Number 3 in Asia
The third day of the Chinese New Year is often called the “Squabbling Day”. People will avoid visiting family and friends on this day as it may result in quarrels. A visit to the temple is a better choice.
Three in Buddhism – The Three Jewels
We find the number three in the Buddhist Tiratana. The Tiratana is also known as the Three Jewels of Buddhism.
The 3 circles are symbolic for:
1. The Buddha
2. The Dharma (his teachings)
3. Sangha (his followers)
The symbol of The Three Jewels shown on a Buddha footprint.
Buddhism – The Three Cardinal Faults
At the very center of the Samsara, The Wheel of life, there are three symbols of the cardinal faults of humans.
The pig symbolizing greed
The snake symbolizing hatred
The cock symbolizing delusion
Holy Trinity Hinduism
Three is the holy number for the Trimurti /Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
These three gods make up the One Supreme God, Brahman:
Brahma – the creator of the world
Vishnu – the preserver of the world
Shiva – the destroyer of the world
A tilak is a religious mark on the forehead. Devotees of Shiva may often be seen using a tilak of three horizontal lines. (Devotees of Vishnu use a tilak of two upward lines.)
At the beginning of religious ceremonies, it is common that the priest takes water in his right hand and drinks it.
This is repeated three times. This clears his throat before the chanting starts, he can do so with clarity and is absolved of sin. This is called “Aachman”.
Japan – The Three Wise Monkeys
Hear No Evil
Speak No Evil
See No Evil
The Three Wise Monkeys – Toshogu Shrine, Japan. The Three Monkey Philosophy:
Kikazaru: covering his ears to hear no evil.
Mizaru: covering his eyes to see no evil.
Iwazaru: covering his mouth to speak no evil.
Baku, the dream eater.
Baku has its origins in Japan and China. It is a strange, but cute hybrid creature featuring many different animals.
Baku has the power to eat nightmares.
Bad dreams go through Baku’s digestive system and are totally eliminated, leaving serenity in its place.
Baku will consume nightmares on request.
Superstition has it that a person experiencing nightmares must call out three times to Baku; “Eat it, Baku”.
The River of Three Crossings – Japanese Buddhism
The River of Three Crossings is also called the Sanzu River.
It is the river the dead must cross. There are three different places the dead may cross the river.
The karma (good and bad deeds of the person) determines at which point the dead may cross the river.
1. The Bridge – the dead person with very good karma may use the bridge to cross over to the other side.
2. The Ford – the dead person with good and evil deeds may wade across the river at this point.
3. The water polluted with gruesome serpents – the dead person with evil doings must wade across the river at this point.
The Doll Festival
The Japanese celebrate Hina Matsuri, (Doll Festival) on March 3, the third day of the third month. The Doll Festival is also known as “Girls’ Day”.
Earlier it was believed that dolls could ward off evil spirits and illness. Dolls were sent floating down the river, to carry away trouble.
Now dolls are displayed on special platforms in the home. Dolls are also sent out to sea.
This is a special day devoted to the happiness and protection of girls.
Shinto – The three symbols of the sun goddess
The Mirror – symbol of truth and wisdom
The Jewel symbol of compassion
The Sword – symbol of strength and courage
These symbols are associated with the sun goddess, Amaterasu.
In Japan they celebrate Culture Day on November 3rd.
It is a National Holiday and the prestigious award “Order of Culture” is presented to a praiseworthy person who has promoted arts, science or culture.
The award is handed over by the Emperor personally.
Culture festivals are held throughout the country.
The Tomoe symbolizes the three foundations of Shinto philosophy.
The three flames of the Tomoe symbol represent the Earth, Heavens and Humankind.