|108 109 →|
Factorization 2× 3
|Cardinal one hundred eight|
Roman numeral CVIII
|Ordinal 108th(one hundred and eighth)|
Divisors 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 27, 36, 54, 108
108 (one hundred [and] eight) is the natural number following 107 and preceding 109.
There are 108 free polyominoes of order 7.
Religion and the arts
The number 108 is considered sacred by the Dharmic Religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism.
Mukhya Shivaganas are 108 in number and hence Shaiva religions, particularly Lingayats, use 108 rudraksha beaded lace for japa. Also they recite supreme lord Shiva's 108 (AshtaaShatanaamaavaLi) names daily during their morning Shivapuja.
In Gaudiya Vaishnavism, there are 108 gopis of Vrindavan. Recital of these names, often accompanied by the counting of a 108-beaded mala, is considered sacred and often done during religious ceremonies. The recital is called namajapa. Accordingly, a japa mala usually has beads for 108 repetitions of a mantra. The Sri Vaishnavite Tradition has 108 Divya Kshetras of Lord Vishnu, called as 108 Divya Desams. The 12 Prolific Poet Saints called Alwars of the Sri Vaishnavites wrote devotional poetry about these 108 abodes of Lord Vishnu which was later compiled by Nathamuni as the Divya Prabhandams which are sacred texts in the philosophy.
The well known bas-relief carving at the famous Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia relates the Hindu story of a serpent being pulled back and forth by 108 gods and asuras (demons), 54 gods pulling one way, and 54 asuras pulling the other, to churn the ocean of milk in order to produce the elixir of immortality. According to the Oriental Architecture site there are 5 monumental guardian gates to the fortified temple city of Angkor Thom. In front of each gate stand giant statues of 54 gods (to the left of the causeway) and 54 demons (to the right of the causeway) which represent the churning of the ocean.
Likewise, Tibetan Buddhist malas or rosaries (Tib. ཕྲེང་བ Wyl. phreng ba, "Trengwa") are usually 108 beads; sometimes 111 including the guru bead(s), reflecting the words of the Buddha called in Tibetan the Kangyur (Wylie: Bka'-'gyur) in 108 volumes. Zen priests wear juzu (a ring of prayer beads) around their wrists, which consists of 108 beads.
The Lankavatara Sutra has a section where the Bodhisattva Mahamati asks Buddha 108 questions and another section where Buddha lists 108 statements of negation in the form of "A statement concerning X is not statement concerning X". In a footnote, D.T. Suzuki explains that the Sanskrit word translated as "statement" is pada which can also mean "foot-step" or "a position." This confusion over the word "pada" explains why some have mistakenly held that the reference to 108 statements in the Lankavatara refer to the 108 steps that many temples have.
In some schools of Buddhism it is believed that there are 108 feelings. According to Bhante Gunaratana this number is reached by multiplying the senses smell, touch, taste, hearing, sight, and consciousness by whether they are painful, pleasant or neutral, and then again by whether these are internally generated or externally occurring, and yet again by past, present and future, finally we get 108 feelings. 6 × 3 × 2 × 3 = 108. In Japan, at the end of the year, a bell is chimed 108 times in Buddhist temples to finish the old year and welcome the new one. Each ring represents one of 108 earthly temptations (Bonnō) a person must overcome to achieve nirvana.
In Jewish culture and numerology
Jews often give gifts and charitable donations in multiples of the number 18, associated with the Hebrew word 'chai(חי)', meaning 'alive', 'living', or 'life'. See Chai (symbol). The number 108 both is a multiple of 18 (6 times 18) and contains the numbers 1 and 8 that compose the number 18.
In the neo-Gnostic teachings of Samael Aun Weor, an individual has 108 chances (lifetimes) to eliminate his egos and transcend the material world before "devolving" and having the egos forcefully removed in the infradimensions.
Many East Asian martial arts trace their roots back to Buddhism, specifically, to the Buddhist Shaolin Temple. Because of their ties to Buddhism, 108 has become an important symbolic number in a number of martial arts styles.