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The significance of the number

Most yoga students, at some point along their yoga journey, have done 108 Sun Salutations or done their Japa Meditation using mala beads and wondered why the number 108 is used.

The number 108 has a huge significance in yoga and Vedic history. There are 108 Upanishads and some say that if you want knowledge you should read the first 10 Upanishads, whereas if you want Moksha (liberation) then you need to read all 108 Upanishads. The number 108 is said to be the number that represents the universe and our whole existence and perfect totality, so it makes sense that in order to achieve liberation and fully understand your existence you will have to study 108 texts to get you there.

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The Sanskrit alphabet has 54 letters in it and each letter has a masculine and a feminine Shiva and Shakti, if you multiply 54 by 2 you get 108 so it can be said that the Sanskrit alphabet has 108 letters in total.

The significance of the number 108 features not just in an intellectual sense but also presents itself in the physical sense, in the body. In Ayurveda, the science or knowledge of life, we have what is known as mar-ma points along the body. Marmas control the basic, essential functions in the body. Marma points are anatomical points along the body where bones, joints veins etc. meet up and they are the centres of energy control. They are considered points of concentrated prana. There are 107 Marma points in the body and each point has its own intelligence and consciousness. There are 107 marma points along the body and they are chained together to form 108 links. The mind is considered the 108th marma point.

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