What is the significance of the number 108? A traditional mala has 108 beads. The number 108 is an auspicious number for many reasons and is considered sacred in Buddhist, Hinduist and yogic tradition. It is all open to interpretation of course and depending on who you ask you most likely always get different answers.
Here are a few popular significances and the ones that most resonate with our malas at Gypsy Soul Jewellery:
- The Sanskrit alphabet has 54 letters, each with a feminine and a masculine energy (54 x 2 = 108)
- The diameter of the sun is approximately 108 times the diameter of the earth and the average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Moon
- It represents the 108 worldly sins in the Buddhist doctrine
- In astrology, silver is said to represent the moon and the atomic weight of silver is 108
- It is said that there are 108 energy lines that all cover and connect to the heart chakra
- There are 108 acupressure points on the body
- It is said that we have 108 feelings. 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future
- There are 12 constellations in astrology and 9 arc segments. 12 houses and 9 planets. (12 X 9 = 108)
- Some say that 1 stands for God, the higher Truth, or the universe as one thing, 0 stands for the emptiness or completeness in the spiritual practice and 8 stands for infinity or eternity
- Mathematicians also love the number 108 for its countless patterns and various divisions. It can be divided, multiplied, added, and subtracted in several ways.
In a practical sense, malas are made to help you with the repetition of your mantra, so you don’t have to count and be relaxed while meditating. But we also believe that you can use your mala beads for so much more than just meditating. Each mala uses different beads of wood, gemstones, crystals or seeds which all have a different meaning. Even the colour of the tassel can add a completely different purpose. The way you decide to use your mala beads is completely up to you, may it be for meditation, as a reminder to stay focused in the present or to set an intention, the energy of your mala will help you achieve what you feel is right for you.
Do you have a special connection to the number 108? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear about it!