What is the significance of Number 108 in Hinduism?
As per Indian mythology, Indian culture has a very special significance of
number 108. What is this number represent, and why is it so important?
1) 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 * 2 times. 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 one's idol. Therefore, the
maximmum number of times that one can recite "mantra", or perform "Jap" are
10800. If one wants to obtain 100% benefit of its jap, then performing
jap 108 times will give you the benefit of 100%. That's why in a "Mala",
there are 108 beads. 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.
2) Astronomically, there are 27 constillations in our galaxy, and each one them
has 4 directions,and 27 * 4 = 108, In other words the number 108 covers
the whole galaxy.
3) According to Indian scriptures, letter 9 corresponds to Lord Brahma (the
creator of universe). Mathematically, the interesting property of 9 is
9 x 1 = 9
9 x 2 = 18 (8+1 = 9)
9 x 3 = 27 (7+2 = 9)
9 x 12 = 108 (1+0+8 = 9)
4) In Hindu religion, number 9 is very important. Keeping the importance of
number 9, Rishi Vyas has created 9 Purans, 108 MahaPuran (Upnishads).
Mahabharat has 18 chapters, Geeta has 18 chapters, Bhagavat has 108000
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
5) Indian Vedas, treats the Sun as God, and Sun has 12 signs (Zodiac signs).
In Yajurved, Sun is related with Lord Brahma (the number 9), remember -
12 * 9 = 108; therefore for Gods Prayer, thenumber 108 is very sacred.
6) According to Indian mythology, there are 4 Yugs
Satyug - consists of 172,800 years (1+7+2+8 = 18 == (1+8 = 9)
TretaYug consists of 1296000 years (1+2+9+6 = 18 = (1+8 = 9)
DwaparYug consists of 864000 years (8+4+6) = 18 = (1+8 = 9)
Kaliyug consists of 432000 years (4+3+2) = 9
Harshad number: 108 is a Harshad number, which is an integer divisible by the sum of its digits(Harshad is from Sanskrit, and means "great joy")
Desires: There are said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals.
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, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.
Pranayama: If one is able to be so calm in meditation as to have only 108 breaths in a day, enlightenment will come.
Upanishads: Some say there are 108 Upanishads, texts of the wisdom of the ancient sages. Sri Yantra: On the Sri Yantra there are marmas where three lines intersect, and there are 54 such intersections. Each intersections has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti qualities. 54 times 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human body. The angle formed by two adjacent lines in a pentagon equals 108 degrees.
Pentagon: The angle formed by two adjacent lines in a pentagon equals 108 degrees.
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.
8 extra beads: In doing a practice of counting the number of repetitions of the mala, 100 are counted as completed. The remaining are said to cover errors or omissions. The 8 are also said to be an offering to God and Guru.
Chemistry: Interestingly, there are about 115 elements known on the periodic table of the elements. Most of those, around or higher than the number 100 only exist in the laboratory, and some for only thousandths of a second. The number that naturally exist on Earth is around 100.
Astrology: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12 equals 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 9 equals 108.
Planets and Houses: In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals 108.
Goddess names: There are said to be 108 Indian goddess names.
Gopis of Krishna: In the Krishna tradition, there were said to be 108 gopis or maid servants of Krishna .
1, 0, and 8: Some say that 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.
Numerical scale: The 1 of 108, and the 8 of 108, when added together equals 9, which is the number of the numerical scale, i.e. 1, 2, 3 ... 10, etc., where 0 is not a number.
Meditations: Some say there are 108 styles of meditation.
Breath: Tantra estimates the average number of breaths per day at 21,600, of which 10,800 are solar energy, and 10,800 are lunar energy. Multiplying 108 by 100 is 10,800. Multiplying 2 x 10,800 equals 21,600.
Paths to God: Some suggest that there are 108 paths 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.
Islam: The number 108 is used in Islam to refer to God.
Jain: In the Jain religion, 108 are the combined virtues of five categories of holy ones, including 12, 8, 36, 25, and 27 virtues respectively.
Sikh: 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.
Stages of the soul: Said that Atman, the human soul or center goes through 108 stages on the journey.
Meru: This is a larger bead, not part of the 108. It is not tied in the sequence of the other beads. It is the quiding bead, the one that marks the beginning and end of the mala.
Dance: There are 108 forms of dance in the Indian traditions.
Praiseworthy souls: There are 108 qualities of praiseworthy soul
First man in space: The first manned space flight lasted 108 minutes, and was on April 12, 1961 by Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet cosmonaut Time: Some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future.
Sachin Pune: Hi, I went through this website and I like it, thanks for putting up this site.
Btw, the link "Significance of No.108" points to page explaining "Purpose of uman Life" so you may want to fix that, I just tried manually specifying the link and it work (I guess I was lucky).
One last thing, can you explain more on what was 'Sanatm Dharma' and how and when did 'Hinduism' came into picture?
Admin: Thanks Sachin for letting us know of the broken link. It is now fixed. And to your question. it is now answered at Blog: Purpose of Human Life