Triguna, Triguṇa, Tri-guna: 22 definitions


Triguna means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Google Books: Essentials of Ayurveda

Out of triguṇas (त्रिगुण) of Indian philosophy Āyurveda recognizes sattva as pure while the other two—rajas and tamas—are regarded as doṣas (which vitiate the mind); they are known as mānasadoṣa.

Source: Ayurveda glossary of terms

Triguṇa (त्रिगुण):—The three primary attributes of universe and also the properties of manas: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas

Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Samkhya (school of philosophy)

Source: Shodhganga: Prakrti and purusa in Samkhyakarika an analytical review

Triguṇa (त्रिगुण, “constituted of three guṇas”).—Among the six characteristics of prakṛtitriguṇa” is the most important one. Because, it is clearly mentioned in Sāṃkhyakārikā 14 that the five characteristics of vyakta and avyakta, other than triguṇam, are established on the basis of the presence of the three guṇas (triguṇa) in them and absence in puruṣa. According to Sāṃkhyakārikā 12, the three guṇas dominate, support and active one another and interact among themselves to create the world.

Samkhya book cover
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Samkhya (सांख्य, Sāṃkhya) is a dualistic school of Hindu philosophy (astika) and is closeley related to the Yoga school. Samkhya philosophy accepts three pramanas (‘proofs’) only as valid means of gaining knowledge. Another important concept is their theory of evolution, revolving around prakriti (matter) and purusha (consciousness).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

1) Triguṇa (त्रिगुण) [=Guṇatraya] refers to the “three guṇas”, as mentioned in the Mahāmṛtyuñjaya-mantra, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.38.—Accordingly, as Śukra related the Mahāmṛtyuñjaya to Dadhīca:—“We worship the three-eyed lord Śiva, the lord of the three worlds, the father of the three spheres, the lord of the three guṇas (i.e., triguṇa). Lord Śiva is the essence, the fragrance of the three tattvas, three fires, of every thing that is trichotomised, of the three worlds, of the three arms and of the trinity. He is the nourisher. In all living beings, everywhere, in the three guṇas, in the creation, in the sense-organs, in the Devas and Gaṇas, he is the essence as the fragrance in a flower. He is the lord of Devas. [...]”.

2) Triguṇā (त्रिगुणा) refers to “one possessed of the three qualities” and is used to describe the Goddess (e.g., Umā/Durgā/Satī), according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.4.—Accordingly, as the Gods eulogized Umā with devotion:—“[...] thus eulogised by the Gods, the Goddess Durgā, the mother of the universe, the destroyer of impassable distress, appeared in front of them. [...] She was the unequalled supreme illusion, the beautiful wife of Sadāśiva. She had all the three qualities (i.e., Triguṇā) and was devoid of attributes also, she had been staying in the region of Śiva”.

Note: As the personified energy of the gods Viṣṇu, Brahmā and Rudra, representing the three qualities Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, the Goddess is called ‘Triguṇā’ i.e. possessed of three qualities. But as the personified energy of Śiva, who is the Supreme Being, devoid of attributes she is called Nirguṇā.

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Triguṇa (त्रिगुण) refers to one of the names for the “sun” [viz., Sūrya], according to the eulogy of the Sun by Manu in the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Accordingly, the Saurapurāṇa which is purely a Śaivite work, though it purports to be revealed by the Sun, contains some references to practices of Saura Sects, and here and there it identifies Śiva with the Sun. From the eulogy of the Sun by Manu it appears that the sun is the Supreme deity. He is [viz., Triguṇa] [...] In another passage Manu while eulogizing the Sun god expresses that the Sun is another form of Lord Śiva. [...]

Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Ganitashastra (Mathematics and Algebra)

Source: Hindu Mathematics

Triguṇa (त्रिगुण) represents the number 3 (three) in the “word-numeral system” (bhūtasaṃkhyā), which was used in Sanskrit texts dealing with astronomy, mathematics, metrics, as well as in the dates of inscriptions and manuscripts in ancient Indian literature.—A system of expressing numbers by means of words arranged as in the place-value notation was developed and perfected in India in the early centuries of the Christian era. In this system the numerals [e.g., 3—triguṇa] are expressed by names of things, beings or concepts, which, naturally or in accordance with the teaching of the Śāstras, connote numbers.

Ganitashastra book cover
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Ganitashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, gaṇitaśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science of mathematics, algebra, number theory, arithmetic, etc. Closely allied with astronomy, both were commonly taught and studied in universities, even since the 1st millennium BCE. Ganita-shastra also includes ritualistic math-books such as the Shulba-sutras.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Triguṇa (त्रिगुण) [=guṇatraya?] refers to the “three qualities”, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, “[...] I will explain in due order that excellent tradition established in the houses (of the four transmissions) namely, the divine Western one, which is Śāmbhava and (so) is above all (others). This Śāmbhava (reality) is the Lord of the Universe, from which everything has emerged. The supreme energy is unmanifest and by means of (this) energy, the universe has come forth. The three qualities (guṇatraya) have come from the universe and from the (reality which is these) three qualities, the Śāmbhava transmission”..

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Shodhganga: Elements of Art and Architecture in the Trtiyakhanda of the Visnudharmottarapurana (vastu)

Triguṇa (त्रिगुण) refers to one of the hundred types of Temples (in ancient Indian architecture), according to the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, an ancient Sanskrit text which (being encyclopedic in nature) deals with a variety of cultural topics such as arts, architecture, music, grammar and astronomy.—It is quite difficult to say about a definite number of varieties of Hindu temples but in the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa hundred varieties of temples have been enumerated. For example, Triguṇa. These temples are classified according to the particular shape, amount of storeys and other common elements, such as the number of pavilions, doors and roofs.

Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Triguna in Yoga glossary
Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Triguṇa (त्रिगुण) refers to the “three Guṇas”, according to the the Amanaska Yoga treatise dealing with meditation, absorption, yogic powers and liberation.—Accordingly, as Īśvara says to Vāmadeva: “[...] [The Yogin] will obtain liberation by cutting with the razor of the no-mind [state] the tough cord of the three Guṇas (guṇatraya-mayī) that binds the self. Just as everything disappears [from view] as the sun sets, so, the whole network of [past] actions (karma) dissolves into the no-mind [state]. [...]”.

Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Triguṇa (त्रिगुण) [=Guṇatraya?] refers to the “three virtuous vows”, according to the Yogaśāstra verse 2.1.—Accordingly, “As far as a householder is concerned, the roots of orthodoxy are the five minor vows (aṇuvratā), the three virtuous [vows] (triguṇaguṇās trayaḥ), [and] the four educational vows (śikṣāvrata). [These twelve vows progressively bring him closer to the life of a mendicant]”.

General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Tri-guṇa.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘three’. Note: tri-guṇa is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

triguṇa (त्रिगुण).—n (S) The three qualities incidental to created being, viz. satva, raja, tama.

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triguṇa (त्रिगुण).—a (S) Three-fold.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

triguṇa (त्रिगुण).—n The 3 qualities incidental to created being, viz. satva, raja, tama, a Threefold.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Triguṇa (त्रिगुण).—a.

1) consisting of three threads; व्रताय मौञ्जीं त्रिगुणां बभार याम् (vratāya mauñjīṃ triguṇāṃ babhāra yām) Kumārasambhava 5.1.

2) three-times repeated, thrice, treble, threefold, triple; सप्त व्यतीयुस्त्रिगुणानि तस्य (sapta vyatīyustriguṇāni tasya) (dināni) R.2. 25.

3) containing the three Guṇas सत्त्व, रजस् (sattva, rajas) and तमस् (tamas).

-ṇam the Pradhāna (in Sāṅ. phil.); (-ind.) three times; in three ways.

Triguṇa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms tri and guṇa (गुण).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Triguṇa (त्रिगुण).—mfn.

(-ṇaḥ-ṇā-ṇī-ṇaṃ) 1. Thrice, three times, triple. 2. Possessing the three Gunas or properties. n.

(-ṇaṃ) The aggregate of the three qualities incident to human nature. E. tri three, guṇa a time or property.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Triguṇa (त्रिगुण).—I. m. pl. the three principal qualities, [Bhāgavata-Purāṇa, (ed. Burnouf.)] 4, 24, 28. Ii. adj. 1. consisting of three strings, [Kumārasaṃbhava, (ed. Stenzler.)] 5, 10. 2. three times as many, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 5, 137.,

Triguṇa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms tri and guṇa (गुण).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Triguṇa (त्रिगुण).—1. [masculine] [plural], [neuter] sgl. the three qualities (ph.).

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Triguṇa (त्रिगुण).—2. [adjective] consisting of three threads or strings; threefold, triple, [neuter] [adverb]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Triguṇa (त्रिगुण):—[=tri-guṇa] [from tri] n. sg. the 3 Guṇas (sattva, rajas, and tamas), [Bhāgavata-purāṇa iv]

2) [v.s. ...] m. [plural] idem, [Tattvasamāsa]

3) [v.s. ...] mf(ā)n. containing them, [Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad; Manu-smṛti i, 15; Sāṃkhyakārikā; Kapila]

4) [v.s. ...] consisting of 3 threads or strings, [Śāṅkhāyana-śrauta-sūtra; Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra; Kumāra-sambhava v, 10]

5) [v.s. ...] threefold, thrice as great or as much, triple, [Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra; Manu-smṛti]

6) [v.s. ...] (sapta tri-guṇāni dināni, 3 x 7 days), [Raghuvaṃśa ii, 25]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Triguṇa (त्रिगुण):—[tri-guṇa] (ṇaḥ-ṇā-ṇaṃ) a. Thrice; having the three qualities. n. Aggregate of the three qualities.

[Sanskrit to German]

Triguna in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Triguṇa (ತ್ರಿಗುಣ):—

1) [noun] collectively the three types of fundamental qualities, they being, a) virtue, merit, excellence, b) dynamism, vigour, c) ignorance, wickedness, excessive selfishness.

2) [noun] the quantity that is three times the other quantity.

3) [noun] that which is made of or having three strings or threads.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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