What is the symbolism of the number 108?

108_Ashtangi Nomad_symbolique

Written by Mylene C.

Entrepreneure nomade. Yogini. Hypersensible et perfectionniste.

108 | Yoga

November 6, 2023

The number 108 is considered sacred in many traditions and cultures around the world.
It is especially revered in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism because of its deep symbolic meaning. This number represents an essential aspect of spirituality and is associated with multiple meanings and beliefs. I will give you some ideas on the symbolism of the number 108.

In yoga, it is considered a divine number that embodies unity, harmony and perfection. Additionally, the number 108 is associated with spiritual practices such as mantras, meditations and rituals. This number 108 holds a special place, symbolizing our quest for meaning and connection with the universe.

108, the mythical number

It is also used in fields such as astrology, mathematics and music to represent cycles, proportions and harmonies. For example, in astrology, the number 108 is used to represent the degrees of the zodiac and the phases of the moon. In mathematics we use it as an interesting integer with unique properties. In music, it can represent harmonic frequencies and musical relationships. In astronomy and Vedic astrology, the number 108 is associated with a variety of measurements and celestial cycles, such as the distance between the Earth and the Sun.

In short, the number 108 is a powerful and mystical symbol as it has captivated the attention and admiration of many people throughout the centuries. So the meanings associated with this number are multiple, because they all converge towards our deep connection with the universe and our quest for spirituality and harmony.

108, the spiritual number

The number 108 is often considered a spiritual number symbolizing unity, harmony and wholeness. In spirituality, this number would indicate that your guardian angel would like to attract your attention. It would mean that he wants to send you a positive message of abundance. Now would be a good time to stop doubting and take action.

In some traditions, the number 108 is associated with cosmological aspects, such as the number of gods and goddesses in Hinduism, or the number of paths to enlightenment in Buddhism.

The 108 pearls of the Mala

In Hinduism and Buddhism, practitioners use a rosary made of 108 beads for meditation and mantra recitation. This rosary is called Mala. It is possible to wear it as a necklace or bracelet, which is twisted around the wrist. Mala means Garland in Sanskrit. Like the rosary of other religious beliefs, it is used during prayers. It is practical because it helps with concentration.

Each bead represents a recited mantra, and reciting 108 mantras is a way to become spiritually closer. The Mala is made up of 109 beads. A larger bead, the guru bead, called meru, serves as the starting and ending point in the counting of the mantras recited.

Malas are most of the time made of wood or semi-precious stones. Depending on the different stones used, the malas have beneficial effects on our body and our energies.

The benefits of using a Mala during your meditation session:

Mala_Ashtangi Nomad
  1. The first advantage is to help you count when reciting mantras. EBy holding one stone at a time, you could say “I am proud of myself and each of my actions brings me closer to the best version of myself.” by passing each of the stones between your fingers and repeating it 108 times.
  2. By doing this, the mala will help you maintain your concentration during meditation.
  3. Contact with precious stones could have energetic benefits, so much so that it could help you balance your chakras.
  4. Finally, the Mala can be a beautiful fashion accessory, a piece of jewelry to wear, which is useful when you need to take a moment to refocus.

108, in mathematics and sacred geometry

The number 108 is also linked to concepts of sacred geometry and sacred mathematics. For example, it is often associated with ratios, proportions and symmetries which have spiritual significance. 108 is • a Harshad number: it is divisible by the sum of its digits, 1 + 0 + 8 = 9. By breaking down the number 108, we try to understand the symbolic force of the sacred number of different religions.

The symbolism of the number 1

This number is linked to the absolute. It represents Brahman. This Sanskrit word which designates, in Hindu thought, the absolute from which everything proceeds, the foundation and ultimate cause of all that exists. Brahman is considered the ultimate reality, the divine essence which is the source of all existence. It is both transcendent and immanent, infinite and eternal. Thus, the number 1 symbolizes unity and union with the absolute.

In the practice of yoga, the number 1 is associated with the concept of Self, which is the pure consciousness and true nature of each being. The Self represents the ultimate reality and the source of our deep identity. In Ashtanga Yoga, the path to enlightenment and Self-realization is traveled through the practice of meditation and mindfulness.

The number 1 is both Brahman and the Self. It represents the union of the individual with the supreme reality, the fusion of the limited ego with the divine essence. It is a powerful symbol of the spiritual quest and the search for unity with the universe.

The symbolism of the number 0

This number is linked to the cessation of fluctuations of the mind. It represents the absence of any element. It is intrinsic to the practice of meditation. This aims to achieve a complete cessation of the flow of thoughts. Where the mind is fixed, pure and perfectly clear. The goal of meditation is to reach this state of “zero.” In order to reach this nothingness, this state of emptiness. It takes many hours of practice and concentration to progress toward this state of ultimate tranquility.

The symbolism of the number 8

This number represents infinity. Infinity is a concept that evokes the grandeur, power and infinite expansion of the universe. Indeed, horizontally, it represents endless energy, which makes it the symbol of infinity. It is this notion of infinite energy that makes the number 8 a powerful cosmic symbol. By using this symbol, we facilitate the connection between the earthly world and the spiritual world, thus allowing us to explore the mysteries of the universe in a deeper way.

The combination of these three numbers would give the perfect number. 108 therefore symbolizes both the beginning and the end of the journey, the liberation of the being as well as its whole. It would be the absolute and the complete universe, the union between the feminine and the masculine.

108, in the practice of yoga

By practicing Ashtanga Yoga, one aims to achieve Samadhi, which represents the eighth and final stage of the discipline, enlightenment. However, Samadhi is a state of supreme consciousness in which the mind is completely absorbed and transcended. It is a state of bliss and total plenitude. However, achieving Samadhi requires rigorous and disciplined practice of Ashtanga Yoga.

Throughout this journey to Samadhi, one develops deep self-awareness, physical and mental strength, and deep spiritual connection. Through regular yoga practice, we cultivate presence of mind, mental clarity and emotional balance. This ultimately leads to the realization of one’s full potential, as a human being.

The ritual of sun salutations

Tradition has it that at each change of season, yogis practice 108 sun salutations, non-stop. This very meditative ritual celebrates the fall and spring equinoxes, as well as the summer and winter solstices. You should try at least once! However, it is very interesting to note that the body follows these repetitive movements without really thinking. Even if this little challenge seems out of reach, we realize that it helps to calm the mind and anchor us in the present moment. It takes about two hours to complete and is quite fun.

I advise you to practice this ritual with friends and even outside when possible. You shouldn’t take it too seriously. Respect your body and don’t hesitate to modify greetings to avoid injuries. In addition, it is essential to remember that the practice of these greetings is done in full awareness and by carefully following one’s breath. Take the time to explore different variations of greetings to enrich your practice. Additionally, you can also try adapting the ritual according to your fitness level and personal goals. However, don’t hesitate to experiment and find what works best for you. Finally, I encourage you to share this experience with other people in order to create a caring community and strengthen your respective practices. Above all, have fun!

108, the magic number that serves all purposes

By doing in-depth research on the symbolism of the number 108, we realize that it is possible to immerse ourselves in an infinite world of meanings. It is fascinating to explore the history of its various connotations, which are found at all levels of our lives and the universe. Everyone seems to want to appropriate this figure and give it an extraordinary dimension. However, it is questionable whether its use has become commonplace or even overused.

Personally, I love the ritual of the 108 sun salutations, especially during spring, because for me it signifies renewal and the arrival of heat as well as mild weather. so much so that I take the opportunity to take my mat out to the park and benefit from the rays of the sun.

Does the number 108 have any symbolism in your life? If so, don’t hesitate to share in comments what it brings you, and how it influences your daily life! 👇


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