Why 108?

10707013_924351350912559_1751746405_nEver done 108 sun salutations during a yoga class? Or wondered why there are traditionally 108 beads on a mala?The number 108 is auspicious and spiritually significant in many traditions. Here’s a few reasons why the number is so magical…

Heart Chakra: Chakras are the intersections of energy lines in the body, 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.

Upanishads: It is believed that there are 108 Upanishads, texts of wisdom from the ancient sages.

Desires: There are said to 108 earthly desires.

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

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.

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.

Sanskrit alphabet: There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.

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.

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.


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