Veda
3)PERIYA THIRUVANDADI  - being the essence of Atharvana Veda
4)THIRUVAIMOZHI  -- which constitute the essence of Sama Veda

6)Although every Hindu must follow general moral codes, each has individual duties according to his or her own nature. These are called sva-dharma, literally "own duties." They are regulated by the system of 4 varnas (social classes)

The four varnas are


7)In ancient India, a person’s activities were harmoniously regulated according to his or her stage of life. Each stage had its own dharma, or duties, to be undertaken. These stages, called Ashramas, were four in number-


and were to be strictly followed. The ashrama system was fundamental to maintaining discipline, peace, and harmony in the family

8)The directions are also 4 in number

In Thirumaalai Thondaradipodi alwar beautifully describes, the sleeping posture of Ranganatha, with refrence to directions  as follows "Kuda dhisai, mudiyai vaithu...........................Ullagatheerey"

Oh people of the world, see the beauty of the lord, who is dark in colour, he keeping his head in the direction of west, and  keeps his legs, to the east and to the north, he shows his back beauty and facing Sri lanka towards south, he is lying down.

9)Purusharthas are also 4 in number, they are


10)There are four kinds of Prapathti are referred to

1)Svanishtai is followed by those with visesha Jnanam(special knowledge)Such mahathmas directly perform Prapatthi at the sacred
feet of the Lord .

2)Ukthi Nishtai: Here, the Mumukshu ( One who desires
Moksham ) utters the Prapatthi words spoken by the acharyan.

3) AchArya Nishtai: The Mumukshu stays inside the prapatthi
performed by the AchAryan .

4) BhAgavatha Nishtai: The Mumkshu stays inside the prapatthi
performed by a BhAgavathan , who is not an AchAryan.

11) 4 traditional methods of persuasion are sama,. dhana, bedha, dhandam.

Sama, dana, bheda and danda were the political methodologies prescribed by the scriptures. All the four were to be contemplated. The first was sama: political conciliation, humane; dana: a political sacrifice; bheda: a threat that something unwanted may happen if proper steps are not taken to bring about a conciliation; and danda: if everything fails, there is a fight.

12)The 82nd sloka of Vishnu Sahasranamam states

"Chaturmurthi chaturbahu chaturvyuha chaturgathihi
Chatur atma, chatur bhava chatur veda-vit eka pat"

He of 4 forms Om Chatur murthaye Namaha

Chatur-bahuh - The 4 armed  one

Chatur Vyuha -
a) He who is the form of 4 emanations (Vyuha forms)
b)He who had 4 manifestations in his vibhava form (krishna, balarama, pradyumna and aniruddha)
c)He who manifests himself as Purusha, chandah purusha, veda prurusha, & maha purusha
d)He who is in the form of 4 divisons of speech (3 vedas and ordinary speech)
e)He who has 4 kinds of greatness

Chatur gatih
a)He who is in the form of 4 purusharthas
b)He whoprovides 4 goals, Indra, Bramha, Kaivalya and moksha  c)he who is the goal of 4 varnas & ashramas
d)He who is the refuge for the 4 kinds of bhaktas (arta, jiinasu, arharthi, and jnanai)

Chatur athma -
a)He who has 4 forms in his vyuha incarnation
b)Hewho has 4 fold manifestations in his functions of creation,     preservation and destruction
c)One who is behind the functions of manas, chitta, buddhi and ahankara
d)He who created the fit being the 4 faced bramha9Catura= Kusala fit
e)He who himself manifest in 4 kids of atmas, that is jiva, antaratma, parmatma and jnanatma

a)He who gives expression to the 4 vyuha forms through 4 kinds of actions
b) He who created 4 kinds of species

Chatur veda vit -
a)He who is known by those who are learned in 4 vedas
b)He who is the knower of 4 vedas
c)He who makes it possible to know 4 vedas

eka -pat-
a)One who exhibits, a part amount of greatness when he takes avathara among human beings
b)One who manifests as part of this Universe, which is only a part of him
c)One who is the look out as our sole-protector.

Thus emperumaan is explained beautifully, with the number 4.

13)The Lord's creation is also 4 types

1)Sura (devas)
2)Nara (Humans)
3)Thriyak (animals which walk horizontally with 4 legs)
4)Sthavaram (Plants)

14)"Nachet Ramanujet desha, Cathurat Chathurakshari
Kamavasthan Prapadhyanthe Janthavo Hantha Madrusha:"

The above solka by our Poorvacharyas, brings out how Swami"s  Ramanuja's birth leads us to vaikuntam, and he is called "Vainkunta Mani Mandapa Marga Dhayee" (one who shows way to  Sri Vainkuntum) in Dhaati Panchakam

Meaning of the above solka,

If Swami Ramanuja had not been born, (if this 4 lettered word RA MA NU JA had not been born, we would not have got that 4 lettered word NA RA YA NA), then what is the status of us in this world? The answer is simple we will all be mere animals.

Thus  the 4  lettered word RA MA NU JA showed us the 4 lettered  word       NA RA YA NA,
Let us take refugee in the lotus feet of Swamy  Ramanuja, whose thiruvadi would lead us to the eternal Sri Vaikuntam.  Even though the Lord took avatars as Rama & Krishna, He was not able to rectify, the humans, only after Swamy Ramanuja,appeared, preached & explained the unparalleled supermacy of Sriman Narayana, the wholeworld became his devotees, Thus only the acharya, can bring us enlightenment & correct us through his grace, to make us understand the paravthavam.

This is beautifully explained by Amudhanar in his Ramanuja Nootriandhadhi as

maNmisai yOnikaL thORum piRanthu engaL maathavanE
kaNNuRa niRkilum kaaNakil laa,ula kOr_kaLellaam
aNNal iraamaa Nnuchanvanthu thOnRiya appozuthE
nNaNNaru NYaanam thalaikkoNdu, naaraNaR kaayinarE.