The popular American TV show “Lost” made many esoteric references to the number “108” (a series that I never watched personally)
Apparently, the series includes quite a few references to Buddhism. For example, the sum of “the numbers” (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42) is 108, and “the numbers” must be entered into a computer every 108 minutes. One hundred eight is also the number of days “the Oceanic 6″ have spent on the island. And Jacob tells Hurley to rotate the mirror in the lighthouse to a heading of 108°.
The following is a collection of information about the number “108” (reference links included):
There are 108 free polyominoes of order 7.
The equation results in the Golden ratio
Importance in Astronomy and Astrology
The earth cycle is supposed to be of 2160 years = 20 x 108. The distance between the Earth and Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Sun. The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth. The distance between the Earth and Moon is 108 times the diameter of the Moon. The universe is made up of 108 elements according to ancient texts. The current periodic table claims a few more than 108.
There are 12 constellation and 9 arc segments. 9 times 12 equal 108. The 9 planets travelling through the 12 signs constitute the whole of existence. 9 x 12 = 108. The 27 nakshatras or lunar constellations spread over the 4 elements – fire, earth, air, water or the 4 directions – north, south, east, and west. This also constitutes the whole of existence. 27 x 4 = 108.
Religion and the arts
The number 108 is considered sacred in many Eastern religions and traditions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and connected yoga and dharma based practices. The individual numbers 1, 0, and 8 represent one thing, nothing, and everything (infinity). 108 represents the ultimate reality of the universe as being (seemingly paradoxically) simultaneously One, emptiness, and infinite.
For example, Hindu deities have 108 names, while in Gaudiya Vaishnavism, there are 108 gopis of Vrindavan. Recital of these names, often accompanied by counting of 108-beaded Mala, is considered sacred and often done during religious ceremonies. The recital is called namajapa. Accordingly, a mala usually has beads for 108 repetitions of a mantra.
The distance of Sun from Earth divided by diameter of Sun and distance of Moon from Earth divided by diameter of Moon is approximately equal to 108. It is claimed that the great sires of Vedanta knew this relationship and thus 108 is a very important number in Vedantic chantings.
Likewise, Tibetan Buddhist malas or rosaries (Tib. ཕྲེང་བ Wyl. phreng ba, “Trengwa”) are usually 108 beads; sometimes 111 including the Guru Bead(s), reflecting the words of the Buddha called in Tibetan the Kangyur (Wylie: Bka’-‘gyur) in 108 volumes. Zen priests wear juzu (a ring of prayer beads) around their wrists, which consists of 108 beads.
The Lankavatara Sutra has a section where the Bodhisattva Mahamati asks Buddha 108 questions and another section where Buddha lists 108 statements of negation in the form of “A statement concerning X is not statement concerning X”. In a footnote, D.T. Suzuki explains that the Sanskrit word translated as “statement” is “pada” which can also mean “foot-step” or “a position.” This confusion over the word “pada” explains why some have mistakenly held that the reference to 108 statements in the Lankavatara refer to the 108 steps that many temples have.
In some schools of Buddhism it is believed that there are 108 defilements. In Japan, at the end of the year, a bell is chimed 108 times in Buddhist temples to finish the old year and welcome the new one. Each ring represents one of 108 earthly temptations a person must overcome to achieve nirvana.
In the neo-Gnostic teachings of Samael Aun Weor, an individual has 108 chances (lifetimes) to eliminate his egos and transcend the material world before “devolving” and having the egos forcefully removed in the infradimensions.
- According to Marma Adi and Ayurveda, there are 108 pressure points in the body, where consciousness and flesh intersect to give life to the living being.
- The Chinese school of martial arts agrees with the South Indian school of martial arts on the principle of 108 pressure points.
- 108 number also figures prominently in the symbolism associated with karate, particularly the Gōjū-ryū discipline. The ultimate Gōjū-ryū kata, Suparinpei, literally translates to 108. Suparinpei is the Chinese pronunciation of the number 108, while gojūshi of Gojūshiho is the Japanese pronunciation of the number 54. The other Gōjū-ryū kata, Sanseru (meaning “36”) and Seipai (“18″) are factors of the number 108.
- The 108 of the Yang long form and Wing Chun, taught by Yip Man having 108 movements are noted in this regard.
- Several different Taijiquan long forms consist of 108 moves.
- Paek Pal Ki Hyung, the 7th form taught in the art of Kuk Sool Won, translates literally to “108 technique” form. It is also frequently referred to as the “eliminate 108 torments” form. Each motion corresponds with one of the 108 Buddhist torments or defilements.
- In Homer‘s Odyssey, the number of suitors coveting Penelope, wife of Odysseus.
- There are 108 outlaws in the Chinese classic Water Margin/Outlaws of the Marsh.
- There are 108 love sonnets in Astrophil and Stella, the first English sonnet sequence by Sir Philip Sidney.
In other fields
- An official Major League Baseball baseball has 108 stitches.
- In the Manga and Anime series Shikabane Hime Aka and Shikabane Hime Kuro (Corpse Princess), the shikabane himes must hunt 108 evil undead corpses in order to ascend to heaven.
- The atomic number of hassium.
- The number of Mbit/s of a non-standard extension of IEEE 802.11g wireless network using channel bonding.
- There are 108 Stars of Destiny to collect in the video game Suikoden distributed by Konami for PlayStation
- 108 is the name of a community of and for open source developers, created by Red Hat.
- There are 108 cards in a deck of UNO cards.
- There are 108 Code Crowns in Digimon Xros Wars.
- Volume expansion of freezing water is roughly 108%.
EMRI – Emergency Services
108 degrees Fahrenheit is also the internal temperature at which the human body‘s vital organs begin to fail from overheating.In India, 108 (1-0-8) is the toll-free emergency telephone number. Calls are handled by GVK EMRI (GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute), the only professional Emergency Service Provider in India today, handling medical, police and fire emergencies.
Highways and Roads
OTHER SIGNIFICANCES OF THE NUMBER 108
The Indian Subcontinent rosary or set of mantra counting has 108 beads. 108 has been a sacred number in the Indian Subcontinent for a very long time. This number is explained in many different ways.
The ancient Indians were excellent mathematicians and 108 may be the product of a precise mathematical operation (e.g. 1 power 1 x 2 power 2 x 3 power 3 = 108) which was thought to have special numerological significance.
Powers of 1, 2, and 3 in math: 1 to 1st power=1; 2 to 2nd power=4 (2×2); 3 to 3rd power=27 (3x3x3). 1x4x27=108
Sanskrit alphabet: There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.
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 x 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human body.
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.
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.
Marmas: Marmas or marmastanas 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.
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.
Planets and Houses: In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals 108.
Gopis of Krishna: In the Krishna tradition, there were said to be 108 gopis or maid servants of Krishna.
1, 0, and 8: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pythagorean: The nine is the limit of all numbers, all others existing and coming from the same. ie: 0 to 9 is all one needs to make up an infinite amount of numbers.