Significance of 108


Japa means to chant and Japamala or rosary is the easiest way of achieving this and all the religions have their own chants and their own rosaries also.

In India the Japamala has been used for thousands of years and the count on beads of the Japamala is 108. 108 is a unique and sacred number in the Indian subcontinent. The most beautiful thing about this number is that it has been accepted as a unique number for many different reasons and this article will help to resolve the issue to a great extent.

 Nothing in the ancient India was done on a random basis but everything had a status which had a scientific basis to it and thus everything became relevant even when they were used for simple purposes.

In mathematical basis 108 can be done in

  1. (1)1 x (2)2 X(3)3 = 108 (1x1x2x2x3x3x3) each of the numbers in this also has a relevance. (3)3 is 27 which is a relevant number in Astrology as there are 27 constellations. 1 represents existence and the Advaita concept of oneness. (2)2 is 4 another prominent number which represents the union of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Maheshwara into the oneness of Lord Dattatreya.  Lord Dattatreya symbolizes a harmonious family which is a single unit thus 4 is exact opposite of 1.

  2. (1X1)X(3 X 3 X 3 X 2) X 2 = 108, now (1X1) represents the union of Lord Shiva and Shakti thus the result is 1 which is Advaita or singular energy, (3 X 3 X 3 X 2) gives us 54 which is the total Sanskrit letters. (3 X 3 X 3) represents the 27 constellations while the lone 2 represents the soul which is attached to the body by two silver cords: one behind the head linked to the center of the thought of the brain, and the other linked to the astral body near of the solar plexus. These two threads represent the Aditya Nadi(Sun nerve) and Soma Nadi(Moon nerve) these two nadis are not to be confused with the Ida and Pingala nadi. Thus we have 54 letters representing the 27 constellations and the soul. Now this is multiplied by 2 which represents the day and night, male and female, mother and child. Sri Yantra which is worshipped greatly also represents the body. 54+54 is 108 thus 54 is the male form and 54 is the female form.

  3. (1X1) X (3X3) X (3X 2X2) = 108, now (1X1) has been already explained, (3X3) is 9 a very auspicious number. 9 times 12: Both of these numbers have been said to have spiritual significance in many traditions. 3 X(2X2)= 12. (3X3)=9 which represents

  • Patience, harmony, inspiration, perfection of ideas,

  • Spiritual development, it is a unique symbol of creation and development while its reverse number 6 is the symbol of death and resting. Thus 69 is nut considered a good number while the reverse i.e. 96 is considered good as it represents the 96 Tatvas.

  • 3 is the base of this number which represents the trinity Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva (Creation, Maintainer and Destroyer). The other 3 represents the Devi Saraswati, Devi Lakshmi and Shakti the consorts of the Trinity. Anyone who is able to achieve full devotion and faith would be able to get the blessing of the divine forces.

  • It takes 9 months for the child to be delivered

  • Represent the three divine manifestations in the three plans: world of the spirit, world of the soul, world of the matter, which gives a triple manifestations of Trinity (3 x 3).

  • Saturn Yantra is made from the first 9 numbers and has a total of 15 i.e.1+5= 6.

4       9      2

3       5       7

8       1       6

  • 9 incarnation of Lord Vishnu Till the start of Kalyuga

  • The language includes, grammatically, nine parts:

    • Verb

    • Noun

    • Adjective

    • Participle

    • Conjunction

    • Article

    • Pronoun

    • Preposition

    • Adverb

  • Nine planets our solar system, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.

  • Multiples of 9 are always composed of digits where the sum is equal to 9 for example 9 X 4 = 36 (3+6=9), 123456789 x 9 = 1111111101(1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+0+1=9).

  • Another interesting thing is the reverse calculation yields

  • 0 x 9 + 1 = 1

  • 1 x 9 + 2 = 11

  • 12 x 9 + 3 = 111

  • 123 x 9 + 4 = 1111

  • 1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111

  • 12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111

  • 123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111

  • 1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111

  • 12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111

  • 123456789 x 9 + 10 = 1111111111

  1. Also, 1 plus 8 equals 9. That 9 times 12 equals 108. In Astrology there are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas. There are 12 houses and 9 planets in a chart which means 3X(2X2)X(3X3)

 astro

  1. The Anahata (Heart) Chakra contains 12 Nadis which controls the 103 Major-Minor Chakras (Agnijwala,Aindri,Ambika,Anga,Anuchaya,Aparna,Arundhati,Ashapura,Balapramathani,Balavikarini,Bhadra,Bhadrakali,Bhagwati,Bhairavi,Bhaskari,Bhavagamaya,  Bhayankari,Brahmani,Brahmani, Brahmanpriya,Brahmari,Candanayika,Chamunda,Chanda,Chandaghanta,Chandavati,Chandavati,Chandi,Diti,Durga,Garudi,Gauri,Ghanta,Ghorarupa,Gopali,Grahna,Grhasaya,Hakini,Harasiddhi,Harini,Hemakanti,Hengula,Kala,Kalaratri,Kshatramalini,Kubja,Kulaja,Kumari,Kundalini,Kurukulla,Kushmandi,Kutaribhagvati,Lajja,Lakini,Lalita,Lamba,Lambhosti,Lohita,Madhavi,Narayani,Niranjana,Niskala,Nitya,Padmini,Parama,Parna,Priyankari,Purananviksiki,Raktadhantika,Ranjani,Rati,Raudri,Retilalasa,Revati,Ripuha,Rohini,Vamarata,Vanadevata,Vanadevi,Vanchani,Vandi,Vasini) and 5 Basic (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether) Tatvas. Thus a total of 108 energy lines merging to make the Anahata Chakra to perform in a better manner.

  2. In the human body there are certain energy points that are very much relevant for the physical body to survive. These energy centres are known as Marma. Marmasthana are 108 in numbers.

  3. Number of Gopis with Lord Krishna was 108. Individually the number 1 is prominent as it is representation of Advaita or One Lord, 0 represents Shunyata( Eternal Void) and 8 represents the directions of core essence

  4. 108 is followed in China, Tibet, India

  5. 12 months These 108 rosary beads of the Eastern would come from the sum of the 12 months, the 24 arrangements in which the solar calendar has been divided, and the 72 divisions of the Chinese year in periods of 5 days: 12 + 24 + 72 = 108. According to another extremely old tradition in the East, the importance of the number 108 would derive from 10800 which multiplies the number of moments in the year and the number of verses in the Rig-Veda.

  6. 108 types found:-

    1. Karmic Deeds

    2. Levels of Purification

    3. Branches or Navamsas.

    4. Buddha’s teachings are compiled in 108 large volumes called the Gandjour.

    5. In Shambala there are 108 great Masters.

    6. In Natya Sastra there are 108 poses

    7. 108 names of Lord Vishnu in Mahabharata

    8. 108 names of Shiva

    9. Stages of the soul in the path of journey.

Japa Mala in other Traditions:-

  1. Japa mala can be in the sizes of 9(3X3), 27(3X3X3), 36(3X3X2X2), 54 (3X3X3X2), 108(3X3X3X2X2)

  2. Sikh Religion : 108 beads tied in a string of wool

  3. Chinese Buddhist        : 108 beads called Su-Chu is divided in 3 parts of 36 each or 27 which are counted four times

  4. Islam: The number 108 is used in Islam to refer to God. Islamic prayer beads, called “Misbaha” or “Tasbih”, usually have 99 or 33 beads

  5. Baha’i prayer beads consist of either 95 beads or 19 beads strung with the addition of five beads below

 Meru: This is a separate bead which does not form a part of the 108. It is not tied in the sequence of the other beads. It marks the beginning and end of the mala.

108 Upanishads as per the list contained in the Muktikopanishad . We have arranged them in four categories according to the particular Veda to which each of them belong.

Rigveda(10):

  1. Aitareya

  2. Atmabodha

  3. Kaushitaki

  4. Mudgala

  5. Nirvana

  6. Nadabindu

  7. Akshamaya

  8. Tripura

  9. Bahvruka

  10. Saubhagyalakshmi

 Yajurveda(50):

  1. Katha

  2. Taittiriya

  3. Isavasya

  4. Brihadaranyaka

  5. Akshi

  6. Ekakshara

  7. Garbha

  8. Prnagnihotra

  9. Svetasvatara

  10. Sariraka

  11. Sukarahasya

  12. Skanda

  13. Sarvasara

  14. Adhyatma

  15. Niralamba

  16. Paingala

  17. Mantrika

  18. Muktika

  19. Subala

  20. Avadhuta

  21. Katharudra

  22. Brahma

  23. Jabala

  24. Turiyatita

  25. Paramahamsa

  26. Bhikshuka

  27. Yajnavalkya

  28. Satyayani

  29. Amrtanada

  30. Amrtabindu

  31. Kshurika

  32. Tejobindu

  33. Dhyanabindu

  34. Brahmavidya

  35. YogakundalinI

  36. Yogatattva

  37. Yogasikha

  38. Varaha

  39. Advayataraka

  40. Trisikhibrahmana

  41. mandalabrahmana

  42. Hamsa

  43. Kalisantaraaa

  44. Narayana

  45. Tarasara

  46. Kalagnirudra

  47. Dakshinamurti

  48. Pancabrahma

  49. Rudrahrdaya

  50. SarasvatIrahasya

SamaVeda(16):

 

  1. Kena

  2. Chandogya

  3. Mahat

  4. Maitrayani

  5. Vajrasuci

  6. Savitri

  7. Aruneya

  8. Kundika

  9. Maitreyi

  10. Samnyasa

  11. Jabaladarsana

  12. Yogacudaman

  13. Avyakta

  14. Vasudevai

  15. Jabali

  16. Rudrakshajabala

Atharvaveda(32):

 

  1. Prasna

  2. Mandukya

  3. Mundaka

  4. Atma

  5. Surya

  6. Narada-Parivrajakas

  7. Parabrahma

  8. Paramahamsa-Parivrajakas

  9. Pasupatha-Brahma

  10. Mahavakya

  11. Sandilya

  12. Krishna

  13. Garuda

  14. Gopalatapani

  15. Tripadavibhuti-mahnarayana

  16. Dattatreya

  17. Kaivalya

  18. NrsimhatapanI

  19. Ramatapani

  20. Ramarahasya

  21. HayagrIva

  22. Atharvasikha

  23. Atharvasira

  24. Ganapati

  25. Brhajjabala

  26. Bhasmajabala

  27. Sarabha

  28. Annapurna

  29. TripuratapanI

  30. Devi

  31. Bhavana

  32. SIta

Maitreya Rudrabhayananda

 

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