There’s a connection between eclipses and the number 108 in Vedic astrology.
How Does the Sun Get Eclipsed By The Moon?
The Illusions of a Limited Being in Cosmic Time
The concept of maya is a very important one in Indian thinking. Translated loosely, “maya” means “illusion.” There is a famous story of “the snake and the rope” from the Vedic texts that illustrates the power of illusion.
On a dark night, we may mistake a rope in our path to be a snake. When such a mistake happens, our full mind, body and nervous system react to a snake, albeit an imagined one. For us, in that moment, the snake is real. We may scream, cry and run away at this site. However, later if a flashlight is produced and the rope is seen, we return to normal.
Once we see the rope (truth) for ourselves, we do not later forget and react to the same imagined snake again. The appearance of light/truth removes the illusion of the snake, immediately and permanently.
There are many illusions with our place in the cosmos, which can be shattered by simple contemplation or observation. For example, this very second, the Earth you are standing on is spinning at 1,000 mph at the equator and moving around the Sun at about 70,000 mph. Yet it is all happening with ease, in relative silence and stillness.
Vedic Astrology Perspective on the Aeons of Time
This amazing, cosmic equilibrium did not happen overnight. In fact, it took close to 4.5 billion years for life to evolve on Earth. Even though the solar system has been here for 4.5 billion years, archaic – modern humans have only inhabited Earth for the last 100,000 years.
These numbers are staggering and therefore lose relevance; 4.5 billion years or 100,000 years, they both sound like a long time. When we think of years in terms of our lifetime, 100 years is a long time, even 50 years seems like a long time. In term of years, five or six thousand years seems like forever, yet it is a blink of an eye when measured against the age of our solar system.
4.5 billion (4,500,000,000) years is the age of our solar system.
100,000 years is how long there have been “humanoids” on Earth.
If you were to stack 100, 450-page books one on top of the other to represent the age of our solar system, the age of humanoids (100,000 years) would be the last page in that stack.
The earliest records of the ancient Vedic, Egyptian and Sumerian people (dated to perhaps 3000 BC) would be 1/20th of that last page, perhaps the last sentence or two.
Our modern world, of the last hundred years or so, is 1/50th of that, perhaps the last word on the page.
Your lifetime is perhaps the “d” in the last phrase of the last book, “The End.”
We should see this timeline as analogous to how our body, mind and psyche were formed and how they operate. Our body/mind life on Earth is embedded with the intelligence of the entire cosmos. This intelligence reaches back into the mists of time through eons of patient forbearance.
This universe that created us, implanted its genius everywhere and in everything, and it is not done yet. As such, we are remarkably durable and well-built. Our bodies can withstand extreme levels of trauma and abuse due to the redundant genius built into every cell, forged over 4.5 billion years. The higher levels of mind are supported by layers of more primal brains, backup systems and brilliance, down to the cellular level. Each cell contains the sagacity of the entire organism – independent, yet connected – simultaneously magical and practical.
And from where did this come? God, some might say. Well, if there is any need to call anything god, it would certainly have to include the Sun and Moon and the universe as main agents of her work. As you will see, the Vedic astrology texts are clear that the planets are the “visible form” of Lord Vishnu. Our bodies, minds and spirits are the product of 4.5 billion years of love and dedication from the Sun, Moon and the other planets.
The Sacred Number 108
Since we’re talking about illusions, I wonder if you’ve ever stopped to ponder something truly miraculous about the Sun and Moon. Have you ever considered how it’s possible that these two arbitrary celestial objects, although completely different in size and constitution, look exactly the same size to us from Earth? Have you ever pondered the odds that a giant ball of fire and a relatively small rock look exactly the same size from where we are?
The reason this happens is due to the phenomena of size and distance, and is based on the number 108. Most who have studied yoga know of the mystical number 108. Mala beads (prayer necklaces) have 108 beads on them to symbolize this ratio of size and distance.
L=Dx108 (length equals diameter multiplied by 108) is the formula that shows how the Sun and Moon maintain this symmetry.
The approximate mean length between the Sun and Earth roughly equals 108 x the diameter of the Sun. The approximate mean length between the Moon and Earth equals 108 x the diameter of the Moon. (Actually, the exact scale is closer to 109.) Images 1.1 and 1.2 show this graphically.
You can understand this more simply by visualizing that you could put 108 Moons between us and the Moon and 108 Suns between us and the Sun. The chances of something like this being “coincidence” are simply out of the question. This is an incalculable phenomena. In fact, in cosmic time it is also a very recent phenomena. Here’s why.
The Explosion of Life
As we have just discussed, the Sun, Moon and Earth are 4.5 billion years old, approximately. For most of this time, there was no life at all. For nearly 2.5 billion years there was nothing on Earth, not even a single-celled organism. Then, for about a billion years, single-celled organisms flourished, then became double-celled organisms – essentially a microbe swimming around with a tail.
It was not until quite recently, in the scale of cosmic time, that we started to see life explode on Earth. This explosion of life is called the Cambrian explosion, and it happened 500 million years ago – after 9/10 of time on earth had elapsed.
So what made life suddenly start to appear on Earth?
Once the Moon neared the same “108” vibrational frequency as the Sun, life began to explode. You see, the Moon is actually slipping out of that 108 vibrational pattern by about 1.25 inches per year. She has been in this “108 sweet spot” for about 94,000 years. What a coincidence that this is the same period of time that intelligent life has blossomed on Earth.
There are many explanations for why 108 is important in yoga philosophy, but none are more important than this one. The reason there is life on Earth at all is because both the Sun and Moon have patiently energized her with the exact ratio of fire, water and the other elements for over 4 billion years, culminating in the last 95,000 years, where the perfect ratio has been achieved for reflective consciousness to develop.
Sadly, in 100 years mankind has altered this delicate balance, one that took 4.5 billion years to create.
Through incalculable eons of time, to this very moment, the Sun and Moon have worked their magic. We have no idea how these immense beings got here or why there is life at all. But we must reconnect and recommit to understanding the nature of our life in the cosmos if we are to restore dharma (truth) to this Earth. In fact, at this point we have little choice. We must reawaken or perish.