Significance Of The Number 108 In Hinduism

As per Indian religion, Indian culture has a very special significance of the Number 108. Following are the significance of this holy number:

In one minute, we breathe in approximately 15 times, in 1 hour 900 times, And in 12 hours 10800 times, and in a day 10800 x times 2. A day consists of 24 hours, and if we set aside half the day for our day to day routines, then one can spend 12 hours for recitation of ones' idol. Therefore, the Maximum number of times that one can recite a “mantra”, or perform “Jap” is 10800. If one wants to obtain 100% benefit of Jap, then performing Jap 108 times will give one the full benefit of the mantra. That's the reason a Mala, (rosary, tasbi), consists of 108 beads. In every mala there is one larger bead called Meru also. It is not part of the 108 beads so it is the guiding bead, the one that marks the beginning and end of the mala. It is written in Vedas, that 1 Jap corresponds to 1 mala (which has 108 beads), therefore performing Jap of 108 malas will result in 100% benefit.

Astronomically, there are 27 constellations in our galaxy, and each one them Has 4 directions, and 27 x 4 = 108. In other words, the number 108 covers the whole galaxy. The sum of 108 (1+0+8) is 9 and according to Indian holy granths, it corresponds to Lord Brahma - the Creator of universe.

Mathematically, the interesting property of 9 is

   9x1 = 9

   9 x 2 = 18 (8+1 = 9)

   9 x 3 = 27 (7+2 = 9)

   9 x 12 = 108 (1+0+8 = 9)

Also according to Indian mythology, there are 4 Yugs (eons):

    Satyug - consists of 172,800 years (1+7+2+8 = 18 = (1+8 = 9)

    TretaYug consists of 1,296,000 years (1+2+9+6 = 18 = (1+8 = 9)

    DwaparYug consists of 864,000 years (8+4+6) = 18 = (1+8 = 9)

    Kaliyug consists of 432,000 years (4+3+2) = 9

Goddess' names: There are said to be 108 Indian goddess names.

Gopis of Krishna: There were said to be 108 gopis of Lord Krishna.

Sri Yantra: On the Sri Yantra there is marmas where three lines intersect, and there are 54 such intersections. Each intersection has masculine and feminine, Shiva and Shakti qualities. 54 times 2 equal 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human bones.

Marmas: Marmas or marmasthanas are like energy intersections called chakras, except have fewer energy lines converging to form them. There are said to be 108 marmas in the subtle body.

Time: Some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future.

Astrology: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12 equal 108. Chandra is moon, and kalas are the divisions within a whole.

River Ganga: The sacred River Ganga spans a longitude of 12 degrees (79 to 91), and a latitude of 9 degrees (22 to 31) 12 times = 108.

Harshad number: 108 is a Harshad number, which is an integer divisible by the sum of its digits (Harshad is from Sanskrit, means "great joy")

Desires: There are said to be 108 earthly desires in humans.

Lies: There are said to be 108 lies that humans tell.

Delusions: There are said to be 108 human delusions or forms of ignorance.

Heart Chakra: The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, Sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization.

Sanskrit alphabet: There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine terms, Shiva and Shakti. 54 times 2 are 108.

Pranayama: If one is able to be so calm in meditation as to have only 108 breaths in a day, enlightenment will come.

In Hindu religion, number 9 is very important. Keeping the importance of number 9, Rishi Vyas has created 9 Purans, 108 Maha Puran (Upnishads). Mahabharat has 18 chapters, Geeta has 18 chapters, Bhagavat has 108000 Shloks (verses).The addition of digits of number 108 is 9, and number 9 is related with Brahma, that's why 108 is very important, and came into lot of Indian scriptures.

Indian Vedas treat the Sun as God, and Sun has 12 signs (Zodiac signs). In Yajurved, Sun is related with Lord Brahma (the number 9), remember - 12 x 9 = 108; therefore for Gods' Prayer, the number 108 is very sacred.

1, 0, and 8: 1 stands for God or higher Truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, and 8 stands for infinity or eternity.

Sun and Earth: The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth. The distance from the Sun to the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Sun.

Moon and Earth: The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Moon.

Silver and the moon: In astrology, the metal silver is said to represent the moon. The atomic weight of silver is 108.

Paths to God: Some suggest that there are 108 to God.

Smaller divisions: The number 108 is divided, such as in half, third, quarter, or twelfth, so that some malas have 54, 36, 27, or 9 beads.

Hinduism: 108 is said to refer to the number of Hindu deities. Some say that each of the deities has 108 names.

Dance: There are 108 forms of dance in the Indian traditions.

Praiseworthy souls: There are 108 qualities of praiseworthy soul

Stages of the soul: Said that Atman, the human soul or centre goes through 108 stages on the journey.

Meditations: Some say there are 108 styles of meditation.

Significance of the Number 108 in other religions:

Jainism: In the Jain religion, 108 are the combined virtues of five categories of holy ones, including 12, 8, 36, 25, and 27 virtues respectively.

Sikhism: The Sikh tradition has a mala of 108 knots tied in a string of wool, rather than beads.

Buddhism: Some Buddhists carve 108 small Buddhas on a walnut for good luck. Some ring a bell 108 times to celebrate a new year. There are said to be 108 virtues to cultivate and 108 defilements to avoid.

Chinese: The Chinese Buddhists and Taoists use a 108 bead mala, which is called su-chu, and has three dividing beads, so the mala is divided into three parts of 36 each. Chinese astrology says that there are 108 sacred stars.

Posted By : Vinod Jindal on Mar 02, 2011

Comments (1)

  1. Gaurab Kr Baruah
    Gaurab Kr Baruah

    Linking Hinduism with 'minute' does not make sense. Minute is a western concept of time. In Vedic times, the measurement of time was different - too long to write the table here.


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