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108: The Sacred Number

The number 108 is described as the foundation of all life in one aspect of Indian cosmology

By- Khushi Bisht

For millennia, the number 108 has been an extremely respected number, valued by several sacred cultures and associated with great importance in mindfulness meditation and contemplative prayer. According to Indian folklore, the number 108 has a very significant meaning in Indian culture. In Hinduism, the number 108 is regarded as holy. In Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism, all of which are Hindu offshoot sects, the number 108 has a profound meaning and significance.

The number 108 has a different connotation in a lot of different areas. Why does this number matter so much? What does it imply? You may have pondered over these questions many times. Astrology and Astronomy hold the answer and significance to these questions.

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The number 108 appears to be a mystical number that links the historical and contemporary worlds, as well as the physical and spiritual realms. The numerous explanations why 108 is considered a holy number are described below:

1. The ancient Indians were brilliant mathematicians, and numerology holds a significant place in Indian culture. It’s possible that 108’s peculiar status stems from the fact that it’s the product of a precise mathematical procedure that was considered to have a particular numerological meaning. Our eyes are capable of seeing in three dimensions (1,2,3). The power of 1, 2, and 3 is 1,4, and 27 respectively. If we multiply 1X4X27 we get 108. And that is how we see the matter.

The sun is 108 sun-diameters away from the earth, and the moon is 108 moon-diameters away from the earth. Wikimedia Commons

2. One probable origin for the number 108’s meaning can be found in ancient Indian astronomical beliefs. The sun is 108 sun-diameters away from the earth, and the moon is 108 moon-diameters away from the earth. Take into account the number of days in a leap year, which is 366. We get 108 as we multiply the three digits. 108 = 3 x 6 x 6

3. This number’s significance in yoga is also due to the Sanskrit alphabet. There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each letter of the alphabet has both a masculine (Shiva) and a feminine (Shakti) force associated with it. As a result, multiplying 54 by these two forces yields 108.

4. The maximum number of repetitions allowed in a single sitting in Kriya Yoga is 108. Enlightenment is said to come if one can be so centered in silence and doing ‘Pranayama’ (the practice of breath control in yoga) that one only takes 108 breaths a day. There are 108 different forms of meditation, according to legend. According to others, there are 108 ways to God. There are 108 different dance styles of Indian culture.

Both of the statues are carved out of two different stones and are fitted in the outside wall of the Kamakhya temple. Wikimedia Commons

5. There are 108 temptations that we are said to experience during our lifetime on this planet. These worldly feelings are experienced by each person as a path to salvation. Humans are believed to need to be rid of all of their worldly pleasures in order to be free of misery and achieve liberation. A human being, according to both Buddhism and Hinduism, has 108 different forms of emotions. 36 of these emotions are centered on their past, 36 on their present, and 36 on their hopes and future goals.

6.  Many cultures have associated the numbers 9 and 12 with divine meaning. The product of multiplying 9 and 12 is 108. In addition, 1 + 8 = 9. The holy Ganga River stretches from 79 to 91 degrees longitude and 9 degrees latitude (22 to 31). The number 108 is calculated by multiplying 12 by 9.

7. ‘Peethas’ are holy places that are connected with various parts of Goddess Sati’s body and are thought to be her seats. In India, there are precisely 108 Shakti Peethas. These holy sites can be found all over India, all near a water body that is said to be filled with the goddess’s powers.

Humans are believed to need to be rid of all of their worldly pleasures in order to be free of misery and achieve liberation. Pixabay

8. There are 54 marmas (points) where three lines converge on the Shri Yantra (the most important and auspicious yantra or religious diagram). Shiva and Shakti are represented by masculine and feminine characteristics in each intersection. 108 is the result of multiplying 54 by two. As a result, both the Sri Yantra and the human body are described by 108 points.

ALSO READ: Sri Bhārata Māta Ashtottaram: 108 Sanskrit Mantras

9. For good luck and health, some Buddhists carve 108 miniature Buddhas into a walnut. This may explain why, in Japanese Buddhist temples, a bell is rung precisely 108 times to signal the close of the previous year and the beginning of the new year. One of the principles of Buddhism is that while there are precisely 108 kinds of worldly desires to avoid. To commemorate the start of a new year, some people ring a bell 108 times. There are 108 values to practice and 108 worldly desires to prevent, according to legend.

10. The number 108 is described as the foundation of all life in one aspect of Indian cosmology. Divine Consciousness is represented by the number ‘1′ in the number 108. As all beings are only here for a short time, zero denotes null or nothing, meaning that everything on this Earth is vanity. The number eight reflects the infinite nature of life.



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