Most likely explanation to the astronomical angle could be sourced in Hindu and Buddhist traditions:
There are numerous explanations why there are 108 beads in the Mala (string of beads), with the number 108 bearing special religious significance.
- 27 Constellations x 4 Padas (parts) = 108
- 12 Zodiac Houses x 9 Planets = 108
- Upanishads or the Scriptures of the Vedas = 108
Thus, when they recite or recount number 108, they are actually remembering the entire universe.