Exploring Mathematical Mantra — 108: The Product of Two Sacred Numbers
by Susanna Tocco LMT, CYT
When I look back, I can say that while I did my best, math and I did not get along very well when I was a kid. Math felt like a labyrinth of twists and turns that left my mind boggled, rather than leaving me with a feeling that I had achieved something. It came as no surprise that after graduation I chose a career path that was not dependent upon math – or so I thought.
Flash forward a little over a decade later and I found myself, both in business and in my personal life, immersed in a deep love and dedication to Mantra. I read books, took seminars, and listened to CD’s. I wanted to learn all that I could. Sanskrit felt so good on my tongue, in my ears, and on my breath. Then the universe had a little chuckle at me because the more I learned about Mantra, the more I realized how math played a part.
Mantra is the repetition of a word, sound, prayer, or energy — over and over again to create a wave of enlightenment. Sometimes we catch this wave and ride it all the way to shore, and sometimes we fall off the wave but still feel the high of the ride.
Mantra is used in many customs to help reach and even achieve Samadhi, a state of intense concentration, the height of Divine Consciousness. But what does math have to do with Samadhi?
My journey into Mantra taught me that traditionally, mantras are chanted 108 times. There are many theories surrounding why 108 was chosen. Essentially it all comes down to math. One of the many theories is that 1 represents one thing, 0 represents nothing, and 8 represents everything/infinity. To me this makes sense and I find it beautiful to meditate upon – but let us go deeper.
1+0+8=9. Nine is the first Sacred Number that represents universal love, eternity, and spiritual awakening. Nine is a rather magical number, even mathematically speaking. 9×2=18 and if the product 18 is added (1+8=9) we are again brought back to 9. Take the multiplication of 9 by any number and you can always break down the product back to nine. Go ahead, try it. What is the second sacred number? It is 12. When we take 108÷9 it equals 12. There it is. The second sacred number is the number of our Zodiac that represents a completed cycle of experience.
9 times 12 equals 108. Thus, 108 is the product of the sacred number nine (the Eternal Number) and twelve (the number of Cosmic Order). Born of these two sacred numbers, 108 embodies the eternity and wholeness of our existence. This, I believe, could be the authentic reason why we chant 108 times in order to achieve enlightenment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SUSANNA TOCCO, LMT, FS, CYT has a long and varied history with the healing arts. From the commencement of her journey in 1994 to the present day, she has long sought to understand the world around her through spiritualism. Susanna currently teaches at Open Mind Zen, located at 1250 Tamiami Tr. N. #205, Naples, FL 34102. For more information, visit www.Mystical13.com.