What is the holy significance of the Kalasha?

In this post, we are going to discuss about the significance of “Kalasha”. What is a kalasha? A copper, brass or mud pot, which is filled with water. Coconut is placed over the pot and mango leaves are placed around the mouth of the pot. A white or red thread is tied around its neck, sometimes all around the pot in a complex diamond shaped pattern. At times the pot is also decorated, such kind of a pot is known as a kalasha.

When the pot is filled with rice or water, it is known as “Purnakumbha” which represents the still body that is filled with the divine life force, which gains the power to do all the great things that makes life what it is. During special occasions such as Grihapravesa (house warming), wedding, daily worship etc. A kalasha is placed, as it is considered as an auspicious element in such rituals and events. It is placed near the entrance as a sign of welcome.


Why do we worship a kalasha? As per the legend, before the creation came in to being, God Vishnu was reclining on Sheshanag (snake-bed) on the milky ocean. God Brahma, the creator appeared on a lotus, which emerged from Vishnu’s navel. God Brahma thereafter created this world. The water in the kalasha represents the ancient water from which the entire creation emerged. The coconut and the leaves symbolize creation. The thread symbolizes the love that binds all creation.

The sanctification (kumbhaabhisheka) of a temple is done in a grand manner with elaborate rituals including the pouring of one or more kalashas of holy water on top of the temple. According to another legend, when the Devas and Asuras churned the milky ocean, The God appeared bearing the pot of nectar, which was blessed with an everlasting life. For this reason the kalasha also represents immortality. Therefore a kalasha is an auspicious element, which is used to gratify the Gods and the Goddesses.

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