# 108 & the Summer Solstice

It is possible to view the individual digits of 108 as representational: 1 for God or higher Truth, 0 for emptiness or completeness, and 8 for infinity or eternity.

The number 108 is considered sacred in many ancient religions and histories, and so there are typically 108 beads or knots on malas and rosaries. Beyond religion, however, the number is also significant in literature, mathematics, numerology, geometry, astronomy, astrology, …The list continues.

Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

The number 108 both is a multiple of 18 (6 times 18) and contains the numbers 1 and 8 that compose the number 18 (and also, of course, 108).

1 power 1 x 2 power 2 x 3 power 3 = 108; 1x4x27=108.

The atomic weight of silver is 108.

108 degrees Fahrenheit is the internal temperature at which the human body’s vital organs begin to fail from overheating.

In many denominations of martial arts, there are considered 108 pressure points in the body.

According to certain views, 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).

There are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra.

There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine variation (54 X 2 = 108).

In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets (12 X 9 = 108).

And if none of that is convincing, consider the cosmic:

The distance from the earth to the moon is 108 times the diameter of the moon.

The distance from the earth to the sun is 108 times the diameter of the sun.

The diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of the earth.

Again these are just a few examples. Nevertheless, yoga practitioners around the globe recognize the number’s natural and historical occurrence. Many do so through the repetition of 108 sun salutations. Other’s might recite a mantra or an affirmation 108 times. Perhaps in honor of this Summer Solstice, you have or can initiate your own tradition which reflects the way in which your personal practice is connected to others and to the natural world. Truly, Namaste.