[Advaita-l] Why holy mantras are chanted 108 times

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Mon Jan 11 05:40:29 CST 2010

This does raise the question : is 'number' and numbers, part of the active
agency of Creation (as for instance the Circle of Nine Points would
suggest) -- thus a sort of hidden aspect of empirical science; or simply a
reminder of the nature of that Creation; or both ? (I hope this makes


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of
Tanushree Bagrodia
Sent: 11 January 2010 07:26
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Why holy mantras are chanted 108 times

> A new member (who still has to learn a lot), I would like to share my
>> learnings on the number 108.
> 1 stands for brahman, the One and only whole reality
> 0 depicts maya, the creator of all illusions
> 8 is the ashtadha prakriti, the materialistic world
> The only thing separating the materialistic world from the brahman is maya
> and hence the 0 between the 1 and 8. It is maya and getting sucked into it
> that creates the distance between the material world and the brahman.
> Without the brahman or the ashtadha prakriti, maya own its own has no
> powers. 0 on its own has no value. Thus the number 108 is a representation
> of brahman and a constant reminder that there is only One reality and One
> truth all else is an illusion created by maya in the form of the
> materialistic world.
> Interestingly, SitaRam and RadheyShyam in the devnagri script also add to
> 108
> For e.g. SitaRam
> Sita :
> The alphabet "s" in Devnagri is the 32nd consonant
> The vowel sound "I" in Devnagri is the 4th
> The alphabet "t" is the 16th consonant
> The vowel sound "A" is the 2nd
> Total of these is 54
> Ram:
> The alphabet "r" is the 27th consonant
> The vowel "A" is the 2nd
> The alphabet "m" is the 25
> Total of these is 54
> Total for SitaRam is 108
> Similarly RadheyShyam adds to a 108
> 108 was used in the titles of vaishnav saints, however, in the recent
> not understanding the significance of 108 many mandleshwars (which again
> a mis-representation as it should be mandleeshwar from the words mandli +
> ishwar) have started using 1008, such that their titles read 1008 swami
> This should be 108, if used at all.
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