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Why is 108 a special number?

Updated: Jan 24

Ever wondered why 108 is a special number?

Let’s look at it from Vedic Astrology point of view.

In our solar system we have 9 planets (grahas) and 12 Zodiac signs (rashis), which, when multiplied (9*12), makes it total 108 combinations.

Furthermore, in the Zodiac the day sky is divided into 12 sun signs of 30 degrees each. When each sign is divided into nine equal parts of 3’20, it creates the 9th divisional chart, called Navamsha, which is an essential element in understanding the fruits of the birth chart and shows native’s dharma (purpose), relationships, and fortune. Sun in a natural scheme is the significator for father (9th house) and the soul. When each of the 12 Sun signs of 30 degrees get divided into 9 parts, we get 108. And in such a way through 9th division of the Sun signs, 108 connects us to the masculine principle of the cosmos.

On the other hand, the night sky is divided into 27-star constellations (nakshatras) or so-called lunar mansions. The Moon goes through the zodiac in approximately 27 days which becomes the basis of the lunar zodiac. The Moon is the significator for the mother, 4th house, and the mind. Each constellation has 4 equal parts called padas or footsteps, which, when multiplied (27*4) are adding up to 108.

In such a way the soli-lunar zodiac is derived, where the convergence of 27 lunar constellations’ division into 4 and the 12 sun signs’ division into 9 lines up with the number 108, representing coming together of masculine and feminine, the father and the mother, Purusha and Prakritti to create and manifest the world. 108 is the number which shows the alignment between soul, dignified by the Sun, and the mind, signified by the Moon. Only when the soul connects with the mind, it is able to experience this world.

There are 108 beads in the mala, and by chanting mantras, sacred sounds 108 times we enable access to multiple layers of our consciousness and to tap into the vibration of the supreme creative force.

According to Ayurveda, there are 108 marma points, which are vital to giving life. They are considered the points where consciousness connects to the body to give life to the living being. When mantras are repeated 108 times, they act as protection to each point.

In Tantra it is said that we breathe 21,600 times per day, out of which 10,800 is solar energy and 10,800 is lunar energy, totaling to 108*100=10,800.

The most powerful Sri Yantra, a mandala representing Creation, has 54 points where energy lines intersect. Each such intersection has masculine and feminine—Shiva and Shakti totaling to 108.

1,0,8 meanings. Some say that 1 stands for God or Higher truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness, and 8 stands for infinity or eternity. 1 + 0 + 8 = 9. Nine is the number of completion because after 9 the numbers start to repeat themselves.

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