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Chanting a Mantra 108 times is a traditional practice that uses a MALA with 108 beads.

There is also a tradition in yoga of doing 108 sun salutations.

WHY 108?

What is it about 108 that makes it chosen as the number of times to chant a mantra or to practice sun salutations 108 times?

108 is a number that is ascribed mystical significance in Indian traditions and various other traditions.

Below are a few attributions:

  • The deities of Hinduism often have 108 names. 

  • There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet; each letter has a masculine and feminine aspect (more accurately Shiva and Shakti) 54 x 2 = 108.

  • 108 Gopis or servants of lord Krishna

  • 108 stitches on a Baseball and Fastball

  • 108 beads on a Mala and Rosary

  • #108 is the emergency number in India 🇮🇳

Symbolic Terms

  • 1 stands for the one Universal Consciousness from which all arises

  • 0 stands for completeness or perfection which is fully spacious (empty, void) that is the goal of the spiritual path

  • 8 stands for Infinity (laid on its side it is a universal symbol for infinity)


108 = Universal number

9 x 12 = 108

9: the number of completion

12: the cosmic number

1+0+8 = 9

9: represents unconditional love

Buddhism ☸️

  • Many Buddhist temples have 108 steps

  • Buddhism suggests there’s 108 feelings

  • Multiplying the 6 senses (taste, hearing, smell, sight, touch) and consciousness by the 3 attributes of pain, pleasant or neutral, multiplied again by the 2 factors of whether they are internally or externally generated, and again by the 3 time divisions of past, present or future.

  • 6 x 3 x 2 x 3 = 108

Judaism ✡️

  • 18 is a revered number in Judaism

  • Gifts and charitable donations are given in multiples of 18 (18 x 6 = 108)

  • In the number 108 the fullness of zero sits inside 18

None of this really satisfactorily explains WHY. However, the ancient Indians were keen astronomers, astrologers and great mathematicians. I wonder if all the magical mystical significance comes about due to their understanding of the maths and science of it?!


As it turns out that there are amazing things about the #108 when we turn to science and mathematics.


  • The average distance of the earth 🌍 from the sun ☀️ is 108 times the diameter of the sun ☀️

  • The average distance of the earth 🌍 from the moon 🌕 is 108 times the diameter of the moon 🌕

At least it would have been as far as the ancients could observe and calculate it - with modern instruments and computers it is a bit off.


  • 11 x 22 x 33 = 108 (1 x 4 x 27 = 108); called hyper-factorial.

108 is a Refactorial number

  • meaning it’s divisible by the count of its divisors

  • that it has 12 divisors, 1 and 108, 2 and 54, 3 and 36, 4 and 27, 6 and 18, 9 and 12, and it is divisible by 12

The measure in degrees of the internal angle of a regular pentagon is 108 (Euclidean space)

  • Pentagons are considered a magical shape.

2 sin (108°/2) = ᵩ

  • Greek symbol PHI which means the “golden ratio”

I do not know if all of this has resulted in an answer as to why we chant the mantras 108 times and do 108 sun salutations, or why the deities have 108 names, however with such an amazing number, why not?

Next time we chant 108 times please join us. It really is a most blissful experience.

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