[Advaita-l] Why holy mantras are chanted 108 times andnotanyother number of times?

yajvan yajvan at san.rr.com
Fri Jan 8 20:37:46 CST 2010

hariḥ oṁ


Yes, simple is good ( i.e.Occam's razor (or Ockham's razor)  principle .
In jyotiṣ ( jyotish) this 9 is a big deal. As you mention Sarma, nava means new; navan or navānām = 9 .

In jyotish,  the 9th house and the navamsa ( the 1/9th division chart) is a key place.  The 9th bhāva (house) is a dharma house 
; and who is the owner of the natural 9th house? bṛhaspati, the guru, Jupiter as grāhaka.

You mention the Mahābhārata - yes,  18 days for the war, the size of the armies ( 18 troops), the 18 parvan (some like to call prapāṭhaka) of the total book; The number of chapters in the Bhāgavad gītā = 18.

In my humble opinion this 9 , 18,  108 has much to do with how Veda Vyāsa  (or Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana )  likes
to give us hints (saṃketa) with numbers within the different vehicles he writes.

Yet all things being equal , as you mention the simplist view of rejuvenation, is attractive;  yet ( for me) the pursuit 
of 108  as a more  robust indicator i.e. 18, 9, 3³x3, etc. is intriguing.


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org [mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org] On Behalf Of D.V.N. Sarma
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 4:38 PM
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Why holy mantras are chanted 108 times andnotanyother number of times?

The simplest explanation is 1+0+8=9, the start of a new counting cycle in the decimal system. The sanskrit name for 9, "nava" means new. It signifies rejuvenation.

Mahabharata is with its multiple use of 18 (1+8=9) indicates the obsession of ancients for this number.

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