“Mount Meru, the mythical Buddhist center of the universe, was considered to be 84,000 Yojan units high (which makes it about 672,000 miles in elevation). This respect for 84,000 is repeated by the Jain, who measure their cycle of time in units of 84,000 years and also by belief that the Lord Buddha left behind 84,000 teachings. And so this was the number of memorial stupas that the great Buddhist Emperor of India, Ashoka, is believed to have created to hold the Lord Buddha’s ashes, which he scattered across the landscape of South Asia.”
Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.