Three To Tango


There is something about the number three…The number can be traced to underlying patterns in nature, science, literature, architecture and even religion – three components of atom (proton, electron, neutron), three molecular sequences of DNA, three doshas (humors) in Ayurveda (vat, pitt, kaph), three kinds of charges (positive, negative, neutral), three states of matter (solid, liquid, gaseous), three primary colours, three tenses (past, present, future), three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter). The noted mathematician Pythagoras, who travelled from Samos to the banks of Ganga to study geometry, held that every problem can be reduced to a triangle.

The Vedic masters held that three is the number of creation. When two forces combine, there emerges a new creation, a third. In states of dhyan, when both the eyes are stilled at the agya, the third eye opens, through which creation happens. Practitioners of Sanatan Kriya report seeing different kinds of triangles in states of dhyan. In almost every culture and faith one would find a curious recurrence of the number three. Let us look at some instances,


Almost every religion and culture talks of a triple deity. The Vedic history describes Tridevs (Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh) and the Tridevis (Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati). Christianity mentions the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and the Holy Spirit). Three Wise Men, in the Gospel of Matthew and Christian tradition, were a group of distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing three gifts – gold, frankincense and myrrh. Pure Land Buddhism talks of Three Saints of the West referring to Amitābha Buddha and the two bodhisattvas, Avalokiteśvara on his right and Mahāsthāmaprāpta on his left. Pre-Islamic Arabia worshipped the Three Daughters of God, namely, Al-Lat (Mother Goddess of prosperity), Al-Uzza (Mighty one) and Manat (Fate). One finds the triple deities of Osiris (husband), Isis (wife), and Horus (son) in ancient Egypt. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed in Fates, who were the three white-robed incarnations of destiny. Three stars of the belt of Orion, are at the apex of many ancient rituals, practices and sciences of energy.

Even in ancient architectural sites one finds three as a recurring pattern, be it the Three Pyramids of Giza, which the Egyptians believe to have been constructed by God as portals to another realm or the Three Pagodas, Yunan, China thought to form a triangle protecting the region from natural disasters.

Trident is an important Vedic symbol, typifying the triple powers of ichha, karma and gyan. A Triple spiral can be found at historic Newgrange passage tomb, Ireland, which is considered as an important pre-Celtic and Celtic symbols. Some other significant triple symbols include Celtic Triskelion, Three Hares in cultures of Middle and Far East and the Valknut, a Norse symbol with three interlocked triangles.

TIW Bureau

TIW Bureau

2 thoughts on “Three To Tango

  1. Thank you, Yogiji.

    Is it okay to share this wonderful article with others? How may I know whom to share it with and whom not to?

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