The mystic number of 108 carries a very significant place in our practices and traditions. It is believed that this number stands for rhythm and discipline in the Universe. In the number,108, the number 1 stands for God, the number 0 stands for emptiness to find God and the number 8 stands for the search of God in all the 8 directions. According to Indian time measurement, it is said that one day of Brahma is equal to 43,20,000 divided into the four yugas, again which is a factor of 108 ( 108*4= 432).
Lord Shiva’s followers are known as the Shiva Ganas and they are 108 in number. Similarly, Lord Krishna in Brindavan had Gopis as his followers, 108 in number. This is significant in connecting God and the devotee helps maintains harmony among both.
An interesting story signifies the importance of the number too. There came up a challenge between Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya as to who was the stronger among the two. The challenge was to complete a whole round of the three worlds. Lord Ganesha believed that his parents itself are the representations of the three worlds and did 108 pradakshinas around them. He won the challenge and also signified that parents are the representations of God and respecting them is respecting God.
Ayurveda says that there are 108 vital points (marma sthanas) also called chakras in the human body which are the intersecting lines sustaining energy in the body. Through Yoga, if once can offer 9 rounds of 12 postures of the Surya namaskars, the total which comes to 108, then the body will totally be healthy in all the marma Sthanas.
There are 108 sacred places called the Divya desams according to Hindu tradition. The River Ganga has the longitude of 12 degrees and latitude of 9 degrees, which equals to 108. The number is considered to be a Harshad number and in Sanskrit signifies happiness, and hence, all our practices have been woven around this mystic number to help us lead a happy and healthy life.