[Advaita-l] Why holy mantras are chanted 108 times and not any other number of times?

Kathirasan K brahmasatyam at gmail.com
Mon Jan 18 19:51:40 CST 2010

Namaste Rameshji,

The original Hindu japamala was only 50 beads corresponding to the
alphabets of sanskrit. Eventually another 58 was added. The rationale
behind the 108 was recorded in the Akshamalika Upanishad as '50
ascending alphabets (a to ksha) + 50 descending (ksha to a) + 8
syllables '. Although the practice of japa is rooted in the Tantrika
tradition, it has gained a place in the Vedic traditions too. Here is
the translation of the mantra from the said Upanishad:

'This half garland of fifty beads should be completed by adding fifty
more beads.....eight more beads should be spelled with the letters a,
ka, ca, Ta, ta, pa, ya , sha  as previously done. '

I have yet to find any other authentic source for the explanation
other than the many speculative rationales. I would recommend you to
study the book 'Sonic Theology' by Guy Beck for a better appreciation
of sound and Tantric traditions.


2010/1/8 RAMESH RAMANAN <rameshramanan at yahoo.co.uk>:
> Dear Learned List members,
> Pranams,
>  Can the learned members of the board clarify this doubt of mine please?  Why are Holy Manthras chanted 108 Times? why not any other number? Thanks and pranams once again, Ramesh Ramanan.
> _______________________________________________
> Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.culture.religion.advaita
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list