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Hindu’s Magic Numbers 18, 108, 1008

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In Hinduism numbers have a lot of significance. In some places it is used as a symbol or metaphor. Vedas also have a lot of numbers and their meanings are still mysterious. One example is the odd and even numbers up to 33 and 44 respectively in the Chamakam (a part of the Rudram in the Krsna Yajur Veda). But 108 and 1008 are used for all the Gods in Ashtotharam (108) and Sahasranamam (1008), particularly in all the South Indian Temples on day to day basis.
Hindu epic Mahabharata is associated with number 18 in several ways. The Mahabharata is divided in to 18 books (parvas) and the Bhagavad Gita also has 18 chapters. The original name of the Mahabharata was JAYA and according to Sanskrit numerical system (Ka Ta Pa Yathi sankhya) Jaya is 18. The architect of the war Sri Krishna’s Yadava caste - which had 18 clans. The army number of divisions that took part in the war were also 18 (11 divisions/Akshauni of Kauravas and 7 Akshauni of Pandavas).
There is a beautiful description about the number 18 in the Tamil epic Cilappatikaram: The war between the Devas and Asuras went for 18 YEARS. The fight between Rama and Ravana went on for 18 MONTHS. The war between the Pandavas and Kauravas went on for 18 DAYS, but the battle between the King Cheran Senguttuvan and Kanaka Vijayan went on only for 18 NAZIKAIS! (A day consists of 60 Nazikai and one Nazikai is 24 minutes). Cheran Senguttuvan was a great Chera (Kerala) king who went up to the Himalayas and brought a stone from the holy Himalayas to erect a statue for the Tamil heroine Kannaki. He washed the stone in the holy Ganges and brought it on the heads of Kanka and Vijayan who were defeated by him in seven hours (Ref. Cilappatikaram, Neerpataik kaathai lines 8-9).
The Number 10,008
The priests who did havan/yagna erected the yaga kund (fire altar) with 10,008 bricks in the shape of an eagle. The reason for this may be the Deva year was equivalent to (360 X 30) 10,800 days and Brahma’s kalpa was 40 times of this i.e. 432,000 years. If we add any of these figures and bring it to one digit it will always be 9.
Number 9 and its multiples are in Sanskrit and Tamil literature. Planets are nine-Nava Grahas, Gems are nine- Nava Ratnas and the scholars in the assembly of Vikramaditya were also called Navaratnas.
Another reason for this is a man breathes 21,600 (half of 43,200) times a day, on average. The book written by Romarishi calculated this on the basis of 15 breaths for every minute. This is reflected in the famous Nataraja temple in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu where the Golden Roof of the temple contains 21,600 gold tiles. They used 72,000 nails to fix them.
Sathya Sai Baba’s interpretation
Sri Sathya Sai Baba went one step ahead of others in explaining the significance of these numbers. A man breaths 21,600 time a day (at the rate of 15 a minute and 900 times an hour). During the day time he breaths 10,800 times. During this day time one must say the mantra ‘soham’ ( sa=He, aham=I; in other words – God and I are one) and to signify this we have 108, 1,008 and 10,008. Baba added by saying that number nine represents Brahman and number 8 represents Maya (illusion). He demonstrated that Nine remains intact after multiplying by any number (e.g. 9x12=108,8x9=72,3x9=27 if we bring them down to one digit it is always 9) Where as if we multiply 8 with other numbers it will go down when we bring them down to single digit (e.g. 1x8= 8, 2x8=16,3x8=24,4x8=32,5x8=40,6x8=48 etc. One digit numbers will be 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1).
“With each breath you are positively affirming 'Soham (I am He)'. Not only you, every being thus affirms it. ... When you watch your breath and meditate on that grand truth, slowly the 'I' and the 'He' will merge; Soham will become transformed into Om, the primal sound, which the Vedas (ancient scriptures) proclaim as the symbol of the formless, all-knowing God."

-Sathya Sai Speaks X, 'Meditation'
The Devas spent 10,800 days (in other words 29 years and 5 months) to churn the Ocean of Milk to extract Amrit (ambrosia). The planet Saturn, which plays a significant role in our lives, also takes the same time to complete one circuit of the Solar System.
Tamils have divided their 2,000 year old Sangam Literature in to 18 books (Pathu Paattu & Ettu Thokai) and the post-Sangam ethical literature in to another 18 books! (Pathinen Keez Kanakku).

These numbers have also got some significance in the Buddhist and Greek literatures as well.

what are the sources for this? or did you make these up yourself?

what is your point in telling us all this ? should we all follow numerology?

if yes, it is the fashion these days in tamil nadu to name children following numerology - jayalalitha became jayalalithaa, dilip kumar became allah rakha rahman - all because astrologers told J and ARR's mother the suitable names (the latter for conversion purposes, but by a hindu astrologer, caste unknown :))
numbers are everywhere.

might as well figure out how best they can make us live in harmony.

each graha has been assigned a number.whether we like it or not Sun as a celestial object gives harmony to life during day time and night time.We are able to see the Moon only because of Sun.

Number 9 is a holy number.Number 7 shares the holiness as well.

date of birth is the actual analaysis starts.

Good question. The source for this is Sathya Sai Baba's speech and other speakers like Keeran,Kripananda Vaariyaar. What is the purpose?

If you know that we breath 15 times a minute and knows the technique to reduce it ,your life span (Ayul) will increase. The pranayamam which Brahmins do it in Sandhyavandhanam every day teaches you this technique.
A man's breathing doubles when he does sex, says the famous magazine FOCUS. Focus magazine says your breathing goes from 15 to 30. A man ejects semen (Vindhu) 5000 times in one's life time. So sex also decreases our life span.But Hinduism made sex a part of life and encourages people to procreate by instituting 40 samskaras. Even First Night (Shanthi Muhurtham) is celebrated with all the family and friends sending you to the room. So sex is not prohibited.But when you spend your breathing more that way, you must earn it the next day by Pranayamam/breathing exercise. In short when you are born God or Nature has already allocated you a certain number of breaths. It is your bank balance.The speed with which you spend your bank balance is in your hands.Spend less,Live more years.Our sages/rishis learnt this technique and easily lived for 100 or 120 years. When you read our scriptures you may notice that four or five generations living at one time (Kollu thatha,thatha,appa,avar makan, avar makan/peran).
As regards chanting of Mantras around 18,108, 1008 times etc, it is generally said that
the sound of mantra is to uplift the believer towards the higher self i.e. to attain the goals
from the ordinary level to the higher levels of consciousness. However, it is very important
to have full and complete faith in the mantras we chant. It should be chanted within our mouth
and not loudly. I have taken recently Shiva Diksha Upadesam through Sri Adishankaracharya
Sharada Lakshmi Narasimha Peetam Sree Math Hariharapura, Karnataka. His Holiness
gave Upadesam to around 40 people; I was one among them. I chant regularly everyday
without fail "Om Namasivaya" after following the procedures strictly as taught by the Mutt.


A man's breathing doubles when he does sex, says the famous magazine FOCUS. Focus magazine says your breathing goes from 15 to 30. A man ejects semen (Vindhu) 5000 times in one's life time. So sex also decreases our life span
Sorry to interfere, LS sir. Does this not run contrary to the opinion of the medical world? Or is it only that sex improves life but at the same time decreases life span?
Good Thinking.If you want to live 120 years like our Siddhas and swamijis, avoid sex.
Alternately have as much sex as you like but do Pranayamam to increase your life.
It is not contrary to science. If you read sex research articles you will get more interesting information.
If you want yogic powers you may observe Bahmacharya.
In my earlier article YOU CAN DO MIRACLES ,I have pointed out what Swami Vivekananda said about para normal powers. If a person observes chastity/Brahmacharya on three planes (Mano,Vak,kaya-Mental,Physical,Verbal-thri karana suddhi) for 12 years a person will develop amazing powers. Sangam Tamil book Tirumurugatruppadai by Nakkeerar talks about 48 year Brahmacharya vrata.
In simple words, it is your own money (breaths) in your bank. Sooner you spend, sooner you become poorer (less life span).
I hope I have made the point clearer without complicating it.
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