The number 108 is considered sacred in many eastern religions and traditions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism and connected yoga and dharma based practices. 108 is a number known to be referring to spiritual completion, and it is no surprise that the early Vedic sages were renowned mathematicians and in fact invented our number system. Here is a list which signifies the importance of the number.
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- There are 108 movements in Tandava dance. Tandava is a dance that Shiva does when he is angry. Lord Shiva has a 108 Ganas. This is why Lingayats use mala of has 108 beads for meditations.
- The river Ganga has 108 dimensions. The Ganga has a latitude spreading over nine degrees and the longitude over twelve degrees. Both the numbers when multiplied give 108.
- Lord Krishna had 108 followers known as Gopis in the Vrindavan. The names of these followers are recited using 108 beaded mala.
- There are twenty-seven constellations in the galaxy, Milky Way. These constellations have four dimensions each. The number twenty-seven and four give the product 108.
- The distance of the Earth and the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Sun. Similarly, the distance between the Earth and the Moon also is 108 times that of the diameter of the moon.
- In Jainism, the total number of Karma Influx is 108. There are four Kashays identified as anger, pride, conceit, and greed.
- According to Jainism, there is six type of senses. These are hearing smell, taste, touch, sight, and consciousness. These senses can be further divided on the basis of the feelings they give, that is whether pleasant, painful or neutral. Once again they are divided into two on the basis of origin – whether they are internally generated or externally generated. And yet again whether they are of past present or future. Six senses, three types of feelings, type of origin and the three types of time all multiply to give the number 108.
- Tibetan Budhist Malas have 108 beads. They wear these malas around their wrist. According to a Buddhist Literature, Buddha has given 108 statements which are mistakenly believed to be related to the number of steps in many temples, which is 108.
- In the Buddhist temples of Japan, the bells are chimed 108 times to welcome the new year and to end the old one. This is related to the 108 earthly temptations that a human being has to overcome in order to achieve the aim of salvation.
- Many martial arts trace back their origin to Hinduism and Buddhism. It is believed according to Ayurveda that there are 108 pressure points in the body. These are the points where the flesh of a man and his spirit or the consciousness intersect. It is upon their intersection that life is given to the body.
- 108 degrees Fahrenheit is the internal temperature of the body at which the vital human organs begin to fail due to overheating.
- In Sikhism also a sacred mala of wool is divided into 108 knots.
- There are 54 alphabets in the Sanskrit Language. These have a feminine and a masculine form. The number of alphabets of both the forms adds up to 108.
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