# Why 108?

**We get asked this all the time. Here are a few reasons:**

**Paths to God**: Some suggest that there are 108 paths to God.

**Hinduism**: 108 is said to refer to the number of Hindu deities. Some say that each of the deities has 108 names.

**Islam**: The number 108 is used in Islam to refer to God.

**Jain**: In the Jain religion, 108 are the combined virtues of five categories of holy ones, including 12, 8, 36, 25, and 27 virtues respectively.

**Sikh**: The Sikh tradition has a mala of 108 knots tied in a string of wool, rather than beads.

**Buddhism**: Some Buddhists carve 108 small Buddhas on a walnut for good luck. Some ring a bell 108 times to celebrate a new year. There are said to be 108 virtues to cultivate and 108 defilements to avoid.

**9 times 12**: Both of these numbers have been said to have spiritual significance in many traditions. 9 times 12 is 108. Also, 1 plus 8 equals 9. That 9 times 12 equals 108.

**Powers of 1, 2, and 3 in math**: 1 to 1st power=1; 2 to 2nd power=4 (2×2); 3 to 3rd power=27 (3x3x3). 1x4x27=108

**Harshad number**: 108 is a Harshad number, which is an integer divisible by the sum of its digits (Harshad is from Sanskrit, and means “great joy”)

**Desires**: There are said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals.

**Lies**: There are said to be 108 lies that humans tell.

**Delusions**: There are said to be 108 human delusions or forms of ignorance.

**Heart Chakra**: The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization.

**Sanskrit alphabet**: There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.

**Pranayama**: If one is able to be so calm in meditation as to have only 108 breaths in a day, enlightenment will come.

**Upanishads**: Some say there are 108 Upanishads, texts of the wisdom of the ancient sages.

**Sri Yantra**: On the Sri Yantra there are marmas where three lines intersect, and there are 54 such intersections. Each intersections has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti qualities. 54 times 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human body.

**Marmas**: Marmas or marmasthanas are like energy intersections called chakras, except have fewer energy lines converging to form them. There are said to be 108 marmas in the subtle body.

**Astrology**: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12 equals 108. Chandra is moon, and kalas are the divisions within a whole.

**Planets and Houses**: In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals 108.

**Goddess names**: There are said to be 108 Indian goddess names.

**Gopis of Krishna**: In the Krishna tradition, there were said to be 108 gopis or maid servants of Krishna.

**1, 0, and 8**: Some say that 1 stands for God or higher Truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, and 8 stands for infinity or eternity.

**Sun and Earth**: The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth. The distance from the Sun to the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Sun.

**Moon and Earth**: The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Moon.

**Silver and the moon**: In astrology, the metal silver is said to represent the moon. The atomic weight of silver is 108.

**Numerical scale**: The 1 of 108, and the 8 of 108, when added together equals 9, which is the number of the numerical scale, i.e. 1, 2, 3 … 10, etc., where 0 is not a number.

**Meditations**: Some say there are 108 styles of meditation.

**Breath**: Tantra estimates the average number of breaths per day at 21,600, of which 10,800 are solar energy, and 10,800 are lunar energy. Multiplying 108 by 100 is 10,800. Multiplying 2 x 10,800 equals 21,600.

**Chinese**: The Chinese Buddhists and Taoists use a 108 bead mala, which is called su-chu, and has three dividing beads, so the mala is divided into three parts of 36 each. Chinese astrology says that there are 108 sacred stars.

**Dance**: There are 108 forms of dance in the Indian traditions.