Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Munnu included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Mūnnu

(three) The importance of the number three is indicated below:

Agnitraya (Three agnis).

The three agnis are Dakṣiṇa, Gārhapatya and Āhavanīya. Of these the first is in the shape of a semi-circle, the second in the shape of a full circle and the third, a square.


(Three kinds of low people). The three classes of people who are considered to have a very low position in society are the wifeless, sonless and servantless ones.


(Three dealings with men of equal nobility). The three important dealings which should be had with only people of equal nobility are alliance, marriage and litigation.


(Three kinds of acts). The three kinds of acts are the Hastābhinaya (actions with the hand), Āṅgyābhinaya (actions with gestures) and Rasābhinaya (actions with expressions of sentiment).


Man lives always in any one of the following states: Wakefulness, Dreaming and Sleep.


The three different forms in which matter exists are as Ghana, (solid) Drava (liquid) and Vātaka (gas).


Three kinds of important postures are Vīrāsana, Padmāsana. and Svastikāsana.


The three kinds of plots in a story are Prakhyāta, Utpādya and Miśra.


The three different kinds of debts of man are Deva-ṛṇa (debts to gods), Pitṛ-ṛṇa (debts to the Manes) and Ṛṣi-ṛṇa (debts to ṛṣis).


Eṣaṇā means desire. The three kinds of eṣaṇās are Putraiṣaṇā (desire for children), Vittaiṣaṇā (desire for wealth) and Dāraiṣaṇā (desire for wife).


The three instruments of action are mind, speech and body.


The three actions are Sṛṣṭi (creation), Sthiti (maintenance) and Saṃhāra (destruction). Yāga, Vedapaṭhana and Dharma also form one Karmatraya.


The three kinds of causes of action are knowledge, what is to be known and what has already been known (Jñāna, Jñeya and Jñātā).


Past, present and future are the three divisions of time.


Gadya (prose), Padya (verse) and Miśra (combination of gadya and padya) are the three different constituents of literature.


The three chief qualities of poetic compositions are Prasāda (clearness of style), Mādhurya (sweetness of style) and Ojas (force of expression).


The three main attributes of poetic compositions are Vastu (plot), Rīti (diction) and Rasa (sentiment).


The three duties assigned to a Gandharva are Pūjyasevā (serving venerable people worthy of worship), Nṛtyagītavādyaparijñāna (study of dance, music and instrumental music) and remaining devoted to Sarasvatī (goddess of learning).


The three distinguishing properties of nature (guṇas) belonging to all created beings are Sattvaguṇa, Rajoguṇa and Tamoguṇa The three good qualities (guṇas) of Man are Satya (truth), Sadācāra (good conduct) and Lajjā (modesty). The three results or benefits (guṇas) to which man aspires are Dhana (wealth), Kīrti (fame) and Svarga (heaven).


The three gurus are Mātā (mother) Pitā (father) and Ācārya (preceptor). Guru, Paramaguru and Parameṣṭhiguru are also three gurus.


The three kinds of miseries (which human beings have to suffer in this world are Ādhyātmika (of the body and mind), Ādhibhautika (inflicted by animals) and Ādhidaivika (by fate). The other three tāpas (agonies) are Anakṣarajñasambhāṣaṇa (conversing with illiterate persons), Duṣprabhusevana (serving arrogant masters) and Lambapayodharāliṅgana (embracing women with hanging breasts).


The three constituents of triple symphony are Dance, Music and Instrumental music.


The three distinguishing types of all created beings are Uttama (best), Madhyama (mediocre) and Adhama (worst).


The disorders of the three humours of the body are Vāta (wind), Pitta (Bile) and Kapha (phlegm). Avyāpti, Ativyāpti and Asambhava are also three doṣas (fallacies).


Jñātā (knower), Jñāna (knowledge) and Jñeya (the object of knowledge) are the three puṭikās. Subject, predicate and object are also three puṭikās.


The three demons who always formed a group are Tārakākṣa, Kamalākṣa and Vidyunmālī.


Svarga (heaven), Bhūmi, (earth) and Pātāla (Netherworld) are the three bhuvanas. (worlds).


The three sweet things are honey, sugar and Kadalī (plantain fruit).


The three Mūrtis (deities) are Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara.


The three liṅgas (genders) are Pulliṅga (masculine), Strīliṅga (feminine) and Napuṃsaka (neuter).


The three worlds are Manuṣyaloka (world of men), Pitṛloka (world of the Manes) and Devaloka (world of the gods).


The following groups of three are classed as Trivargas (a) Dharma (Virtue), Artha (wealth) and Kāma (desire). (b) Vṛddhi (increase) Sthāna (same position) and Kṣaya (decrease). (c) Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.


The three pralayas (floods) are Naimittika (floods due to rains in and out of season) Prākṛtapralaya (floods arising out of saṃvarttāgni) and Ātyantikapralaya (floods due to heavy rains).


Yajñas are of three kinds. Karmayajña, Upāsanayajña and Jñānayajña. There are six divisions in Karmayajña namely, Nityakarma, Naimittikakarma, Kāmyakarma, Ādhyātmikakarma, Ādhidaivikakarma and Adhibhautikakarma. For Upāsanayajña there are nine divisions namely, Nirguṇopāsana, Saguṇopāsana, Bhūtapretopāsana, Mantrayogavidhi, Aṣṭāṅgayogavidhi, Layayogavidhi, Rājayogavidhi, Avatāropāsana and Maharṣidevopāsana. Jñānayajña has got three divisions namely, Manana, Nididhyāsana and Śravaṇa.


Vaidarbhī, Pāñcālī and Gauḍī are the three Kāvyavṛttis.


The three Vedas are Ṛgveda, Yajurveda and Sāmaveda.


The three kinds of powers are, power of wealth and position, power of endeavour and power of good counsel (Prabhuśakti, Utsāhaśakti and Mantraśakti).


The three bodies or physical adjuncts of a soul are Sthūla, Sūkṣma and Kāraṇa and the three bodies of Paramātman are Īśa, Sūtra and Virāṭ.


Prabhāta (morning), Madhyāhna (midday) and Sāyāhna (evening) are the three Sandhyās (union of two divisions of time).


Vāta, Pitta and Kapha are the three dūṣaṇas (disorder of the humours in a body).


The three nāḍīs of the body are Iḍā, Piṅgalā and Suṣumnā.


The three classes of men are Uttama (best), Madhyama (mediocre) and Adhama (lowest).


The three kinds of means of valid knowledge are Pratyakṣa (what can be seen), Anumāna (what can be logically inferred) and Āgama (Verbal testimony.)


Śuddha, Śiva and Śānta are the three Brahmalakṣaṇas.


The celebrated trio of sages are Pāṇini, Patañjali and Kātyāyana.


The three kinds of yogas are: Jñānayoga, Bhaktiyoga and Karmayoga.


The three rītis are Vaidarbhī, Pāñcālī and Gauḍī.


Nāṭya, Nṛtya and Nṛtta are the three rūpakas.


The three duties of a Vaisya are Kṛṣ (agriculture), Paśupālana (Breeding of cattle) and Vāṇijya (trade).


Buddha, Dharma and Saṅgha are the three Śaraṇas.


The following groups of three are considered to be Siddhitrayas. (a) Karmasiddhi, Yogasiddhi and Jñānasiddhi. (b) Aiśvaryasiddhi, Jñānasiddhi and Vairāgyasiddhi. (c) Śraddhā, Vitta and Bhāgya. (d) Maṇi, Mantra and Auṣadha. (Siddhi means attainment, accomplishment).


The different kinds of vowel are three in number namely Hrasva (short), Dīrgha (long) and Pluta (prolated). Udātta, Anudātta and Svarita are also three different kinds of accent, i.e. the acute grave and circumflexed).

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