The number 108 appears variously in Vedic culture as a significant value in astrology, astronomy, science, art and even geography.
The sizes and distances of earth, moon and sun have a perfect mathematical symmetry related to the number 108. The distance between the earth and the moon is equivalent to 108 diameters of the Moon, similarly the distance between the earth and the sun is equivalent to 108 diameters of the Sun.
Diameter of the Moon is 3472.2km
Distance between Earth and Moon is 384,400 km
Ratio of distance of moon/diameter of moon = 384400/3472.2 = 110 (~108 times)
Diameter of the Sun is 1.391 million km
Distance between Earth and Sun is 149.6 million km
Ratio of distance of sun/diameter of sun = 149.6/1.391 = 107 (~108 times)
The numbers are not exactly 108, since due to ecliptic orbits, the distances will vary.
Not just this, the Sun is 108 Earth diameters in size. It is no wonder that the number 108 is emphasized in Vedic culture.
The sacred river Ganga spans a longitude of 12 degrees (79 degrees to 91 degrees East) and spans a latitude of 9 degrees (22 degrees to 31 degrees North). 12 times 9 equals 108.
According to Indian astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets, when multiplied it gives you 108.
108 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature when the vital organs of the body start to fail due to the breakdown of protein, this is known as Hyperpyrexia.
There are 108 Upanishads. There are 54 letters in Sanskrit which can correspond to male and female, thus revealing 108 letters. A sadhak undertaking mantra jaap uses a mala (string of beads) which contains exactly 108 beads. There are 108 key dance transitions (karanas) as detailed in Chapter 4 of Natyashastra, an ancient text of Indian classical dance.
The astronomical revelations of moons and suns distance to the earth being 108 diameters of the sun and moon is quite possibly the origin for the significance of the number 108. The longitudinal and latitudinal spread of Ganges cannot easily be treated as a coincidence. Sanskrit is the language which received from the gods, and it too has 108 letters. Leaves no doubt in my mind that the number 108 holds some deeper order in nature.
Source: “The Vedic Core of Human History: And Truth Wil be the Saviour” – M.K. Agarwal (2013)
Source: “A very brief History of Indian Science” – Subhash Kak (2019)
Source: “On Astronomy in Ancient India” – Indian Journal of History of Science, Vol 22 – Subhash Kak (1987)