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Eclectic Potpourri:
The Ubiquitous "108"

When practicing Buddhism, one encounters the number 108: 108 prostrations and 108 beads on a string of prayer beads. Why 108? Why not an even 100 or perhaps 183? The answer lies somewhere in the mystic relevance of the number "3" in a variety of environments, as well as in Buddhism:

* 3 digits add up to 9 1 + 0 + 8 = 9
* 3 is a multiple of 9
9 ÷ 3 = 3;  9 − 3 − 3 − 3 = 0
* 3 and 9 are multiples of 108 108 ÷ 3 = 36;  108 ÷ 9 = 12

* The expression 11 × 22 × 33 = 108
 is known as the hyperfactorial of 108

108 Feelings (Buddhist concepts):

 consider the sequence of numbers:
6 × 3 × 2 × 3 = 108 
and notice the patterns of numbers used by ancient peoples to describe their world.
6 senses of hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, tasting and having consciousness
3 sensations of pain, pleasure, or neutral
2 origins of internal or external sensory perception
3 time periods of past, present, and future

References to "108":

* the number "108" appears in a fair number of video games, including Pokoman and Batman

* 108 bodily pressure points targeted in East Asian martial arts

* 108 degrees of each interior angle of a pentagon (five sides; five angles Pentagonare each 108 degrees)

* 108 degrees Fahren­heit (42°C) is the threshold temperature for human internal organs to begin failing

* 108 suitors pursuing Odysseus's wife in Homer's Odyssey

"1-0-8" is the toll-free emergency telephone number in India

* 108 earthly temptations that a practicing Bud­dhist must overcome to achieve Nirvana

* 108 gongs of a Japanese Buddhist temple bell usher­ing in the New Year; each gong represents one of the 108 earthly temptations

* 108 defilements defined in Buddhism

* 108 steps leading up to some temples

References to "3":

 "3" is the "smallest odd prime number" (0 and 1 are not considered); the "smallest even prime number" is "2" and the smallest odd number is "3".

Three-legged chair * 3 support legs (or pods), such as three-legged tables, chairs, or tripods, is the most stable arrangement of ground contacts: four-legged tables can wobble; three-legged tables cannot wobble.

* 3-dimensional space is our normal view of the world (Length, Width, and Height) Cube

* "3", to some people, is the number that represents the "Supreme Balance" of Mind, Body, and Spirit

* "3" represents the three entities of the "Holy Trinity" (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)

Hindu-Arabic numerals * the symbol "3" has three angles in the Hindu-Arabic forms of these number symbols; "0" has zero angles, "1" has one angle, and "8" has eight angles

* "3" is the number of primary colors seen by the human eye: red, green, blue ("additive colors"), not to be confused with the "subtractive colors" of magenta, cyan, yellow. All colors of the rainbow are a blend of the the three additive primary colors; the subtractive colors are used in printing and in both film and digital photography

* 3, pi=3.14159265359…, as an approximate ratio of the circum­ference to the diameter of a circle.

Further Explorations of 108

* Surf here for excellent graphic and video lessons that reduce the mystique of mathematics

* An extended and fanciful excursion into the number 108 is at Math Hombre; also worth viewing is a discussion about the Greek Golden Ratio

* Informative text and interesting graphics are presented at Magic-African-Creative-Energy