Why 108 Mala beads or Rosemary beads? I have always wanted to know why this number is so special not just in Yoga but in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Science. So I set out to find out the meaning of 108 which is perfect as we are about to turn the clocks forward this weekend and the spring equinox arrives on March 21st.
Do you remember the TV series Lost with the Dharama incentive. They made quite a few references to the number 108 in the show like entering in the number 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42 which equals 108 into the computer every 108 minutes. I think you can rent the series on Netflix if you have this burning desire to see the whole series again to see what you missed.
In mathematics the number 108 is considered a special number for the many different equations it produces. Being no mathematician and no Einstein some of the equations are way past my Yoga head but I did find a couple that were interesting for example 108 is divisible by the total number of its divisors which is 12 and therefore it is a refactorable number. The Fibonacci numbers are based on the equations of 108 and make it a Golden Ratio number.
As I dig deep into the 108 mystery I want to know more, I want to know why this number is special is everything we do in life and I found out that the universe was created by the five elements fire, water,air,space and earth and from these elements came the three attributes of Raj (birth), Sat (protection) and (Tam destruction).
The mathematical or geographical evidence proves that one circle has 360 degrees in space. If we take a circle and start dividing it using the four elements and three attributes, all the logic can be observed. The circle itself, is considered the first element of space, since we must consume space in drawing a circle. In this space (or circle), the four remaining elements and three attributes create the idea of time. The circle is divisible by the product of four elements multiplied by three attributes and giving us the number 108.
Everything we do in life involves the elements of life and I find it remarkable in this number and the connection to everything within the universe of trees, dogs, rain, whales and it makes me feel connected beyond the idea of being connected but understanding on a deep level the connection we have to everything is profound and somehow makes me feel warm and beautiful to everything around me.
Back to the question of why 108 Mala beads? ultimately it goes back down to math and the elements and that the 108 make up the circle of life as described above. For Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and Yogis 108 is a powerful number. Below you may find interesting on the true power of this amazing number.
- The diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth.
- There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.
- 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.
- The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Moon.
By Sharon Page All Rights Reserved 2012@