Why do malas have 108 beads?
The number 108 is considered a sacred number in Hinduism and Buddhism, and there are many symbolic meanings associated with it. In the context of a mala necklace, the 108 beads serve as a way to count the repetition of mantras or prayers during meditation or spiritual practice.
There are several explanations for why 108 is considered a significant number in Hinduism and Buddhism. Here are a few examples:
- The number 108 is said to represent the 108 energy lines that converge to form the heart chakra in yoga philosophy.
- There are 108 deities in Hinduism and 108 sacred sites in India associated with the god Vishnu.
- In Buddhism, there are said to be 108 earthly desires that a person must overcome to reach enlightenment.
- There are 108 beads on a rosary used by Catholics to recite the Rosary.
- There are 108 stitches on a baseball.
The significance of the number 108 can vary depending on the cultural and religious context in which it is used. In the context of a mala necklace, the 108 beads are a way to track the repetition of mantras or prayers during meditation or spiritual practice. After completing a full cycle of the mala, it is said that the practitioner will have completed 100 mantra repetitions, with 8 extra repetitions for good measure.