[Advaita-l] Why Holi mantras chanted 108 times

narayan iyer z1e1b1r1a at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 9 08:03:18 CST 2010

Namo namah

My take is that in the ancient times of vedic civilisation, a lunar year consisted of 324 days and the completion of one revolution of moon amongst the 27 stars was considered to be a year.

Since the gayatri japa was prescribed during the three sandhyas, initially it was proscribed at 324 times in a day (so as to take care of the sins/papas of the entire year) and this 324 japa was split into 108 gayatris during the three sandhyas.  Since gayatri japa was considered prime mantras and its anushtaanam was of repetition of 108 times at a time, the mantra japa of all other mantras came about to 108 following gayatri.

In our family tradition, if it was not possible to do gayatri japa of 1008 repetitions at a stretch, it was broken into 3 components of 336 each.  This addition of 12 mantra repetitions would take care of adhik-masa which occurs every three years to synchronise solar and lunar years.

Thus the gayatri japa repetition of 324 every day keeps the sadhak sinless for a year forward and repetion of 1008 times keeps him sinless for 3 years forward.  This was what I learnt from my grand father, who is no more.

I have no clue as to why the gayatri japa was reduced to 32 during madhyanikam and to 64 during evening sandhya vandanam.   

--- On Sat, 1/9/10, sriram <srirudra at vsnl.com> wrote:

> From: sriram <srirudra at vsnl.com>
> Subject: [Advaita-l] Why Holi mantras chanted 108 times


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