Have you ever thought of “Why is everything always done in three in Buddhism”?
Then Here is the answer.
The number 3 refers to the trinity, a symbol of divine protection, help and guidance.
It also refers to the three training of discipline, concentration and discrimination.
Buddhism and the Number 3
The number 3 can be associated with so many things in Buddhism.
(1) 3 Aspects of Refuge : The Buddha , the Sangha and the Dharma.
These 3 are together known as “the triple Gem or Jewels “ or “the Triratna “.
Buddha: refers to the Divine nature of Buddha .The person himself from the historical Buddha Sakyamuni.
Dharma: Dharma refers to the teachings , lessons and commentaries on Buddhism. The body of the teachings that describe Buddhist doctrine and belief.
Sangha: The Sangha are the group of people who follow the Buddha and his teachings.
Modern Buddhists extend the meaning to incorporate the communities of lay-people who follow the Buddhist path.
(2) 3 Prostrations: One usually prostrate three times before the Buddha, The Dharma and the Sangha.
Generally, one can also prostrate before “any sacred object of veneration.”
Prostrations are seen as a means of purifying one’s body, speech and mind of karmic defilements, especially pride.
(3) 3 Worlds or 3 Realms of Existence: These realms are the Desire Realm, the Form Realm and the formless realm.
(4) 3 bodies Or “Trikaya“: Buddha manifests themselves in three bodies, the Truth Body, the body of bliss and the Emanation body.
(5) 3 Roots of Buddhism: Guru , Yidam and Dakini / Dharmapala
The Guru : The Guru is the person who embodies qualities representing both aspiration and goal .Buddha is the Guru.
The Yidam : It is the practice or the method to reach that goal , like the Dharma
The Dharmapala or Dakini : The companion who may exert an influence , just like the Sangha –brothers and sisters in dharma.
(6) 3 Wise Buddhas : These statues of laughing Buddha portray the three wise monkeys and the proverb associated with being the good mind , speech and action.
Buddha 1 : The Kikazaru monkey , covers his ears to hear no evil.
Buddha 2 : The Mizaru monkey , covers his eyes and see no evil around.
Buddha 3 : The Iwazaru monkey , who covers his mouth to speak no evil.