108 is considered to be the most sacred number in the practice of Yoga. You must have seen or practised 108 Sun Salutations or chanted a mantra 108 times using a mala.
What is so sacred about the number 108 in Yoga Practice? Is it a superstitious practice or is there something worthwhile, meaningful behind this number?
- In Vedic astronomy, it states, the diameter of the Sun is 108 times that of Earth. The distance between the Earth and the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Sun. The distance between the Earth and Moon is 108 times the diameter of the Moon.
- According to Vedic astrology, there are 27 constellations and each constellation has four directions covering the entire galaxy (27×4 =108).
- Hatha Yoga is defined as the union of two different energies; the Sun and the Moon or the Masculine and Feminine.
You can find the two dimensions of the same existence too in the following.
- There are 54 letters in Sanskrit and each letter has feminine (Shakti) and Masculine (Shiva) energies (54×2 = 108).
- In Yantras, the most famous and powerful Yantra is called Sri Chakra which has 54 intersections. Each Intersection has masculine and Feminine energy leading to 108.
- In Ayurveda, there are 108 Marma points similar to Acupuncture points understanding of which one would probably be able to heal most of the diseases.
- In Sanskrit Classic Literature starting from the Vedas, we do have 108 Upanishads and 108 Puranas.
- Tantra states that we breathe 21,600 times approx in a day out of which 10800 times is solar energy and 10800 times is lunar energy (108 x100 =10800).
- There are 108 Nadis, the energy channels intersecting the Anahata Chakra, the heart chakra and Sushumna is one among them.
- There are according to the Indian culture, 108 desires, 108 evils while most of the Gods are having 108 names.
- Even in Sun Salutations 108 is the twelve times of 9 which is the number of Vinyasa in Sun Salutation.
There are a lot of reasons not only in Yoga but in most of the ancient religions, cultures such as Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, Buddhism, and so on.
You can check wikipedia too which explores the various dimensions of 108 in different other fields of knowledge.
So, can we take up the mat and practice 108 Sun Salutations?