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Rituals & Practices

Importance of 108 number!

Significance of 108

When we see number of beads in vara mala/vrata mala, number of names of God and Goddess, I always wondered there should be some prominence for 108 which I do not know. Why do we give so much importance to 108 in Hinduism? Why 108 is so sacred for Hindus?

Here is a brief explanation of the use and importance of this number:

  • 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.
  • The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Moon.
  • In Ayurveda, there are 108 “Marma” points that are vital for giving life to living beings.
  • The powerful Sri Chakra yantra intersects in 54 points each with a masculine and feminine quality, totalling to 108
  • In Indian astrology we have 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals to 108.
  • In Tantra, it is estimated that every day we breathe 21,600 times out of which 10,800 are solar energy and 10, 800 are lunar energy. Multiplying 108 X 100 is 10,800.
  • The famous saint Bharata wrote “The Natya Shastra” which has 108 karanas (Movement of hand and feet)
  • There are 54 letters in Sanskrit each can be mentioned as masculine (Shiva) and feminine (Shakti) aspect, totalling to 108.
  • There are 108 Puranas and 108 Upanishads.
  • 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”)


  • 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.


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

Sri Yantra: 

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


The angle formed by two adjacent lines in a pentagon equals 108 degrees.


Some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future.


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

River Ganga: 

The sacred River Ganga spans a longitude of 12 degrees (79 to 91), and latitude of 9 degrees (22 to 31). 12 times 9 equal 108.

Gopis of Krishna: 

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.

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.


Some say there are 108 styles of meditation.

Paths to God:

Some suggest that there are 108 paths to God.


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


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


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.


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.

Stages of the soul: 

Said that Atman, the human soul or center goes through 108 stages on the journey.


This is a larger bead, not part of the 108. It is not tied in the sequence of the other beads. It is the guiding bead, the one that marks the beginning and end of the mala.

Praiseworthy souls: 

There are 108 qualities of praiseworthy souls.


In Japan, at the end of the year, a bell is chimed 108 times to finish the old year and welcome the new one. Each ring represents one of 108 earthly temptations a person must overcome to achieve nirvana.

108 signifies the wholeness of the divinity, perfect totality. So, let us follow what our ancestors told us to do.

~Soumya Joshi



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  • 1,391,000 km – Sun, Diameter
    12,742 km – Earth, Diameter (* 108 = 1376136) ???

    Distance from moon to earth = 238,900 miles (384,400 km)
    diameter of moon = 3 474.8 kilometers ( *108 = 375278.4 km)???

    I couldn’t verify the others…maybe these were calculated with figures we had at that time…so could have been correct for that time.

    Om Namah Shivaya.

    • I am fan of vedic wisdom my self, but find the time lines of Yugas do not match with scientific data of life of Earth, evolution of species etc.

    • Hi Santtosh,
      I got triggered by your question and looked into it aswell.
      I just checked the distance from Earth to Sun.

      According space.com the distance from earth to Sun is:149,597,871 km
      Diameter Sun is: 1,392,684 km

      Vedic calculation shows: 150,409,872 km
      Delta is: 812,001km i.e. 0.54%

      Now if you add the radius of the Sun and Moon then the distance becomes 150,301,042 km.

      Which is pretty accurate with an offset of 0,07%

      So, the above calculation is from the centre of the Earth to the Centre of the Sun (relying on the info i found on internet).

      Thanks for the trigger.

    • Vedas are words of God and wisdom stands with time. If something in science is not matching with vedic texts then it means that we need to do more research and find it out where we are going wrong. Vedas are perfect because they words of the creator of this world. Science is evolving and no one can gaurantee what knowledge science is giving is perfect but Vedic text do guarantee. Few eg where science have changed their views with time and have come inline with vedic text.

      1. Science in beginning said plants dont have life then said plants have life and then again said plants don’t have life then finally when Jagdish Chandra Bose proved plants have life they accepted. Vedas always said platnts have life.

      2. Science said life is not possible in fire till date they found fire bacteria on lining surface of steel furnace where temperature is 2400 deg celcius. Vedas always said life exists everywhere.

      3. Creation of universe. Science have no proper explanation for it. Theory of evolution and bing bang theory are all bogus theory. Srimad Bhagvatam gives complete understanding of universe and its creation.

  • This is a fine article on the significance of the number 108.
    In fact even the attributes credited to different countries and cultures has all emanated from BHARATAVARSHAM which is the ‘cradle of civilization’.
    Bharateeya Samskriti and Darshan Shastrams are the fundamental bedrock of our culture and these have been taken and twisted to suit other cultures.
    Our history has been distorted and misrepresented deliberately so as to delude us HINDUS from knowing and realizing the Truths.The Brahmagyaan that we possessed was robbed from our nation right under our noses and we now believe that everything comes from there West.
    The number 108 is sacred to us HINDUS and when we do ‘JAPA’ 108 times we are treading the sacred path and that is the significance to realize PARAMATMAN.But then what is Paramtman is another question and we must then tread another path for understanding.
    Finally it all boils down to faith.

  • Significance of 108 comes from astrology. Vedic system calculates time and date based on nakshatra and padas, every day one nakshatra comes and all nakshatra have 4 padas. We have total 27 nakshatras . So 27 nakshatras * 4 padas = 108

  • I am a strong believer of ourHindu religion and cultures and very keen to learn more about our sanskriti, the Vedas and all our scriptures are oceans of knowledge , the more we dig the more profound we go there is no end , I live in London and as a Hindu I feel proud to see Sanskrit being taught in primary schools and colleges in UK , the children reciting the scriptures is really marvellous , we as born Hindus do not know or don’t teach our children to learn our ancestral language Sanskrit we are lagging quite behind today many westerners have discovered the essence and value of Hinduism and they are adopting our philosophies and teachings from our religious scriptures , thanks adm for giving such useful informations God bless

  • All things said in this are our reaction to the external world. Science or Vedic are still not perfect that we debate but all things are superficial. One thing I can assure that so called God don’t exist at all. It is the creation of weak minded people.

    • God was believed by the likes of Albert Einstein. You think he was weak minded. All great seers,sages believed in God not in Hinduism but also Tao of old Chinese civilisation. If you think all of them had weak minds then you are welcome to your opinions .can you please explain where from the “atom” gets its energy,how is this earth sun and other planets move and revolve around without causing chaos n hitting each other.One can go on n on

  • Thanks a lot for sharing these articles on your website. Its very informative and covers a wide range of topics that I would not have enough known about had it not been for you.

    Om Namah Shivaya

  • Thanks a lot for this wonderful information. However, some of this info i got it from Novel ‘D krishna key by Ashwin Sanghi’. Even d elder one from home would be delighted when i shared dis info with dem. I do also prefer dat kindly read D krishna key which also gives lot of nice info.

  • […] Some say that 1 stands for God, 0 for completeness and 8 for the infinite. The diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth and the distance between the Moon and the Earth is 108 the diameter of the Moon, which explains why the number 108 is considered the perfect, universal number. There are also math-related explanations, you can read more here. […]

  • Curiosity… The result of added my names is 108… From my early childhood I could stare for hours at this number. And I feel good when I see the 108… Best regards from Europe

  • Namaste dear all,

    Thank you for the explanation of 108 significance it is very informative also the comments make it more rich and deep.
    I have question in mind if we have no time to do 108 japa which is the correct number 3, 9, 11,12, 18, 27, 33, 36, 54, and 99?
    Please enlighten me thank you and best regards.

    OM Asato Maa Sad Gamaya Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya Mytior Maa Amritham Gamaya
    OM Lokha samastha sukhino Bhavantu OM Shanti Shanti Shanti


  • You are saying regarding stages of souls BT I heard in Hindi from mostly gurus 84 lakh juni what about that could u explain