108: The Sacred Number
If any number were to be associated with yogic and meditative traditions, it would be 108. If you are a part of the yoga community, you know what I am talking about.
108 sun salutations at your local yoga class every equinox and solstice; Tai chi long forms being counted traditionally in 108 postures; 108 chants, breaths, mantras, asanas during your practice; 108 beautiful beads used in the creation of your Ahimsa Mala Co. mala.
Something must be up... Why is this number so significant and why do we keep seeing it over and over? Is it just a coincidence? Was it the Buddha's favorite number (Some may like to think so, because... how funny and anti-climactic would that be?!)?
Although numbers can seem quite arbitrary, the number 108 is respected esoterically around the globe and is what we found to connect the microcosm to the macrocosm on multiple levels.
Let's break this down in a few ways (Caution: Contents may blow your mind):
1: Oneness; Life, which is eternal and all-pervasive, transcends what we perceive as the self and is coextensive with the universe.
0: Nothingness, Emptiness; The non-inherent nature of events, the quality of zero senses and having a completely open mind.
8: Infinity; The connection that we are the Universe and the Universe is all of us.
The significance of 108 is also reflected in many ways in astronomy and astrology:
The sun's diameter is approximately 108 times the diameter of Earth.
The average distance between the Earth and the Sun is 108 times the sun’s diameter.
There are 12 solar houses and 9 lunar houses in Vedic astrology: 9 x 12 = 108.
The average distance between the Earth and the Moon is 238,800 miles... About 108 times the moons diameter. This makes it so the moon appears the same size as the sun during eclipses.
Through this sacred number, we see the reflection of the universe in ourselves and it becomes possible for us to see ourselves in all beings. This can often be difficult to remember in a culture of cognitive dissonance and separation. We must all remember that we are not separate from the stars, we are the stars; we are not separate from each other, we are all one consciousness. We are all together in this brotherhood of man where everything is a reflection of ourselves.