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What is the significance of Number 108 in Hindu Mythology'?

As per Indian mythology, Indian culture has a very special significance of number 108. What does this number represent, and why is it so important?

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 2 times. A day consists of 24 hours, and if we set aside half the day for our day to day routine, then one can spend 12 hours for recitation of one's idol. Therefore, the maximum number of times that one ean recite "mantra", or perform "Jap" is 10800. If one wants to ohtain full benefit of the mantra's 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 (rosary - which has 108 beads), therefore performing Jap of 108 Malas will result in 100% benefit.

Other thoughts on the no 108 are:

1) Astronomically, there are 27 constellations in our galaxy, and each one of them has 4 directions, and 27 x 4 = 108. In other words, the number 108 covers the whole galaxy.

2) 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 + I = 9)
9 x 3 = 27 (7 + 2 = 9)
9 x 12 = 108 (1 + 0 + 8 = 9)

3) 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 to Brahma, that's why 108 is very important, and hence mentioned into lot of Indian scriptures.

4) Indian scripture Vedas, treat the Sun as God, and Sun has 12 signs (Zodiac signs). In Yajurved, Sun is related to Lord Brahma (the number 9), remember 12 x 9 = 108; therefore for God's prayer, the number 108 is very sacred.

5) According to Indian mythology, there are 4 Yugs:

Satyug - consists of 172,800 years (1 + 7 + 2 + 8 = 18 = (1 + 8 = 9)
TretaYug consists or 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, Sushurumna 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 he so calm in meditation as to have only 108 breaths in a day, enlightenment will come.

Upanishads: Some say there are J 08 Upanishads, texts of the wisdom of the ancient sages.

Sri Yantra: On the Sri Yantra there are marrnas 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 tbe Sri Yantra as well as the human body.

Pentagon: The angle formed by two adjacent lines in a pentagon equals 108 degrees.

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 9 equal 108.

Planets and Houses: In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equal 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 of Krishna.

1, 0, and 8: Some say that I 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 ... to, elc., 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 201,600.

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

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

[slam: The m,'•~:)er 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, includjng 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 Arman, 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 to the sequence of the other beads. It is the guiding bead, the one
that marks the begjnning 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 Y uri Gagarin, a Soviet -

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

The number 108 is very much significant as per Hindu tradition in addition to other traditions also.

ARTICLE by H S Kanwal

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