[Advaita-l] Why Holi mantras chanted 108 times: the number 100

yajvan yajvan at san.rr.com
Sat Jan 9 10:12:51 CST 2010

hariḥ oṁ


Here is my view ( if there is interest) on this 100... I have been taught it has further meaning beyond just a number of life
Span to 100... It starts with 10.

So what of this 10?   It is 1 + 0. the Fullness of nirguṇa ( 0 ) + the fullness of saguṇa ( 1 ) gives total fullness. 

Both are full in themselves and is represented by this 1+0 or 10.
This is the wisdom found in the application of 10; '10' is code, inference, the insight, the symbol for full-ness and aligns to Brahman.

Let me offer some additional insight... 
The īśa upaniṣad, (some prefer it written as īśopaniṣad or īśāvāsya upaniṣad) says the following in the 2nd śloka:
kūrvannevāha karmāni jijīiviṣecchataṁ samāḥ | 
evaṁ tvayi nānyatheto'sti na karma lipyate nare ||

A few translations 
Performing (verily) works in this world one should wish to live 100 years (jijīiviṣecchataṁ samāḥ) ; Thus it is right for thee and not otherwise than this. Action will not bind the man (nara). - Svāmi Śivānanda 

Another view (same śloka)
Doing verily works in this world one should wish to live a hundred years. Thus it is in thee and not otherwise than this; action cleaves not to a man. - Śrī Aurobindo (some write Śrī Ôrobindo or even Srī Aravinda) 

One last view 
One must desire to live even a hundred years by doing prescribed karma only. Thus is it right for you, not otherwise; [if this is done, then] sin will not bind the human - (I am unclear on this author's name).

Here we have this most insightful īśopaniṣad , yet it is wishing you live 100 years ? Yet the the kavi (seer, or ṛṣi) also says action will not bind the man ( or sin will not bind to this man). How can this be?

One must seriously consider, is it just by the accomplishment of living 100 years we are not burdened or bound to our actions ( karmāni ) ? Here is another way of viewing this that makes sense.

If you recall from above this 1+0 is all about fullness (10). Now what is 100? 1+0+0 or 10 X 10.

So, living to 100 is saṁketa i.e. the hint, the code the inference for living in fullness - bhūma. That is, living in Brahman. Then the next sentence makes perfect sense - action will not bind ( or cleave) or attach itself to the man (nara). Why so? 
If one is in the fullness (bhūma) of Brahman, then one is outside the the grips of the 3 guna-s; They do not bind - they become like a roasted seed (i.e. cannot sprout new actions); This IMHO is the wisdom of this 2nd sloka that rings true and ties back to 1+0.


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org [mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org] On Behalf Of sriram
Sent: Saturday, January 09, 2010 3:10 AM
To: advaita
Subject: [Advaita-l] Why Holi mantras chanted 108 times

Dear members
100  is very important in Hindu philososophy.The longevity is considered as of 100 years.Sadhayushman bhava is the blessings of the elders to the young ones.In Tamil also this hundred is considered important.If somebody`s name is being mentioned and if he suddenly appears on the scene Tamil people will say  you will live a hundred years.May be 100 is followed by two sunyas -zeros-and make it ending with a digit 8 might have been added as it gives a total of 9 when digits are added.9 is considered very auspicious as it constantly maintains its value if it is multiplied by any number and the digits are added to arrive at a single digit sum.Ashtothara sadam is usually the number of namavali in praise of the deities and in the end the purohit will say ashtothram sampoornam.Sadam is understood.
According to me this 108 would have evolved during a period  from 100 and stopped at this.But there is no injunction as to why 108.We have Sahasranama also in this fashion.We can at the most speculate only.We can say it is anadhi.R.Krishnamoorthy.
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