What is the Significance of 108?

Throughout my journey with The Jai Jais, I seem to see the number 108 come up quite frequently, such as the mala beans having 108 beads, gods having 108 names, reciting mantras 108 times.  I wanted to find out more about the significance of this number…. The Jai Jais Way. The number 108 has always been a highly revered number for thousands of years, coveted by many spiritual traditions and given a special significance in meditation and prayer. Considered to be the most auspicious number of all…but why?

Is the number holy?... does it lie in maths and science? What I found out is according to Vedic Sages and Vedic cosmology the number 108 is the basis of creation and also represents the universe and all our existence.

In Hinduism there are 108 Upanishads, the sacred texts of wisdom from ancient sages. In the Sanskrit alphabet, there are 54 letters. Each letter has a feminine, or Shakti, and masculine, or Shiva, quality. 54 multiplied by 2 equals 108.

River Ganga spans a longitude of 12 degrees (79 to 91) and latitude of 9 degrees (22 to 31). 12 multiplied by 9 equals 108.

In astrology, 108 can be noticed with the approximate relationships the Sun, Earth, and Moon. The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of Earth.

According to Ayurveda we have 108 points in our body which are life forces called Marma points. When we chant mantras 108 times it represents a journey of our material self to our higher spiritual self, its is believed with each chant we are closer to god within. On the Shri Yantra there are marmas (points) where three lines intersect, and there are 54 such intersections. Each intersection has masculine and feminine qualities, which represent Shiva and Shakti. 54 x 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human body.

In Yogic practice there are said to be 108 styles of meditation. In Kriya Yoga the maximum number of repetitions per session is 108. An average person is said to breathe 21,600 times in a 24-hour period. Half, 10,800, are solar energy (breaths during day), and the other half is lunar energy (breaths during night). 100 multiplied with 108 equals 10,800.

Pranayama cycles are often repeated in 108 cycles and even sun salutations are often completed in nine rounds of the 12 postures, which when multiplied, adds up to 108. Ancient yogis believed that we can attune ourselves to the rhythms of creation by completing practices in rounds of this sacred number.

The chakras are the intersections of subtle nerve channels or nadiis, and there are said to be a total of 108 nadiis converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realisation.

Time. It is said we have 108 feelings. 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future. There are said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals.

Paths to God Some people believe that there are 108 paths to God. Many Hindu temples have 108 steps. Atman is believed that the soul or inner self (Atman), goes through 108 stages of spiritual development.

Dance Forms  There are 108 traditional Indian dance forms. (Traditional Indian dances are used to worship God or tell stories of God.)

108 seems to be a mysterious number that connects the ancient world to the modern world and also connects the physical realm to the metaphysical realm. The number 108 is sacred in mathematics, geometry, astrology, numerology and in many world religions and spiritual traditions. For example Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in England is 108 feet in diameter.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published