During Hindu ceremonies for auspicious occasions like housewarming, weddings, etc., and religious rituals, Kalasha Pooja is usually performed. However, many are ignorant of the reasons behind it. It does have a meaning and significance.
Kalash is basically a pot made of brass, mud, or copper with a narrow neck and a large round body. It is filled with water, and mango leaves are placed in the pot’s mouth. A coconut is also placed over it, and a white or red thread is tied around the neck or all around it in an intricate, diamond-shaped pattern. The pot can be decorated with designs too. The precise measurements for the pot are prescribed in the Kalika Purana. This pot is called kalash.
Legend says that the Devas and Asuras were churning the Paal Kadal or Milky Ocean for Amrit, the divine nectar of immortality, when Lord Vishnu as Dhanvantari emerged from the ocean, holding a pot of nectar in his hand. For this reason, the kalash is viewed as a symbol of immortality. In ancient India, sages or rishis used to keep copper pots on top of temple gopurams or towers to prevent lightning strikes. Copper is an excellent conductor and acts as a good lightning rod. When it was observed that lightning did not strike, people could have begun to worship it. Hindus believe that God pervades the atmosphere as subtle frequencies. And copper is the best conductor of such divine frequencies.
When the pot or kalash is filled with rice or water, it is called ‘Purna kumbha’. This represents the inert body. When it is filled with the divine life force, it has the power to do wonderful things.
The kalash is placed near the entrance to indicate welcome. There is another reason for worshipping the kalash. Before the act of creation, Lord Vishnu was lying on Adisesha, the serpent which was his bed, in the Milky ocean. From his navel, a lotus emerged. And from the lotus, Lord Brahma, the creator, appeared. Then he went on to create all the things in the world.
Kalash is of great significance in Hinduism, especially in South India. It represents different Goddesses in most Poojas. Brass or silver kalash is normally used. Many rituals have no value if Kalash Pooja is not included, and hence, it is viewed as indispensable. It is also performed for its ability to propitiate the deities.
Significance of Kalash Pooja:
The water in the Kalash is a symbol of life and the creation of the universe. Without water, there is no life. It is the source of all beings. The mango leaves, too, represent creation, and the thread around the pot signifies the love that binds all creation.
The main things needed for the Kalash Pooja are Vastram, flowers, rice, dried fruits, coins, coconut, mango leaves, water, vermilion or kumkum, turmeric powder, and a medium-sized silver or brass pot.
- Clean the pot with a piece of clean cloth. If possible, use a new cloth.
- Decorate the pot or kalash with kumkum dots and turmeric.
- Fill the kalash with Ganga jal or pure water.
- Place the kalash in the pooja area.
During a particular Pooja:
- Clean the pot with water and wipe it with a new cloth.
- Decorate the kalash with turmeric paste and kumkum dots
- Fill the kalash with Ganga jal.
- Put dry fruits, coins, and uncooked rice in the pot.
- Decorate the neck of the pot with mango leaves.
- Decorate the coconut with Chandan or sandalwood paste, turmeric, and coconut.
- Place the coconut over the mango leaves.
- Tie a thread around the kalash.
- Decorate the pot with flowers or garlands.
- Light the lamp and burn incense sticks on both sides of the kalash.
- Recite the Mantra given below 108 times after the kalash pooja.
- Meditate for 15 minutes and pray to Ganesha to fulfill your wishes.
You can also attach Ganesha to the pot to increase its auspiciousness, or you can also attach a swastika or images of Riddhi and Siddhi instead of Ganesha. It will increase the effect and power of the Pooja and will attract abundance and prosperity into your life and career.