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Significance of Integer 3 - Part 1

An Article contributed by Geetha Vasudevan

After the article, on the Integer - 2, adiyen thought, that no 3 also has much importance with relation to Sri Vaishnavam, so sharing the same with all of you.

1 Very Firstly Sri Vaishnava sampradhayam is based on the concept of Vishisthadvaitha siddantham which explains  Thathva thrayam (3 thathvas) Chit, achit and eshwara thathvas, Chit is living things, achit is non living things and eshwara is the supreme lord being Sriman Narayana, and the chit and achit are part of his shareeram.  Sriman Narayana is the shariri and all chit & achit are his sasira.

2)To explain & demonstrate the above concept, our Jeeyar swamis, hold Tridhandham, ( 3 sticks tied together) in their hands.  In  Dhaati Panchakam the verse " pAShaNDa ShaNDa giri khaNDana vajradaNDA" explains the power of Tridhandham in the hands of Swamy Ramanuja, Swamy's Tridhandam is like Vajra dhandam to Pashandas (nastikas) Just like the weapon of Indra which falls on mountains, similarly swamy Tridhadham fell on the panshadhas and destroyed them

3)The Gunas are 3 in number namely, Rajas, tamas and satthva.  In Thiruveezhi Kootrikai, Thirumangai Alwar  mentions

"Mugunatthu Irandavayyau agattri, Ondrinil Ondri Nindru, Aang Iru pirappupoor Ariyum Thanmayai"

meaning, "among the threee ( 3 gunas), 2 have to set aside (that is rajas and tamas gunas have to be set aside) and those who live with satthva guna alone & worship Sriman Narayana, only those can avoid birth & death (will attain salvation)

4)The very first sutra of Mumukshupadi by Pillai lokacharyar Swamy states

mumUkshuvukku aRiya vENdiya rahasyam mUnRu.

meaning: There are 3 Rahasyas that one who craves for Moksha (liberation) has to know for sure.These three are explained by the Rahasyathrayam and as such mumukshus have to understand these three rahasyas. The rahasyathrayam are Thirumanthiram, Dvayam and Charama Slokam.

5)The term Mudhal Alwargal, constitute (3 Alwars) Poigai Alwar, Buddath Alwar and Pey Alwar, they were special because all the three   were Ayonijaas (not born of male and female union) and they were the first to give out the divine out pourings called 4000 Divya Prabandham and also paved way for the other alwars  through their Para bhakti, Para gyanam and Parama bakthi.

6)Lord Narayana came as Vamana in the maha yagnam performed by Maha Bali and asked for 3 feet of land & immediately he transformed from Vamana to Trivikram and shot up skyward, and measured both sky and the entire earth with HIS two steps and the third step he put on the asura's head.Thirumangai Alwar in his "Siriya Thirumadal" explains this incident.  "per Vamananageeya kaalathil "moo adi maan, tharay enakku" endru vende chalantheenal, neerer, ulagellam, nindralanthan mavaliyai"

7)The time or Kala is also divided into 3, the past, present and future the sloka 32 of Vishnu Sashranamam mentions

bhUta-bhavya-bhavan-nAthah pavanah pAvano'nalah

which means, the the Lord Sriman Narayana is the Lord of all in past, present and future or he is beyond Time.

8)The Paramapathanathan in Sri Vaikuntam, gives darshan to the liberated jiva, sitting on the adisesha which has 1000 heads, along with his 3 nachiyars  Sree Dhevi, Bhoo Dhevi and Neela Dhevi

9) EmberumAnAr has 3 most distinguished thirumEnis,

(1) thAnAna thirumEni in Sri Rangam

(2) thAnugandha thirumEni  in his birth place Sriperumbudur and

(3) thamarugandha thirumEni in Melkote

10)The holy 3 rivers namely Ganga, Yamuna  & Saraswathi constitue the Triveni Sangamam in Allahabad

11)Ancient Tamil Nadu was ruled by 3 great dynasties, the Chera, Choza and Pandya.  Our great Kulshekara Alwar was born in Chera dynasty., and our Perialwar was honoured by the Pandya King,  And thirumangai Alwar was the commander in chief of the Chola king.

Last Updated on 11 March 2011