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The Importance Of Sacred Number 108 In Hinduism

By September 19, 2023No Comments
Importance Of Number 108

Ever wonder why 108 is such an important number in Hinduism? You’ve probably seen it popping up everywhere in the religion, from the number of beads on a mala to the number of names for Hindu deities. There’s a reason 108 number is considered a sacred number in Hinduism – it’s deeply symbolic. Turns out, 108 represents spiritual completion and wholeness in Hinduism. It’s a number that resonates with harmony and unity. 

There are 108 Upanishads, 108 sacred sites in India, and 108 dance poses in Bharatanatyam. When you chant the 108 names of a deity or rotate the 108 beads on a mala, it’s meant to bind you with the universe. For Hindus, 108 is a divine number that connects the material world with the spiritual. Pretty cool how such a small number can have such deep meaning, isn’t it? So, here we discuss some interesting facts about the number 108.

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Fascinating Facts about the Number 108 in Hinduism

The number 108 holds great significance in Hinduism and is considered a sacred number. The number 108 spread across many aspects of Hinduism and Indian culture. Understanding its significance provides insight into core Hindu beliefs and values. Here are a few of the main reasons why:

  • 108 is a multiple of 9, 12 and 27

In Hinduism, 9 represents wholeness, 12 signifies completeness, and 27 symbolises creation. 108 contains all of these sacred numbers.

  • There are 108 Upanishads

The Upanishads are ancient Hindu scriptures that contain some of the central philosophical concepts of Hinduism. There are 108 Upanishads names, which are principle Upanishads for any moral defined in astrology texts.

  • 108 Marma Points

In Ayurvedic medicine and yoga, there are 108 marma points in the body where energy flows and can become blocked. Massaging these marma points is believed to release energy blockages and promote health and vitality. 

Some ancient texts also say there are 108 main Chakras in the subtle body (a combination of mind, intellect and ego that runs the physical body). Chakras are energy locations along the spine. There are 114 in number, but it’s actually 108 chakras that can actually be worked upon.

  • There are 108 beads in a Japa mala

A japa mala is a string of beads used for keeping count while chanting a mantra. Malas have 108 beads, plus a ‘guru’ bead. The 108 beads represent the 108 kinds of passions that bind the soul. 

  • There are 108 sacred sites in India

There are 108 sacred sites, also called Pithas, in India. All of these sites are considered very holy places in the Hindu religion. Completing a pilgrimage to all 108 sites is thought to bring enlightenment and release from the cycle of rebirth. Some of the holiest sites include Varanasi, Rishikesh, Nashik and Ujjain.

  • The Diameter of the Sun is 108 times that of the Earth

This cosmological or astrological relationship shows the sacred connection between the Sun, Earth and mankind in Hinduism. The diameter of the Sun is 108 times greater than the diameter of the Earth.

  • 108 Names of Hindu Gods and Goddesses 

What is shri shri 108 meaning? It is a term used to show respect to God. All Hindu deities have 108 names, including Vishnu, Shiva, Lakshmi, Ganesha, and Saraswati. Chanting these 108 names, known as Ashtottara Shatanamavali, is believed to bring spiritual and material benefits. The reason they have 108 names is that 1 represents God or higher Truth, 0 represents emptiness or completeness, and 8 represents infinity. Similarly, we have 108 saints of India in the name of Lord Buddha. 

  • The Sacred Number 108 and Lord Shiva

According to Hindu tradition, Shiva dances the Tandava, the dance of cosmic creation and destruction. The dance pattern considered sacred to lord shiva are in 108 forms or movements. Some devotees perform 108 Surya Namaskars, a yogic sun salutation, as a form of worship. The Shiva Purana, one of Hinduism’s most important religious texts, contains 108 chapters.

  • 108 Births of Adi Shakti

The Goddess Shakti (the feminine energy related to Lord Shiva) is said to have taken 108 births to destroy the demons threatening the devas. With each incarnation, she grew in power and fierceness. In her final and 108th avatar as Goddess Durga, she killed the demon Mahishasura, restoring order to the universe. At the same time, it is believed that Sati (a form of Adishakti) took 107 births to bring Shiva back from his remorse phase, but she failed. She was finally born as Mata Parvati in her 108th birth and became her wife.

Also Read: What are Various Important Threads in Hinduism?

Some Mathematical Facts about Number 108 in Ancient India

Let’s read some interesting mathematical facts about the numbers that form the basis of various scientific and astrological calculations.

The Numerological Meaning of 108

In numerology, 108 symbolises the infinite and eternal Truth. At the same time, 108 adds upto 9, which represents the end of a cycle and the start of something new. Apart from this, 1, 0, 8 and 9 (their addition) also contribute to the personality traits of an individual in numerology.

  • 1

If 1 is prominent in your chart, you’re likely an ambitious self-starter. Number 1 signifies independence, initiative, and leadership. People with 1s are pioneers and innovators, driven to accomplish goals and achieve success. 

  • 0

0 represents infinity, wholeness, and limitless potential. If 0 is significant in your chart, you’re probably open-minded, tolerant, and spiritual. You value peace, harmony and unity. You need purpose and meaning to feel fulfilled.

  • 8

Numero value 8 represents a balance between spirituality and the material world. People who belong to number 8 in numerology are not only powerful and ambitious in the professional world but also very religious and believe in God’s presence. 

  • 9

9 symbolises wisdom, compassion, and humanitarianism. If 9 recurs in your chart, you’re idealistic and care deeply about humanity. Nines make great teachers, healers and leaders working to improve the world. 

The Famous Fibonacci Series

The Famous Fibonacci series – 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and so on has its mentions in the Ancient India in relevance to 108. Every 24 digits add upto 108. This pattern repeats after every 24 numbers.

For example, 

0 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 5 + 8 + 4 + 3 + 7 + 1 + 8 + 9 + 8 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 4 + 1 + 5 + 6 + 2 + 8 + 1 = 108 

It is believed that many Sanskrit poems and mantras were written using this pattern. At the same time, the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva are also placed in a Fibonacci pattern and are related to the golden ratio, phi = 1.618.

Some More Mathematical Facts

  • 108 is a perfect number, meaning its factors add up to the number itself. 1 + 2 + 3 + 6 + 9 + 18 + 27 + 54 = 108.
  • Mathematically, 108 is a figurate number, meaning it represents a polygon with 108 sides. 
  • In sacred geometry, the number 108 is connected to the pentagram. This means a star in the shape of a pentagram has all its sides made at an angle of 108 degrees. 
  • For Hindus, the number 108 also includes cosmic time and space, encapsulating the harmony of the universe. 
  • Overall, for Hindus, the number 108 contains the whole of existence within itself.

Also Read: What are the 18 Puranas in Hinduism?

Incorporating 108 Into Hindu Rituals and Practices

The number 108 holds special religious significance in Hinduism and is incorporated into many rituals and practices.

1. Prayer Beads

Mala beads, used for prayer and meditation, typically contain 108 beads. As you chant and run your fingers over each bead, it is meant to help focus your mind and concentration. Moreover,  the Mukhya Shivaganas (attendants of Shiva) are 108 in number, and hence, Shaiva religions, particularly Lingayats, use malas of 108 beads. At the same time, in Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Lord Krishna in Brindavan had 108 main followers known as gopis.

2. Reciting Mantras

Many Hindus recite a mantra, like the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra (हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे । हरे राम हरे राम राम राम हरे हरे ।), 108 times during prayer or meditation. This repetition is thought to bring one closer to the divine and help achieve a meditative state. The mantra is usually recited using mala prayer beads to keep count.

3. Parikrama

At Hindu temples, devotees will sometimes perform parikrama, circumambulating the inner sanctum 108 times. This is meant as a sign of devotion and reverence to the deity. Taking 108 rounds in temple is considered highly auspicious for this purpose.

4. Fasts and festivals

Some Hindu fasts and festivals incorporate 108 into their rituals. For example, during the nine-day Navratri festival, some devotees will prepare 108 food offerings to the Goddess Durga. At Holi, people make bonfires in a havan kund, a fire pit that is often 108 cubic feet, to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.


By now, you all must have understood the significance of 108 number. We tried to present every major piece of information about the importance of 108 numbers in Hinduism. However, there are several other theories as well if you go through different sacred books from ancient India. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why is 108 sacred?

In Hinduism, 108 is considered a holy number that represents spiritual completion and wholeness. There are said to be 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra.

2. What is the meaning of 108 beads on a mala?

Mala beads, used for meditation and prayer, often have 108 beads. This represents the 108 moments of a full-breath cycle. 108 repetitions of a mantra is thought to bring meditation into harmony and balance.

3. Why do some Hindu rituals involve 108 repetitions?

In ceremonies like chanting, offerings or prostrations, completing 108 repetitions is believed to bring one into harmony with the divine. 108 signifies spiritual completion and wholeness.

4. What is the significance of 108 names of deities?

Gods and goddesses like Ganesha, Shiva, Krishna and Lakshmi each have 108 names used for worship and meditation. Reciting these 108 names, or Ashtottara Shatanamavali, is thought to bring one closer to the deity.

5. Why are there 108 dance poses in Indian classical dance?

There are 108 katanas, or dance units, in Indian classical dance forms like Bharatanatyam. These poses embody spiritual and philosophical concepts, so 108 katanas represent a complete spiritual expression.

6. Why do some temples have 108 pillars or steps?

The numbers 3 and 9 are significant in Hinduism, and 108 is a multiple of both. Some temples incorporate 108 pillars, steps or other architectural features as a symbolic representation of spiritual totality or wholeness.

Also Read: The Three Pillars Of Hinduism: Brahma, Vishnu And Mahesh

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About Ritu

There's a saying, " Description begins in the writer's imagination but should not finish in the reader's ", and I truly believe that. I have colossal love for vocabulary and I wish to continue creating impact with writing. Talking about the professional realm, I am a Content Writer having decent work experience.