What is the importance/Significance of 108 number?

Have You ever heard about this number “108” ?
If you have come from an Indian background I am sure this is something you have been hearing from childhood.

Have you ever wondered why just 108? 

The important thing to know is its just not Hinduism which follows this number but many other religions like Buddhism, Jainism e.t.c also have significant importance for this. Beyond religions and customs, Yoga uses 108 as well. You might have heard about 108 Sun salutations happening to hear and there on special occasions like New Year or World Yoga Day e.t.c. This specific number has been considered safe since time immemorial and is explained in many different ways. Here is the one I believe and do in my Yoga practice.
In Our body system, there are 54 important inner intersections-(there are nearly 84000 nerves in the human body and at places some intersect. Each intersection has Masculine and feminine called Shiva and Shakti These are the qualities that function alternatively in our body through the two nadis – *IDA and *PINGALA and hence the number 108. So when we do 108 Sun Salutations it is actually 54 with your right leg and 54 with your left which meets those intersections. Also once you start doing 108 Sun salutations believe me it’s a moving meditation.

Initially, I was wondering will I survive the entire 108 but the truth is you will not even notice that the numbers are just fading down. How intelligent a human was some 5000 years ago where there was no electronics or pure form of science yet. I believe that this path has some amazing secrets hidden and the only way we can know is to start practicing Yoga. People have a very bad notion of Yoga is only to stretch and only for women but in fact it was the opposite. Yoga was only learned and taught by men for various reasons. We can have another blog just for that. All I would ask any of you reading this is try Yoga just not 1 time.

Give at least a month and it will do is help you in all means. Your Body/Mind and Soul will all be one when you are in some poses and why do you want to take that beautiful moment away from you. I would also like to share the other possible reasons just for an FYI.

According to the Indian system of reckoning time, a day of 24 hours has sixty ghatis, a division of time according to Indian system. Each ghat has 60 pales and each pale has 60 vipalas. Thus in a day there are 216000 vipalas(60*60*60)which when divided by 2 gives 108000 vipalas for the day and 108000 vipalas for the night. On removing the zeros one get to the 108 number.

An another explanation is that the 108 beads symbolize the 108 elements that constitute universe. The sun being the pivot of the universe. Any orbit in space has 360 degrees which when converted into minutes would be 360*60=21600. The sun remains for half a year on each side, alternatively in the northern and southern ayana or declination. When we divide the sun total minutes into two parts, we get 108,00 minutes. For purity of counting the zeros are removed and we get the figure of 108.

Another example for Bhakti Yoga :
The quantum of beads in a mala has multi dimensional significance. Ideally a Hindu mala consists of 108 beads, but the different tenets/schools and scriptures have specified varying bead quantum. Some may be enumerated thus –

  • Spirituality attainment – 27 beads
  • Desire fulfillment – 108 beads
  • Wealth acquisition – 30 beads
  • Dexterity in black magic – 30 beads

Hope this information help to learn about the reason behind 108 significance.

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