Various sacred traditions have offered explanations of the significance of the number 108. I am going to share with you the meaning of 108 in relation to mala beads.
108 is a sacred number in both Buddhism and Hinduism. There are 108 lines of energy (nadis) that go out from your heart chakra to the other 6 chakras. Because love & healing are required to balance all the other chakras, the heart chakra must act as the filter for the circulating energy.
To ensure that the healing power of this circulating love energy will reach the chakra connected with your mantra, you need to repeat your mantra 108 times.
Numerological significances of the number 108:
* If we analyze the individual digits of 1-0-8: the number 1 symbolizes life and liveliness, while the number 8 is a symbol of prosperity.
* Adding the digits together: 1 + 0 + 8 = 9, the number of completion. With a numerological value of 9, 108 can indicate the end of a major phase or cycle in your life. By repeating your mantra 108 times in one cycle, from guru bead to guru bead, you are bringing the energy of completion to the aspects of your life/energy that require completion in order for you to make forward progress. Thus, 108 can clear obstacles to the major changes required for your highest good, and facilitate the achievement of the intention you set.
* In addition, 108 can be divided evenly by the following numbers: 2, 3, 4 , 6, and 9. The numbers resulting from these divisions are: 54, 36, 27, 18, and 12. For this reason, a mala containing any of these five numbers of beads maintains the sacred significance of 108. Bracelets containing 12, 18, 27, 36, 54, or 108 beads can be used as a mala. If you have a mala bracelet of 12 beads, go around the bracelet, repeating your mantra on each bead, 9 times. If your mala bracelet contains 18 beads, go around the bracelet 6 times. And, so on.