Goddess Lakshmi Holding Amrita Kalasha - Silver Pendant
Garuda with Amrita Kalasha
Kalasha, also spelled as Kalash and kalasa (Sanskrit: कलश, kalaśa; literally "pitcher, pot"), is a metal (brass, copper, silver or gold) pot with a large base and small mouth, large enough to hold a coconut. Sometimes "Kalasha" also refers to such a pot filled with water and topped with a coronet of mango leaves and a coconut. This combination is often used in Hindu rites and depicted in Hindu iconography. The entire arrangement is called Purna-Kalasha (पूर्णकलश), Purna-Kumbha (पूर्णकुम्भ), or Purna-ghata (पूर्णघट). Each of these names literally means "full or complete vessel" when the pot is referred to as the Kalasha (to avoid confusion, this article will refer to the pot as Kalasha and the entire arrangement as Purna-Kalasha). Sometimes the Kalasha is filled with coins, grain, gems, gold, or a combination of these items instead of water. The coronet of 5, 7, or 11 mango leaves is placed such that the tips of the leaves touch water in the Kalasha. The coconut is sometimes wrapped with a red cloth and red thread; the top of the coconut (called Shira – literally "head") is kept uncovered. A sacred thread is tied around the metal pot. The Shira is kept facing the sky.
The Kalasha is viewed as an auspicious object in Jainism. The Kalasha is used as a ceremonial object as well as a decorative motif in Indian art and architecture. The Kalasha motif was used in decorating bases and capitals of pillars from the 5th century.
The Purna-Kalasha is considered a symbol of abundance and "source of life" in the Vedas. Purna-Kumbha is preeminently a Vedic motif, known from the time of Rigveda. It is also called Soma-Kalasha, Chandra-Kalasha, Indra-Kumbha, Purnaghata, Purna-Virakamsya, Bhadra ghata, or Mangala ghata. It is referred to as "overflowing full vase" (purno-asya Kalasha) in the Vedas.
The Kalasha is believed to contain amrita, the elixir of life, and thus is viewed as a symbol of abundance, wisdom, and immortality. The Kalasha is often seen in Hindu iconography as an attribute, in the hands of Hindu deities like the creator god Brahma, the destroyer god Shiva as a teacher, and the goddess of prosperity Lakshmi.The Purna-Kalasha is believed to be a symbol of auspiciousness embodying either Ganesha, remover of obstacles, or his mother Gauri, the goddess of household bounty or Lakshmi. The Purna-Kalasha is worshipped in all Hindu festivities related to marriage and childbirth, as a mother goddess or Devi. In this context, the metal pot or Kalasha represents material things: a container of fertility - the earth and the womb, which nurtures and nourishes life. The mango leaves associated with Kama, the god of love, symbolize the pleasure aspect of fertility. The coconut, a cash crop, represents prosperity and power. The water in the pot represents the life-giving ability of Nature.
Sometimes, a silver or brass face of the Goddess is attached over the coconut of the Purna-Kalasha. In this form, the Purna-Kalasha symbolizes the Goddess as the manifestation of mother earth with her water, minerals, and vegetation. This method of Kalash pooja (worship) has come in for Vishnu in household functions too.
The Purna-Kalasha is also worshipped at Hindu ceremonies like Griha Pravesha (house warming), child naming, havan (fire-sacrifice), Vaastu dosha rectification, and daily worship.
Other intrepretations of the Purna-Kalasha associate with the five elements or the chakras. The wide base of metal pot represents the element Prithvi (Earth), the expanded centre - Ap (water), neck of pot - Agni (fire), the opening of the mouth - Vayu (air), and the coconut and mango leaves - Akasha (aether). In contexts of chakras, the Shira (literally "head") - top of the coconut symbolizes Sahasrara chakra and the Moola (literally "base") - base of Kalasha - the Muladhara chakra.
The Kalasha is included in both the Svetambar sect and Digambar sect Ashtamangala ("eight objects of auspiciousness") lists of Jainism. Two eyes are depicted around the Kalasha, symbolising right faith and right knowledge. They first appear in stone in the Kushana period (65-224 AD).
The goddess Ganga shown with a kumbha
(a full vase) atop her mount the makara,
a mythical underwater creature.
The Kumbha (Sanskrit: कुम्भ), is a full vase, pot, a jar or a pitcher. In the context of Hinduism and Hindu mythology, it is also symbolic of the womb. It represents fertility, life, generative power of human beings and sustenance; and is generally associated with the mother goddesses, particularly Ganga.
In Hindu mythology and scriptures, several references are found of human beings born from Kumbha. A legend states that rishi Agastya was born out of a womb.
In several religious ceremonies and rituals, Kumbhas (pots) or Kalasha filled with water and leaves and decorated with intricate motifs, sometimes with ornaments, play an important role in ancient India. These rituals still survive in India.
In Indian Astrology (Jyotisa), Kumbha also stands for the zodiac sign Aquarius, and is also associated with the Kumbha Mela, which happens when planet Brihaspati moves into the sign.
The bumpa (Tibetan: bum.pa), or pumpa, is a ritual vase with a spout used in Tibetan Buddhist rituals and empowerments. It is understood to be, in some contexts, the vessel or the expanse of the Universe.
There are two kinds of bumpa: the tso bum, or main vase, and the le bum or activity vase. The main vase is usually placed in the center of the mandala, while the activity vase is placed on the Lama's table and is used by the Chöpön, or ritual specialist, during rituals and empowerments.
|जल का भर मंगल-कलश,पल्लव आम लगाय। |
रख कर श्रीफल रजत का, पूजा-घर ले जाय।।
पूजा -घर ले जाय,सपत्नी करना सहित पूजन।
पावन पूजन होय, भोग लगाय कर भोजन।।
कह`वाणी´ कविराज, कलश देगा भाग्य बदल।
रख ईश्वर को याद, रहो सदा कुशल-मंगल।।
|Jala kā bhara maṅgala-kalaśa,pallava āma lagāya. |
Rakha kara śrīphala rajata kā, pūjā-ghara lē jāya..
Pūjā -ghara lē jāya,sapatnī karanā sahita pūjana.
Pāvana pūjana hōya, bhōga lagāya kara bhōjana..
Kaha`vāṇī´ kavirāja, kalaśa dēgā bhāgya badala.
Rakha īśvara kō yāda, rahō sadā kuśala-maṅgala..
भावार्थ: जल-कलश में आम-पल्लव लगा, रजत-श्रीफल रख पूजा-घर में रखते हुए सपत्नी (यदि हो तो)पूजन करने से घर में सदैव प्रसन्नता बनी रहती है। प्रभु के भोग लगा कर भोजन करने से प्रतिदिन समय पर स्वादिष्ट पकवान मिलते हैं।
|Bhāvārtha: Jala-kalaśa mēṁ āma-pallava lagā, rajata-śrīphala rakha pūjā-ghara mēṁ rakhatē hu'ē sapatnī (yadi hō tō)pūjana karanē sē ghara mēṁ sadaiva prasannatā banī rahatī hai. Prabhu kē bhōga lagā kara bhōjana karanē sē pratidina samaya para svādiṣṭa pakavāna milatē haiṁ.|
|`वाणी´ कविराज कहते हैं कि नियमित जल-कलश की पूजा करने से आपका भाग्य ही बदल जावेगा। ईश्वर को सदैव याद रखेंगे तो आप ही नहीं आपका पूरा परिवार हर दृष्टि से सकुशल रहेगा।||`Vāṇī´ kavirāja kahatē haiṁ ki niyamita jala-kalaśa kī pūjā karanē sē āpakā bhāgya hī badala jāvēgā. Īśvara kō sadaiva yāda rakhēṅgē tō āpa hī nahīṁ āpakā pūrā parivāra hara dr̥ṣṭi sē sakuśala rahēgā.|