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omaha yoga path | Significance of 108

Omaha Yoga Path Post

Significance of 108

The Significance of the number 108?
Why do we do 108 Sun Salutations in Yoga…?

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Here are many of the symbolism for 108:

A japa mala or mala is an eastern rosary with 108 beads. The mala is used both in Hinduism and Buddhism for counting mantras, chants or prayers. 108 has been a sacred number for a long time, and this number is explained in many different ways.

Traditionally, Buddhist have 108 beads, representing the 108 human passions that Avalokiteshvara assumed when telling the beads. This number ensures a repetition of a sacred mantra at least 100 times, the extra beads allowing for any omissions made through absentmindness in counting or for loss or breakage of beads.

Sometimes smaller divisions can be used: 108 is divided in half, third, quarter, or twelfth, so some malas have 54, 36, 27, or 9 beads.

Regardless of the meaning of 108, it is important that if a mala is used to count mantras, the mantra be given sincerity, devotion, feeling, and full attention.

108 may be the product of a precise mathematical operation (e.g. 1 power 1 x 2 power 2 x 3 power 3 = 108) which was thought to have special neurological significance.

  • POWERS of 1, 2 & 3 IN MATH: 1 to 1st power=1; 2 to 2nd power=4 (2×2); 3 to 3rd power=27 (3x3x3). 1x4x27=108
  • SANSKRIT ALPHABET: There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet.
    Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.
  • HARSHAD NUMBER: 108 is a Harshad number, which is an integer divisible by the sum of its digits (Harshad is from Sanskrit, and means “great joy”)
  • DESIRES: There are said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals.
  • LIES: There are said to be 108 lies that humans tell.
  • DELUSIONS: There are said to be 108 human delusions or forms of ignorance.
  • 9 x 12: Both of these numbers have been said to have spiritual significance in many traditions. 9 times 12 is 108. Also, 1 plus 8 equals 9. That 9 times 12 equals 108.
  • TIME: Some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to past, 36 related to present, and 36 related to future.

ASTROLOGY: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas.
9 times 12 equals 108. Chandra is moon, and kalas are the divisions within a whole.

PLANETS AND HOUSES: In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equal 108.
Gopis of Krishna: In the Krishna tradition, there were said to be 108 gopis or maid servants of Krishna.

SUN AND EARTH: The diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth.

NUMERICAL SCALE: The 1 of 108, and the 8 of 108, when added together equals 9, which is the number of the numerical scale, i.e. 1, 2, 3 … 10, etc., where 0 is not a number.

DANCE: There are 108 forms of dance in the Indian traditions.

PYTHAGOREAN: The nine is the limit of all numbers, all others existing and coming from the same. ie: 0 to 9 is all one needs to make up an infinite amount of numbers.

STAGES OF THE SOUL: Atman, the human soul or center goes through 108 stages on the journey.

SRI YANTRA: On the Sri Yantra there are marmas where three lines intersect, and there are 54 such intersections. Each intersections has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti qualities. 54 x 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human body.

ANAHATA (HEART) CHAKRA: The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization.

MARMAS: Marmas or marmastanas are like energy intersections called chakras, except have fewer energy lines converging to form them. There are said to be 108 marmas in the subtle body.

MERU: This is a larger bead, not part of the 108. It is not tied in the sequence of the other beads. It is the guiding bead, the one that marks the beginning and end of the mala.

BUDDHA’S FOOTPRINT: All Buddhists accept the Buddha Footprint with its 108 Auspicious Illustrations. These areas are considered to have been marked on the Buddha’s left foot when his body was discovered.

BUDDHISM: 108 beads on the Hindu maalaa {rosary} 108 Arhats or Holy Ones

HINDUISM: 108 Gopis {consorts} of Lord Krishna 108 Holy places for Vaishnavas 108 beads on the Japa maalaa {rosary} 108 Upanishads 108 Divyadeshes – Divine or Sacred Tirtha throughout India and Nepal 108 sacred water taps in Muktinath – Nepal

ISLAM: The number 108 is used in Islam to refer to God.

JAIN: In the Jain religion, 108 are the combined virtues of five categories of holy ones, including 12, 8, 36, 25, and 27 virtues respectively.

SIKH: The Sikh tradition has a mala of 108 knots tied in a string of wool, rather than beads.
Chinese: The Chinese Buddhists and Taoists use a 108 bead mala, which is called su-chu, and has three dividing beads, so the mala is divided into three parts of 36 each.

SHOSHU BUDDHIST: 108 beads in their malas.
They implement the formula: 6 x 3 x 2 x3 = 108 6 senses [sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought]
3 aspects of time [past, present, future]
2 condition of heart [pure or impure]
3 possibilities of sentiment [like, dislike, indifference]

TAI CHI CHU’AN
108-form Wu family Tai Chi Chuan
The different slow motion solo sequences of T’ai Chi Ch’uan are the best known manifestation of T’ai Chi for public. In English, called the hand form or just the form; in Mandarin it is called ch’uan: 拳 They are performed slowly by beginners and are said to promote concentration, condition the body and acquaint students with the inventory of motion techniques for more advanced styles of martial arts training.

TANTRA SHASTRA: 108 Pitha {Sacred Places} The story goes that Lord Shiva was in deep and incessant meditation. His asceticism was creating great heat in the universe. All existence was in peril and Lord Brahma was deeply concerned.
Lord Brahma asked the Mother of the Universe, Maa Shakti, to use her strength and wile to seduce Lord Shiva. Maa Shakti agreed and was born as Sati, daughter of Shri Daksha. Lord Shiva was so entranced by Sati’s asceticism and extraordinary beauty that he took human form and they were married. Years later, at a feast, Sati’s father insulted Lord Shiva. Sati was so humiliated that she began a deep meditation which led to her immolation. Lord Shiva was completely heartbroken. He reached into the sacrificial fire and pulled out as much of His beloved’s body as he could grab. As He ascended to heaven, bits of Sati’s body fell to earth. 108 bits to be precise! In time, these places were acknowledged and worshipped.

SANATANA DHARMA: In a book by Khurana, the explanation mirrors original Vedic justifications: A circle has 360 degrees, which when multiplied by 60 gives 21,600 minutes in a circle. 60 comes from the 60 ‘ghatis’ which Sanatana Dharmiks believe in. One ghati is equal to 24 minutes and 60 ghatis come to 24 hours.

One ghati is divided into 60 parts or ‘palas’. So the 60 ghatis multiplied by 60 palasa comes to 3,600. This is further multiplied by 60 (becase a pala contains 60 vipalas) which gives us 21,600. Half of this is for the day, and the other half for the night. So, 21,600 divided by 2 gives us 10,800. For practical purposes, we use 108.
Using the number 108 helps us coordinate the rhythm of time and space & we remain in harmony with the spiritual powers of nature.

108 UPANISHADS FROM MUKTIKOPANISHAD: Rigveda(10): Aitareya , Atmabodha, Kaushitaki, Mudgala, Nirvana, Nadabindu, Akshamaya, Tripura, Bahvruka, Saubhagyalakshmi.

Yajurveda(50): Katha, Taittiriya , Isavasya , Brihadaranyaka, Akshi, Ekakshara, Garbha, Prnagnihotra, Svetasvatara, Sariraka, Sukarahasya, Skanda, Sarvasara, Adhyatma, Niralamba, Paingala, Mantrika, Muktika, Subala, Avadhuta, Katharudra, Brahma, Jabala, Turiyatita, Paramahamsa, Bhikshuka, Yajnavalkya, Satyayani, Amrtanada, Amrtabindu, Kshurika, Tejobindu, Dhyanabindu, Brahmavidya, YogakundalinI, Yogatattva, Yogasikha, Varaha, Advayataraka, Trisikhibrahmana, mandalabrahmana, Hamsa, Kalisantaraaa, Narayana, Tarasara, Kalagnirudra, Dakshinamurti, Pancabrahma, Rudrahrdaya, SarasvatIrahasya.

SamaVeda(16): Kena, Chandogya, Mahat, Maitrayani, Vajrasuci, Savitri, Aruneya, Kundika, Maitreyi, Samnyasa, Jabaladarsana, Yogacudaman, Avyakta, Vasudevai, Jabali, Rudrakshajabala.

Atharvaveda(32): Prasna , Mandukya, Mundaka, Atma, Surya, Narada-Parivrajakas, Parabrahma, Paramahamsa-Parivrajakas, Pasupatha-Brahma, Mahavakya, Sandilya, Krishna, Garuda, Gopalatapani, Tripadavibhuti-mahnarayana, Dattatreya, Kaivalya, NrsimhatapanI, Ramatapani, Ramarahasya, HayagrIva, Atharvasikha, Atharvasira, Ganapati, Brhajjabala, Bhasmajabala, Sarabha, Annapurna, TripuratapanI, Devi, Bhavana, SIta.

Joseph Campbell says it’s 1+0+8 = 9, the number of the goddess.
Or one can look at 1, 0, and 8 as:
1 = God or higher Truth
0 = emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice,
8 = infinity or eternity

Climbing Trees

Mother Trees

[ted id=2558]

Six Mantras

The Six Mantras

June 16, 2012. 99-minute dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet in Plum Village during the 21-Day Retreat with the theme The Science of the Buddha. The talk is given in English and this is the eleventh dharma talk (of 15). The podcast is available at this link.

1.teaPK Darling, I am here for you.
2.
Darling, I know you are there and it makes me happy.
3.
Darling, I know you suffer.
4.
Darling, I suffer, please help.
5.
This is a Happy Moment.
6.
Darling, you are partly right.

The last one is new and for when someone congratulates or criticizes you.

Morning Gatha

Morning Gatha

Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty-four brand new hours are before me.
I vow to live fully in every moment
And to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.

Iyengar’s Legacy

This is very simple video the shows the impact of BKS Iyengar’s teaching.  Wait to watch it when you have 24 minutes to devote yourself to it.

“>Sadhaka: the yoga of B.K.S. Iyengar

[vimeo 62818591 w=500 h=281]

  • May 17th, 2015
  • Posted in Education
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Tea on the Brain

Been a long time since making an entry in this category — tea, but I always marvel at the relationship of tea in Buddhism, Yoga, and meditation. Now here is a neurological explain for human predilection for Camellia sinensis.

[vimeo 114499613 w=500 h=375]

  • January 6th, 2015
  • Posted in Tea
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Contemplations Before Eating

Five Contemplations Before Eating:

This food is a gift of the earth, the sky, numerous living beings, and much hard and loving work.
May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive this food.
May we recognize and transform unwholesome mental formations, especially our greed and learn to eat with moderation.
May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that reduces the suffering of living beings, stops contributing to climate change, and heals and preserves our precious planet.
We accept this food so that we may nurture our brotherhood and sisterhood, build our Sangha (community), and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings.

BKS Iyengar communal yoga practice

Communal Remembrance – Tuesday, Aug 26 7:30pm CDT

Guruji2

BKS Iyengar December 14, 1918 to August 20, 2014

Dear yoga practitioners everywhere,

We invite you to a moment of communal dedication to the memory of Guruji B. K. S. Iyengar for all IYNAUS members and any others who would like to join us.

We know that many of you have already been attending or planning commemorative gatherings, but we have also heard from members that they would like for there to be an event that brings us together as practitioners across the continent.

We suggest that on next Tuesday, August 26, 2014, at 8:30 pm EDT (7:30 pm Central, 6:30 p.m Mountain, 5:30 p.m. Pacific) as many of us as possible, in our own practice spaces or at our yoga schools and institutes, practice the following sequence of asanas (except for Tadasana, we leave the timings to your best judgment):

Tadasana – 3 minutes (mountain pose)
Uttanasana (forward bend)
Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward-facing dog)
Utthita Trikonasana to the right and to the left (triangle pose)
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Uttanasana
Tadasana – 3 minutes

5 minutes seated quietly

We ask that you hold Guruji in your hearts as you do this.

Whether or not a gathering is possible, please, wherever you are, consider joining with us and other practitioners next Tuesday in this collective expression of gratitude to B.K.S Iyengar for what he brought to our lives and the lives of others. As Geetaji said yesterday, “Like rain, he touched all of us equally.”

May we call your attention to something Guruji said about Tadasana? It is from a remembrance by the cricket player Sachin Tendulkar:
“It is essential to master the art of standing correctly. One thousand things that apply to Tadasana apply to every other pose. See how much your intelligence has to peep in, has to go in, even to understand tadasana? When truly in tadasana, one feels light in body and the mind acquires agility.”

In loving memory of Guruji,

Janet Lilly, President of the IYNAUS Board of DirectorsMichael Lucey, Vice President and President Elect

  • August 24th, 2014
  • Posted in Education
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Understanding Our Mind

Understanding Our Mind

 

Everyday our thoughts, words, and deeds plant new seeds in our field of consciousness and what these seeds generate becomes the substance of our life. The practice of mindfulness helps us identify all the seeds in our consciousness and with that knowledge we can choose to water only the ones that are most beneficial. If the seed of delusion is watered in us, our ignorance will grow. if we water the seed of enlightenment it will grow and our wisdom will flourish. The seed of enlightenment is already within our consciousness. This is our Buddha nature, the inherent quality of the enlightened mind we all possess. When we look at any phenomenon (dharma) we should be able to see the unity in the diversity and diversity in the unity. Something that is beginning to take form is also in the process of disintegrating as well. We cannot see the boundary between reality and our erroneous perceptions. Words point to something and may or may not point to the “truth” of that thing, which can only be known through a direct perception of its reality. In our daily life, we rarely have a direct perception. Erroneous perceptions bring about much suffering. The process of mistaking our perceptions for reality is so subtle that it is very difficult to know that it is going on. We practice meditation to train the mind in direct and correct perception.