108 has long been revered as a holy number. In numerology, the number One stands for the Oneness of the Universe, a new beginning, and the connection of body, mind, and soul. The vibration of the Zero connects us to the humble emptiness of pure potential, and the frequency of the Eight aligns us with the infinity symbol of everlasting life. When we add these numbers up, they equal Nine, the number of the humanitarian. In essence, the number 108 connects us to ourselves as we are, our potential, and our highest service. It carries some powerful mojo.
It’s no coincidence that prayer beads are connected in a string of 108 beads. I must have a dozen different malas, or prayer beads from my travels. Same with my Mom, only she collected rosary beads. The beads are something that connect us both to the Divine. Using beads for intercession, prayer, and to focus the mind date back to the 8th century in India. In fact, the word 'bead' is derived from the words 'bidden' and 'bede', which are defined as ‘prayer’ or 'to pray'. Tracing your fingers across the prayer beads also follows the path of the Sun and Moon across the Sky, connecting you to something cosmically bigger than yourself.
In India, the monks don’t wear malas like necklaces as we do in the West. The sacred beads are actually hidden in small pouches where the monks can quietly recite the name of God as they move their fingers across each of the 108 beads. You’ll see their lips moving in love for the remembrance of God, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Ram, Hare Ram, Ram, Ram, Hare Hare.” You know it’s not the right time to be asking your million questions when they are in Japa, a silent repetition meditation. Watching them pauses you and inspires you. Using the prayer beads is one form of Bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion. But let’s take a look at some of the other ways to connect with the sacred vibration of 108.
The Heart Chakra is formed out of 108 energy lines that are converging at its spot.
The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth.
The distance from the Sun and Moon to the Earth is 108 times each of their diameters.
The Sanskrit alphabet has 54 letters, each letter having the feminine and masculine aspect – Shakti and Shiva - for a total of 108.
There are 108 pithas, or sacred sites, throughout India.
There are 108 Upanishads (Indian philosophical texts)
108 degrees is the measure of each interior angle of a regular pentagon in Euclidean space.
In Buddhist tradition, people have 108 afflictions (klesas). Klesas are considered to be the roots of our pain and suffering and can be eliminated through meditation and understanding of the four noble truths.
Vedic mathematicians considered 108 as a number of the wholeness of existence
108 is the National Ambulance Number of India
There are 108 marma points, or sacred places of the body.
108 is a ‘Harshad’ number, meaning that it can be divided by the sum of its digits. In Sanskrit, harshad means ‘great joy’.
108 Sun Salutations are offered at various sacred times of the year to cleanse, release, and purify energy and to offer blessings of metta, loving-kindness to the world.
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Tiffany Harelik, MA, RYT, is an accomplished author, publisher, and co-owner of Wise Skies Advice (astrology and numerology forecasts) as well as Spellbound Publishers (metaphysical publishing company). She is a vegan yogi, with a Masters degree in Health Psychology. Find her work at www.TiffanyHarelik.com