Why 108 Mala Beads?
guest blogger of the month is Erica Batting, a member of the AshramChic family.
Generally, on a Mala (used for mantra counting) there are 108 beads or a fraction of that number, such as: 54, 36, 27 or 9 beads. But Why?…
It is proven to be a very spiritual and connected component of our lives.
Listed below are the many reasons for this conclusion.
Which one ties closest to you? That’s up for you to decide!
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The number 108 holds many divine points. Such as there are 108 qualities of praiseworthy souls. Some have also suggested that there are 108 paths to god. The Sacred River Ganga even spans a latitude 9 degrees and longitude 12 degrees (9×12=108). Also seen in texts of wisdom there are 108 Upanishads from the ancient sages. Not to mention the 54 letters in Sanskrit alphabet in both masculine and feminine form (54×2=108).
Religions are even seen having ties to 108. India: 108 goddess names, Krishna tradition: 108 Gopis (maids) of Krishna, Hinduism: 108 deities, some state that deity has 108 names; Buddhism: 108 virtues to cultivate, 108 defilements to avoid, Jain religion: there are 108 combined virtues, and in Islam: the number refers to God himself. …Praise 108!
108 is also said to be in many of our human attributes. Such as the desires we hold, the amount of lies we tell, and 108 forms of ignorance we have. Some say we even have 108 feelings (split between past, present, and future- 36 for each). 108 is even seen on a deeper human level, our heart chakra. There are a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra.
What about within meditation and breath work? Oh it’s there…
Within meditation there are said to 108 styles. Tantra estimates an average of 21,600 breathes per day (10,800 solar energy, 10,800 lunar). 108×100=10,800. 10,800×2=21,600. Last but not least, there’s always the idea of pranayama to take into account: If one is able to be calm in meditation and have only 108 breathes in a day, enlightenment will come …time to get practicing!
Then there are just the numbers… 9&12; Both said to have spiritual importance in many traditions. 9×12=108. Power of 1, 2, 3; 1st. power =1, 2nd power =4, 3rd power =27. 1x4x27=108! The number 108 is also a Harshad number (means “great joy” in Sanskrit), meaning its integers are divisible by the sum of its digits. . There are 8 extra beads on a mala, (100 repetitions are counted as completed). Remaining eight are for covering errors, also offerings for God and Guru. Within this stems 108 and Chemistry. …The number of natural elements on the periodic table are 100 (a completed repetition).
Even on a more universal level, 108 is present. …That’s right, Astrology: 12 constellations and 9 arc segments; and 12 houses and planets (9×12=108). 108 is seen within the connection of the Sun & Earth, with the sun being 108 times the diameter of earth. The average distance from the moon to the earth is also 108 times the diameter of the moon.
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So there we go!
Enjoy your mala and the 108 moments out of your day, bringing you into focus and connection.
…With all things.
Like Swami Jhaneshvara Bharati once said:
“You may notice that 108 appears to be somewhat like a road map of reality in general,
and the human in particular.”
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The best part about meditation is that we can do it anywhere. Whether in the serenity of our homes, on the train, bus, cab, yoga mat, in the shower, and in the rain! It’s said we breathe 20,000 times a day — SO many opportunities to send out love, peace, and inspiration.
Laughing is Contagious, it Starts with You.
With Prem, Erica
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To hear a song that inspired this blog, go here :