9 times 12: Both of these numbers have been said to

have spiritual significance in many traditions. 9

times 12 is 108. Also, 1 plus 8 equals 9. That 9 times

12 equals 108.

Harshad number: 108 is a Harshad number, which is an

integer divisible by the sum of its digits (Harshad is

from Sanskrit, and means “great joy”)

Heart Chakra: The chakras are the intersections of

energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108

energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One

of them, sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is

said to be the path to Self-realization.

Sanskrit alphabet: There are 54 letters in the

Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine,

shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.

Pranayama: If one is able to be so calm in meditation

as to have only 108 breaths in a day, enlightenment

will come.

Upanishads: There are 108 Upanishads, texts

of the wisdom of the ancient sages.

Sri Yantra: On the Sri Yantra there are marmas where

three lines intersect, and there are 54 such

intersections. Each intersections has masculine and

feminine, shiva and shakti qualities. 54 times 2

equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the

Sri Yantra as well as the human body.

Pentagon: The angle formed by two adjacent lines in a

pentagon equals 108 degrees.

Marmas: Marmas or marmasthanas are like energy

intersections called chakras, except have fewer energy

lines converging to form them. There are said to be

108 marmas in the subtle body.

Time: Some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related

to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related

to the future.

8 extra beads: In doing a practice of counting the

number of repetitions of the mala, 100 are counted as

completed. The remaining are said to cover errors or

omissions. The 8 are also said to be an offering to

God and Guru.

Chemistry: Interestingly, there are about 115 elements

known on the periodic table of the elements. Most of

those, around or higher than the number 100 only exist

in the laboratory, and some for only thousandths of a

second. The number that naturally exist on Earth is

around 108.

Astrology: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc

segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12

equals 108. Chandra is moon, and kalas are the

divisions within a whole.

River Ganga: The sacred River Ganga spans a longitude

of 12 degrees (79 to 91), and a latitude of 9 degrees

(22 to 31). 12 times 9 equals 108.

Planets and Houses: In astrology, there are 12 houses

and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals 108.

Goddess names: There are said to be 108 Indian goddess

names.

Gopis of Krishna: In the Krishna tradition, there were

said to be 108 gopis or maid servants of Krishna.

1, 0, and 8: Some say that 1 stands for God or higher

Truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in

spiritual practice, and 8 stands for infinity or

eternity.

Sun and Earth: The diameter of the Sun is 108 times

the diameter of the Earth. The distance from the Sun

to the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Sun.

Moon and Earth: The average distance of the Moon from

the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Moon.

Silver and the moon: In astrology, the metal silver is

said to represent the moon. The atomic weight of

silver is 108.

Numerical scale: The 1 of 108, and the 8 of 108, when

added together equals 9, which is the number of the

numerical scale, i.e. 1, 2, 3 … 10, etc., where 0 is

not a number.

Meditations: Some say there are 108 styles of

meditation.

Breath: Tantra estimates the average number of breaths

per day at 21,600, of which 10,800 are solar energy,

and 10,800 are lunar energy. Multiplying 108 by 100 is

10,800. Multiplying 2 x 10,800 equals 21,600.

Paths to God: Some suggest that there are 108 paths to

God.

Smaller divisions: The number 108 is divided, such as

in half, third, quarter, or twelfth, so that some

malas have 54, 36, 27, or 9 beads.

Hinduism: 108 is said to refer to the number of Hindu

deities. Some say that each of the deities has 108

names.

Islam: The number 108 is used in Islam to refer to

God.

Jain: In the Jain religion, 108 are the combined

virtues of five categories of holy ones, including 12,

8, 36, 25, and 27 virtues respectively.

Sikh: The Sikh tradition has a mala of 108 knots tied

in a string of wool, rather than beads.

Buddhism: Some Buddhists carve 108 small Buddhas on a

walnut for good luck. Some ring a bell 108 times to

celebrate a new year. There are said to be 108 virtues

to cultivate and 108 defilements to avoid.

Chinese: The Chinese Buddhists and Taoists use a 108

bead mala, which is called su-chu, and has three

dividing beads, so the mala is divided into three

parts of 36 each. Chinese astrology says that there

are 108 sacred stars.

Stages of the soul: Said that Atman, the human soul or

center goes through 108 stages on the journey.

Meru: This is a larger bead, not part of the 108. It

is not tied in the sequence of the other beads. It is

the quiding bead, the one that marks the beginning and

end of the mala.

Dance: There are 108 forms of dance in the Indian

traditions.

There can be several spiritual reasons which can be quoted in regard to significance of 108, but a very simple reason is that great acharyas like Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Sankaracharya, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nimbarakacharya, Vallabhacharya, and in modern times, Srila Prabhupada have all emphasized on a fixed count of chanting of the holy names i.e. 108 in every mala. So by following in the footsteps of the great devotees of the Lord, we please the Lord very easily.