Significance of Three

A Simple Common Morality Across All Religions

Significance of Three

Sunday, June 12 is Trinity Sunday, a holiday celebrating the doctrine of the Holy Trinity that most—though not all—Christian sects believe in. The Holy Trinity refers to the belief that God, though One, is manifested in 3 forms: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. The 3 forms coexist as distinct from one another, but each one is understood as God.

Across all religions, many of the most important theological concepts, like the Trinity, are expressed in 3s.

There are 3 Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And the religions of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism are all subdivided into 3 major sects.

Buddhists affirm their faith through the following trio of statements: I take refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in the Dharma (the teachings). I take refuge in the Sangha (the monastic community). These are known as the 3 jewels of Buddhism.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna teaches Arjuna about the 3 yogas, or paths to enlightenment: Bhakti Yoga (the path of devotion), Jnana Yoga (the path of knowledge), and Karma Yoga (the path of action). These 3 paths also correspond closely to UEF’s fundamental trio of human flourishing—love, learning, and play—which UEF believes to be the ONLY deepest longings of us humans.

There is something very special about the number 3!

Additional Quotes

The New Testament
Christian scripture

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Saba Mahmood

“Perhaps no other theme of the mosque lessons better captures the Aristotelian principle of ethical formation than that of the classical triad of fear (al-khauf), hope(al-raja’), and love (al-hubb).”

The Bhagavad Gita
Hindu scripture

“Om Tat Sat: these three words represent Brahman, from which come priests and scriptures and sacrifice. Those who follow the Vedas, therefore, always repeat the word Om when offering sacrifices, performing spiritual disciplines, or giving gifts.”

The Dalai Lama
Spiritual Leader of Tibetan People

“Om is composed of three letters, A, U, and M. These symbolize the practitioner's impure body, speech, and mind; they also symbolize the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.”

Baha'i leader

“For the intention, the power and the action, all the three essential elements are brought together and the realization of everything in the contingent world dependeth upon these three principles.”

Daoist Text

“The Way gave birth to the One
The One gave birth to the Two
The Two gave birth to the Three;
And the Three gave birth to the ten thousand things.”