Q. Why sixteen rounds of chanting is recommended, and why there are 108 beads?
A. Sixteen rounds is the number recommended by Srila Prabhupada for all ISKCON devotees. This is the prescription to perfect the life of a conditioned soul given by the most recent acharya. We accept it without questioning just as a patient accepts the doctor’s prescription for his ailment.
108 beads represent 108 Upanishads. They also represent 108 chief gopis of Krishna. When we chant, we take the blessings of these gopis before approaching Radha-Krishna.