Hindu Of Universe

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”

Kalash is an auspicious symbol in Hinduism and is a copper vessel with a big base and a small mouth.

 It is commonly known as Purna Kalasha, Purna-Kumbha, and Purna Ghata.

As per Rig Veda, Purna Kalash represents abundance and life source.

Devotees fill the Kalash with holy water and place a coconut on top of it during Pujas.

The head of the coconut faces the sky, and they keep mango leaves, sometimes betel vines, dipped in the water.

Some might fill the vessel with coins, gems, gold, or grains as well.

There are several stories associated with the origin of Kalash.

Samudra Manthan was the churning of the ocean by the Asuras and Devas to find Amrit, the elixir of life.

During the process, they finally received Amrit in a Kalash. Kalash, thus, became the symbol of immortality as it contained Amrit.

Another story associated with Kalash is that before the creation of the Universe, Lord Vishnu remained in his snake-bed in the milky ocean.

A lotus emerged from his navel, which transformed into Lord Brahma, who then created the world.

Devotees believe that the water in Kalash is akin to the primal water from which the creator formed the entire universe.

Significance of Kalash:

Kalash represents abundance and wisdom. Hindu deities, including Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, and Goddess Lakshmi, hold a Kalash in their hands.

Many devotees believe that Kalash is the personification of Lord Ganesha, who is the remover of obstacles from our lives, and Gauri Devi, goddess of household bounty.

Devotees worship Kalash, an image of Devi during Hindu festivals associated with childbirth and marriage.

We can place Kalash near the entrance of our houses as a sign of welcome, facing the North, in the center.

The North implies balance, and by placing Kalash in that direction, we are inviting balance and happiness to our lives.

Religious, Spiritual, and Scientific Significances of Kalash:

Kalash has gained immense importance in the religious rituals of Hinduism. Kalash is an auspicious symbol in Buddhism and Jainism as well.

As per Skandha Purana, Devas obtained it while churning the ocean.

When the Kalash is filled with water or rice, it is known as Purna Kumba. It is a representation of our inert bodies, possessing the divine life force.

There are different spiritual and religious significances associated with using Kalash in a Puja.

Here, we will be discussing some of the most relevant aspects of Kalash and the components used for it.

  1. Devotees believe that the metal pot is a container of fertility.

It stands for the Earth and the womb, which are the nourishers and providers of life.

The mango leaves depict the Kama, the god of love.

Through its usage, we are invoking the pleasure aspect of fertility.

 Coconut presents prosperity and power.

The water in the Kalash symbolizes the life-giving principle of the universe.

  • In Purna Kalash, devotees attach a silver or brass face over the coconut to spread positivity.

Purna Kalash is a depiction of our Mother Earth.

The water and other elements in the Kalash symbolize the prosperity of our Earth, including the vegetation and minerals.

  • We can associate Kalash with the five elements or Pancha Bhootas.

The metal pot at its base stands for Prithvi or Earth.

At its center, it presents the Ah or water principle, and at its neck, it links with Agni or fire.

The opening of the vessel is a depiction of Vayu or Air.

Coconut and mango leaves used in the Kalash signifies Akasha or the ether principle.

  • Kalash also represents our chakras. It helps in balancing the imbalances or energy flow through our bodies as well.

The vibrations emanating from it can cure any blockage or excess of vitalizations in our bodies.

Here, the Shira or the head of the coconut signifies the Sahasrara or crown chakra.

The base of the metal vessel represents the Muladhara or root chakra.

  • Devotees believe that Kalash is the embodiment of all the gods.

It can create subtle vibrations, which can purify and enhance our vitalities.

The mango or betel leaves used in it keep the deity seated.

The water in it can keep it purified for a long time.

Coconut can attract divine principles and transmit it to the water.

  • The water used in Kalasha is pure, and it can attract Sattvik frequencies.

Though it does not possess the ability to protect the Sattva particles, you can enhance the Sattva principle by using a copper vessel.

Copper can imbibe Sattva by up to 30%, and it can also transmit them.

It can also remove Raja-Tama frequencies, which can destroy the Sattva particles.

Betel leaves can also enhance Sattva and Raja elements present in the water as betel acts as an Earth component.

  • Coconut is a symbolic representation of the three-eyed Lord Shiva.

The mouth and throat of the Kalash are the seats of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, and Lord Brahma.

Its belly is the abode of the divine mother.

  • Kalash, as mentioned earlier, is a microcosmic portrayal of the cosmos.

The water in the Kalash as the factor that paved the way for creation.

The leaves and coconut as the depiction of different creations in the universe.

The thread around the neck of the Kalash is the symbol of the love that binds everyone.

  • Another significance associated with Kalash is that it is present in one of the four arms of Lord Dhanvantarti.

He holds different healing instruments.

They include Shankh, Chakra, Jalouka, and Kalash. Kalash has Amrith, which can aid in curing a person.

  1. As per Ayurveda, betel leaf has several herbal properties.

They can kill germs and bacteria.

They can also energize our bodies.

Mango leaves are also sacred, and they can ward off negativities and evil forces.

  1. The water from the Kalash is either used in Kumba Abhisheka or poured on a Tulsi plant.

It can attract positive vibrations and aid in the process of purification.

  1. As per Vasthu Shastra, when Kalash is placed facing the Northern direction.

It can invite prosperity, positivity, and wisdom.

These are some of the significances associated with placing a Kalash.

The use of Kalash in a puja can aid a devotee to purify his or her mind and body.

It can revitalize the energy flow and help us to absorb the divine principle.

Significance of Kalasha Pooja

The tradition of Kalasha and Kumbha is ancient, and it is the root of Vedic Traditions and Rituals.

No Vedic pooja is performed without ‘Kalasha Sthapana’ or first establishing the Kalasha in the area of worship.

 Kalasha or Kumbha is detailed in the mantras quoted in Rigveda: 10:89:7; Shukla Yajurveda: 19:87; Atharva Veda: 19.53.3; 4.34.7

Kalasha comprises of a pot; it can be an earthen pot or made out of metals like Brass, Bronze, Copper, Silver or Gold.

This pot is filled with sanctified water and other auspicious, sacred ingredients such as a pinch of turmeric powder or root, Kumkum, a few flowers, a copper coin, and is topped with a coronet of a bunch of mango leaves and is then topped with a coconut.

A new triangular cloth is placed on the coconut.

Water in the Kalasha is energized by special Mantra chanting, inviting the Cosmic Energy.

This is then called ‘Purna Kalasham’ or ‘Purna Kumbham’.

This Kalasham is filled with Divine Energy.

Purna Kalash therefore symbolizes abundance of all positive aspects of life such as purity, prosperity, power, and the water from such sanctified Kalasha becomes equivalent to elixir of life.

After the formal Kalasha Pooja is done, the energized water from the Kalasha is used to sanctify the place, grounds; it is also used to sanctify the idols during the exclusive special grand events such as ‘Vigraha Prana Prathishta’, where life energy is instilled in the Vigraha or the Statue and the Vigraha becomes a Deity; and Yantra Prathishta.

Unless one has enormous amount of good karma from many births, one will not be able to participate in such a great event.

Being part of such Kalasha Pooja during Vigraha Prathishta is a blessing for one and all.

Participating in Temple Kumbabhishekam is a great blessing not only for the participant but also for their families and friends, and future generations.

Kalasha Pooja participants will make three parikramas (circumambulation around the shrines in the Temple), with the energized Kalashas on the head.

After the completion of the Parikramas, participants will have an opportunity to offer the ingredients of the Kalasha to the Lord, through the hands of the Pundits.

We humbly request everyone to participate in this event and get blessed and be the instrument and channel of this Spiritual Energy for families, friends, communities, and the whole world at large.

About Kalash Pot Atop A Hindu Temple

Kalasha pot on top of the sanctum sanctorum of a Hindu temple represents the roots of the inverted tree concept found in the Upanishads. Kalasha as per Puranas is one of the fourteen precious gems that came out of the milky ocean when it was churned (Samudra Manthan). Some temples have stone block as Kalasha. The significance of the shape of the Kalasha is that it symbolizes the potentialities of life. The bud which is the topmost portion signifies new life and growth.

Some temples have stone block as Kalasha. But most are either made of copper or bronze and in some temples they are gold plated.

The Kalasha has components like the foot-hold, the egg, the neck, the lotus-band, the rid and the bud. The foot-hold is sometimes in the shape of a lotus whose petals open out and egg shaped pot sits on it.

From a distance the shape of the Kalasha looks like that of a flower bud or pot. Cereals and precious stones are placed inside the Kalasha. 

Another important hidden component in the Kalasha is the ‘the golden person’ (Suvarna Purusha) who is kept inside the pot. A golden icon which represents ‘Suvarna Purusha’ is kept inside the pot.

Kalasha atop a temple varies from region to region but the symbolic meaning remains the same.

It must be noted here that a small variation of the Kalasha is used in homes during festivals and pujas and it is known as Purna Kumbha or Kalash. This mainly consists of a pot, coconut and betel or mango leaves.

Why do we worship the Kalasha?

It is customary to perform Kalasha Pooja during Hindu ceremonies and religious rituals.

But not many people know why it is done.

It has a meaning and significance, and in this article, we will explore it.

What is a kalasha?

It is basically a brass, mud, or copper pot with a narrow neck and a large round body filled with water.

Mango leaves are placed in the pot’s mouth, and a coconut is placed over it.

A white or red color thread is tied around the neck or all around it in a rather intricate, diamond-shaped pattern.

The pot can also be decorated with designs.

The precise measurements required are prescribed in the Kalika Purana.

 Such a pot is called kalasha.

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According to legend, the Devas (gods) and Asuras (demons) were churning the milky ocean for Amrit, the divine elixir of immortality, when God emerged from the ocean, bearing a pot of Amrit. It is for this reason that the kalasha is regarded as a symbol of immortality.

It is also said that in ancient times, Indian sages or rishis placed copper pots on top of temple towers to avert lightning strikes.

Copper is rated as the best metal for electrical, thermal, and accoustic conductivity.

Hence, it could act as a good lightning rod.

When people saw that lightning did not strike, they probably began to worship it as a divine object.

Hindus believe that God is present in the atmosphere in the form of subtle frequencies.

And copper, according to rishis, is the best conductor of such divine frequencies.

Once the pot or kalasha is filled with water or rice, it is called ‘Poorna kumbha’, and it represents the inert body.

When it is filled with the divine life force, it acquires the power to do all the wonderful things that make life blessed.

kalasha pooja is a vital part of the rituals that are performed during auspicious and important occasions like Griha Pravesh (housewarming), marriages, daily Poojas, etc.

The kalasha is kept near the entrance as a symbol of welcome.

 It is also used in a traditional way when receiving holy figures.

There is another reason for worshipping the kalasha.

Before all things were created, Lord Vishnu was lying on Adisesha, his snake-bed, in the Milky ocean.

A lotus emerged from his navel, and from it appeared Lord Brahma, the creator, who then created the world and everything in it.

The water that is in the kalasha signifies the primordial water from which all creation emerged.

It gives life to all and has the ability to create many names and forms, inert objects, and sentient beings, including all that is auspicious in the world from the energy underlying the universe.

The various detities that represent the many faces of God are invoked to bestow blessings on the worshippers.

The mango leaves symbolize the seat of the deities, and the water makes them clean.

The coconut tuft is said to attract, symbolically, the divine frequencies from the atmosphere.

These are then transmitted to the water in the pot through the coconut and from there to the devotees through the medium or conductor, which is the kalasha or copper pot.

The red or white thread around the pot stands for the thread which binds all creation with love and compassion.

Hence, the kalasha is regarded as auspicious and worshipped.

 The waters from all the holy rivers, the blessings of all the deities, and the knowledge of all the Vedas are invoked in the kalasha.

Thereafter, its water is used for all the rituals, including Abisheka.

The Kumbabisheka or consecration of a temple is done grandly, with elaborate rituals.

These include the act of pouring one or more kalashas of holy water on the top of the temple. 

Kalasha Pooja, Requirements and Pujan Vidhi

Kalasha Pooja is one of the ancient Indian spiritual practice.

The Kalash is a representation of the divine being that is invoked to reside in the kalasha.

The kalasha, or as it is called, is usually bronze or a copper pot. 

When it is filled with either water or anything else like coins or jewels, and then place a coconut inverted to close the top, it becomes a poorna-kalash. Poorna-Kalash usually finds its place in most of the pooja’s that is performed at home. 

Kalasha Pooja Requirements

The requirements are not much.

 The pooja requires more devotion than the number of items to perform the same. In any case, these are the items that you will need to complete the pooja.

  • A bronze or copper pot.
  • Water or coins or any other precious items to fill the pot
  • Mango or jackfruit leaves to place on top of Kalash.
  • Coconut which to place in an inverted position on the Kalash
  • Flowers and incense sticks
  • Camphor to perform aarti
  • Sweets like Kesari or Shakkare Pongal to offer as nivedyam and prasadam to everyone present.

Why do we worship the Kalash?

It is performed for the fulfillment of specific desires.

The desires can be as simple as for the welfare of oneself or one’s family or for problems like attaining good health, the creation of wealth, education, marriage, having children, court cases, success in various endeavors, and so on.

Kalasha Pooja Procedure

Kalasha pooja procedure is actually quite simple that it can be performed at home.

It is done by procedural observation of prayers after inviting a god or goddess to reside in the kalasha and fulfill the desires and wishes. 

During the period of performing Kalasha Pooja, the devotee establishes a bond with the Divinity to receives Divine Grace every day.

Performing Kalash Pooja fills the home with sacred positive energy.

It also raises one’s spiritual power and takes them a step closer to god. 

Kalash Pujan Vidhi or Procedure

This pooja can be conducted either in the morning or in the evening.

The following steps describe the procedure in detail.

  • The very first step is to identify a place where the Kalash can be kept undisturbed for 21 days. Once that is done, the next essential step is to clean the area thoroughly. After that, draw a beautiful rangoli and place a platform or small stool. After covering them with a white cloth, check for its sturdiness once.
  • Take one coconut. Apply turmeric paste evenly on the same and ensure it is covered entirely in turmeric. Then set it aside for some time to dry.
  • Take a copper or brass vessel (kalash) and fill it with either water or coins or jewels in it. Add in a bit of haldi and kumkum. If you have added in water, then put in few tulsi leaves and few coins in the water. Once the kalash is filled, its time to close it. So now place the mange leaves with the stalks dipped in water and leave spreading outwards. Now place the turmeric applied coconut on these leaves. This makes your poorna kalash pooja ready. 
  • Place the poorna kalash on the plate, which has rice grains spread out on it evenly. Place the entire set on the stool or the platform that you put in to place Kalash on top. You can now decorate the kalash with flowers. Place the god or the goddess photo that you are planning to invoke in front of this. 
  • Once your kalash is ready and is in its place, you cannot move the same for 21days. After placing the kalash, its time for the sankalpa. Sankalpa is the process of letting the deity know for what purpose the kalash is kept and is being worshipped. It is also a way of seeking permission from the deity to worship them for fulfilling their wishes.
  • After the sankalpa is over chant, it’s time for you to worship the deity with utmost dedication. Know the moola mantra related to the god or goddess being worshipped and chant it 108 times. Remember to offer akshate and flowers to the kalash every time you finish the chant. After this offer, the prasadam to the god and kalash and bow with utmost sincerity. Continue the same procedure for 21 days.
  • At the end of the 21 days, remove kalash from its place. Sprinkle the energized water of the kalash around the house. If you have placed coins, take a few of them and put it in your purse, pooja place, and money lockers to ensure a continuous flow of wealth. You can donate the rest of the coins to the temple or use it for that benefit the people around you.
  • The coconut place on the kalash can be taken as Prasad, and you can use it for cooking sweets savories.

Since the pooja is quite simple and straightforward, anyone can perform the same.

If you need further help with this, kindly contact us at pujaNpujari, we will help you out the finer and minute details of carrying out the pooja with utmost perfection. 

What are the Kalash Pujas

The Kalash Pujas are a fast-paced Hindu religious festival celebrated in the territories of present-day eastern Afghanistan and parts of Tajikistan.

The festival is usually held in the month of October or November, coinciding with the harvest season.

The Kalash people are an ancient Indo-European people who live in the mountainous regions of these countries.

The Kalash Pujas are a series of ten days of religious observances that center around worshiping the deity Kalash.

 The Meaning of a kalash

The Kalash are an Indo-Aryan tribe who revere the kalash tree and perform a series of religious ceremonies around it known as the kalash puja.

Here’s a look at what this festival means to the Kalash people.

The Kalash puja is a religious festival celebrated by the Indo-Aryan Kalash people.

The festival is dedicated to the kalash tree, considered sacred by the Kalash.

During the festival, devotees visit various temples around the tree to offer prayers and make offerings.

The main purpose of the festival is to thank the tree for its blessings and to ask for protection from harm.

The Kalasha believe that the kalash tree is a manifestation of their god Dhanwantar.

Legend has it that Dhanwantar created all things in his own image, including trees.

The Kalasha believe that during the puja, they are able to connect with their god in a deeper way by worshiping his creation.

The kalasha puja is also celebrated as a thanksgiving festival on important occasions such as weddings and births.

It is believed that by performing the puja, individuals can receive blessings and

How to start a kalash puja?

The Kalash Puja is a Hindu festival celebrated in the month of November.

It is the most auspicious time to start a puja because it falls during the dark fortnight of the lunar month.

Follow these simple steps to start a Kalash puja:

  1. Choose an auspicious day.

The Kalash Puja is most auspicious on November 3rd, 5th, or 7th. You can also choose an auspicious time for any other Hindu festival

2) Arrange your space.

Make sure that your puja space is sacred and free from distractions.

You can use an altar, a table, or even a chair

3) Invoke the gods and goddesses.

Before starting your puja, invoke the gods and goddesses who will be presiding over your puja.

You can say prayers, offer flowers, and sing religious songs

4) Start your puja ceremony.

Once you have invoked the gods and goddesses, begin your ceremony by lighting a lamp or incense burner and offering prayer mantras or chalisa (hymns). You can also offer food to the deities

5) Perform worship services throughout the day.

Offer prayers and  Deities and Prayers

The Kalash Pujas are a Hindu festival that is celebrated in the month of October or November. The festival celebrates the Hindu God Kalash, who is considered to be the god of wisdom and knowledge.

The Kalash Pujas are a series of ceremonies that are performed in honor of Kalash. These ceremonies include prayers, offerings, and rituals

The Kalash Pujas are believed to be an ancient tradition that dates back to the time when India was divided into small kingdoms.

The priests who performed the Kalash Pujas were considered to be experts in matters such as medicine and magic.

Today, the Kalash Pujas are still celebrated by many Hindus throughout India and Pakistan.

Kalash for Puja: What Is the Significance of Kalash in Puja?

In Hindu tradition, Kalash for Puja is very important.

The significance of Kalash in Puja is representative of certain things.

In the chapters of Hindu rites and rituals, the Kalash or pot plays a significant role.

Believe it or not, without the presence of a Kalash or a pot, most of our rituals and pujas are incomplete.

In the following excerpt, you would know Kalash meaning in a traditional sense and the reason behind doing so, and the beliefs that one associates with it.

Kalash Meaning And How Does One Fill It?

Before we proceed to its significance, let’s know the Kalash meaning.

The Kalash is also known as Kumbh in certain parts of the country.

It is a pot made of brass, copper, or clay that one can fill with water from seven rivers, seven wells, or seven seas.

One can even fill the pot with water from any single source.

Or one could fill it with unbroken grains of rice together with nine or eleven mango leaves surrounding a coconut kept on its top.

One can even tie a red or white cotton thread around the pot in an intricate diamond-shaped pattern.

Then one can decorate the pot with auspicious signs and designs.

Then only a person can use Kalash for puja.

Kalash for Puja – Where Is it Placed?

While using Kalash for Puja, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind – the most important being the placement.

A Kalash is kept with respect and regards to due Hindu rites and rituals.

So for example, before all-important auspicious occasions like weddings, grihapravesh (the house-warming ceremony) and Navratri puja. People also use it ceremonially while receiving holy personages.

Sometimes, people also place the Kalash near the entrance of the house to welcome the guests.

According to a few legends, before the world was created, Lord Vishnu lay reclining on his sheshanaga shaiyya or serpent bed in Ksheersagar or the milky ocean.

Then once upon a time, came to a lotus from his navel and this lotus, Lord Brahma, the creator of this world, appears.

The Meaning It Represents – Significance of Kalash in Puja

The significance of Kalash in puja also lies in the meaning that it represents.

The water in the Kalash symbolizes the primordial water from which Lord Brahma and the entire creation came into existence.

The coconut fruit kept at its mouth represents the head of the devotee.

Similarly, the mango leaves that are in a linear arrangement around the coconut are kept for a purpose.

The reason is to attract divine vibrations from the astral world to bless the devotee.

Not only this but to also make the water divine or the rice-filled in the Kalash.


Rice is also filled in Kalash for puja. Do you know its significance?

 When one fills the rice in the Kalash, then one can term this as purnakalash.

Also, the rice that is already in the pot is known as akshat or unbroken grains of rice.

This symbolizes eternal blessings on the devotee as well as his family.

The Akshay is the component that will not exhaust.

And the rice has the unique quality of being able to absorb the negativity that is in the environment.

An Auspicious Association

The significance of Kalash for puja also lies in the fact that it is considered auspicious, therefore people worship it.

While worshipping the Kalash, the blessings of all the seven rivers and deities, including those of Lord Vishnu, invokes.

After the puja, its water is used for all the rituals, including the abhisheka or divine bath.

Kumbh Abhisheka

The consecration of an idol or a temple with the help of the Kalash is the name for Kumbh abhisheka.

This wonderfully takes place with elaborate rituals and rites according to ancient times.

It also. includes the pouring of holy water from one or more Kalash over the head of the idol or the Shikhar or dome of the temple.

These are some of the reasons why people use the Kalash for puja.

Importance of Kalash in Hinduism

The Kalash symbolically represents creation.

The vacant pot, symbolizes earth, and the water filled symbolizes the primordial water from which life began on earth.

Life began in water and nothing can exist in this world without water.

The water in the kalash symbolises the primordial water from which the entire creation emerged.

It is the giver of life to all and has the potential of creating innumerable names and forms, the inert objects and the sentient beings and all that is auspicious in the world from the energy behind the universe.

The leaves and coconut represent creation.

the thread represents the love that “binds” all in creation.

The kalash is therefore considered auspicious and worshipped.

The waters from all the holy rivers, the knowledge of all the vedas and the blessings of all the deities are invoked in the kalash and its water is thereafter used for all the rituals, including the abhisheka.

The consecration ( kumbhaabhisheka) of a temple is done in a grand manner with elaborate rituals including the pouring of one or more kalash of holy water on the top of the temple.

When the asurs and the devas churned the milky ocean, the Lord appeared bearing the pot of nectar which blessed one with everlasting life.

Thus the kalash also symbolises immortality.

Men of wisdom are full and complete as they identify the infinite truth ( poornatvam.

They are brim with joy and love and represent all that is auspicious.

We greet them with a purnakumbha (“full pot”) acknowledging their greatness and as a sign of respectful reverential welcome, with a “full heart”.

There is a prescribed method of disposing the water in the kalash after the completion of the worship.

A part of the water is sprinkled on the premises and this has the effect of purifying the premises.

The remainder is used for watering a tulasi plant so that the plant absorbs the sanctified water and enriches itself.

Are the Kalash People Hindus?

The Kalash people, renowned residents of Pakistan’s Chitral District within the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, have been a subject of fascination for historians, anthropologists, and religious scholars.

Kalash people religion and exceptional culture have raised a compelling question:

Do the Kalasha identify as Hindus?

This exploration aims to shed light on their historical roots, religious customs, and potential links to ancient Hinduism, unveiling the intricate interplay of the Kalash people religion.

Historical Origins of the Kalash People: A Connection to the Rig Veda

The Kalash, also known as the Kalasha community, are an indigenous Indo-Aryan community residing in Pakistan’s Chitral District within the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Notably unique among the diverse populations of Pakistan, the Kalash are often recognized as the country’s smallest ethnoreligious group.

Kalasha people religions and their religious practices have traditionally been characterized as a form of Animism.

This article delves into the historical origins of the Kalash people, shedding light on Kalash people religion, distinct heritage and cultural roots.

The Origins of the Kalash People:

The Kalash people, an Indo-Aryan group, have called the Chitral valley home for centuries.

Their unique heritage, religious practices, and customs set them apart as a distinct community within Pakistan.

Historically, their traditions have been described as a form of Animism, emphasizing their deep connection with nature and spiritual beliefs.

During the mid-20th century, an attempt was made to coerce a few Kalasha villages into converting to Islam.

However, the resilient Kalash community fiercely resisted this pressure.

Once official influence waned, the vast majority of them resumed their original religious practices. It’s important to note that a small number of Kalasha individuals have chosen to convert to Islam over time, but this decision often resulted in their ostracization from their community.

The term “Kalash” encompasses several distinct groups, including the Väi, Čima-nišei, Vântä, Ashkun- and Tregami-speakers.

These groups collectively form the Kalash community and are considered indigenous people of Asia.

According to their folklore, their ancestors migrated to the Chitral valley from another location, which they refer to as “Tsiyam.”

One popular claim among the Kalash people is their descent from the armies of Alexander the Great, although there’s no concrete evidence of his passage through the area.

Instead, historical records provide substantial proof connecting them to the Gandhara people, who played a significant role in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata.

This evidence suggests that the Kalash have strong roots in the Aryan genealogy.

The neighboring Nuristani people in the adjacent Nuristan province of Afghanistan historically shared a similar culture and faith with the Kalash, differing in a few minor aspects.

The Kalash people’s history is marked by various Islamic invasions, with the first recorded invasion by the Ghaznavids in the 11th century. However, the Kalash themselves first appeared in historical records during Timur’s invasions in 1339.

 Despite being in proximity to regions that saw forced Islamic conversions, the Kalash of Chitral have successfully preserved their unique cultural traditions and continued to practice their own distinctive faith.

The Kalash people are traditionally divided into two distinct groups:

a} Kalasha of Chitral and

b} Kalasha of Nuristan.

Nuristani Origins and Controversies 

The Kalash, known as Kalasha, Nuri, Nurestani, or Nooristani, are Indo-Aryan, and some Western historians claim they are Indo-European people mostly living in the Nuristan region of eastern Afghanistan.

The Nuristani were often called “Kafir” or “infidels” during the era of Muslim rule.

Nuristan occupies the valleys on the southern slopes of the Hindu Kush Mountains. Outside Nuristan, there are Nuristani communities in neighboring Afghan provinces and in adjacent areas of Pakistan’s Chitral District.

Tracing Their Roots to the Rig Veda

Kalash people are mentioned in the Rigveda, a collection of sacred Vedic Sanskrit hymns.

The Rigveda is one of the oldest texts in the world of human civilizations and serves as a foundational scripture for Hinduism.

While it contains references to various groups, deities, and geographical locations, identifying specific groups or regions with modern precision can be challenging.

It’s important to note that the Rigveda is primarily a collection of hymns, invocations, and poetic verses dedicated to various deities, natural elements, and cosmic forces.

The hymns describe religious and ritual practices of the time and offer glimpses into the cultural and geographical context of ancient India.

However, these texts often employ symbolism and metaphorical language to convey their spiritual and religious messages.

The Nuristani Kalash people are clearly mentioned in the Rigveda.

Nevertheless, scholars have identified references to Kalash people as ancient groups and cultures based on linguistic, geographical, and cultural clues within the hymns.

It’s important to approach claims of connections between the Rigveda and specific historical or ethnic groups with caution, as these claims often rely on linguistic, archaeological, and cultural evidence that can be open to interpretation.

Moreover, the Rigveda’s primary focus is on the religion and region aspects of ancient India, and its verses provide direct historical references to specific groups or regions.

Therefore, while there may be some scholarly conjectures regarding Nuristani connections, it remains a subject of debate and research within the field of Indology and linguistics.

Language: The Significance of Kalasha-mun

Language and Identity of Kalash

The Kalasha language, also known as Kalasha-mun, is an Indo-Aryan language whose closest relative is the neighboring Khowar language. While the Kalasha people have their distinct language and culture, they have faced the challenge of maintaining their unique identity in the face of external pressures, including conversions to Islam.

Religious Practices of the Kalash People: A Blend of Beliefs

The Kalash predominantly follow the traditional Kalash people religion, which combines elements of Animism and Ancestor worship with influences from Ancient Hinduism.

These practices are an essential part of their daily lives, and they center around nature, celestial beings, and rituals that express gratitude for the abundant resources provided by their valleys.

Here are some key aspects of Kalash people religion & religious practices:

Nature Worship and Its Significance: Nature worship is at the core of Kalash religious practices. The Kalash people believe that various natural elements, such as mountains, rivers, forests, and animals, are inhabited by deities and spirits. They revere nature and consider it sacred, believing that the natural world provides them with essential resources and blessings. This profound connection with nature significantly impacts their daily lives, rituals, and festivals, drawing parallels to Hindu practices.

Rituals and Sacrifices: Sacrifices are a significant part of Kalash people religion & rituals. These offerings, typically involving animals like goats, sheep, and chickens, are made to appease and seek blessings from the deities and spirits. Sacrifices also symbolize gratitude for the abundant resources provided by nature and are performed during various festivals and ceremonies.

Prominent Kalash Festivals: The Kalash people celebrate several festivals throughout the year, each with its unique customs, rituals, and significance. These festivals play a crucial role in the Kalash culture, providing an opportunity to honor their deities, strengthen community bonds, and mark different seasons. Let’s explore some of the prominent Kalash festivals:

Chawmos (Winter Solstice): Chawmos, also known as Chaumos, is the most significant festival in Kalash people religion. It marks the winter solstice, generally celebrated from around December 7 to December 22. During Chawmos, the Kalash people gather to celebrate the end of the year’s fieldwork and harvest. This festival involves a lot of music, dancing, and communal feasting. It is dedicated to the god Balimain, who is believed to visit from the mythical homeland of the Kalash, Tsiyam, during the festival.

Joshi Festival: Joshi is celebrated at the end of May each year. The first day of Joshi is “Milk Day,” during which the Kalash offer libations of milk that have been saved for ten days before the festival. This festival is a time of thanksgiving for the abundance of resources from nature and includes rituals and ceremonies.

Uchau Festival: The Uchau festival takes place in autumn and celebrates the pastoral god Sorizan, who protects the herds in the fall and winter. This festival is an expression of gratitude for the well-being of livestock during the season.

Caumus (Chitirmas): The Caumus festival occurs in midwinter and includes various ceremonies, songs, and dances. It is a way for the Kalash people to celebrate the onset of winter. During Caumus, impure and uninitiated persons are not allowed to participate, and specific rituals are performed to maintain purity.

Other Celebrations: In addition to these major festivals, the Kalash people have other smaller celebrations and rituals that are observed throughout the year. These may involve ceremonies related to life events, such as birth, marriage, and death, as well as rites to honor specific deities and spirits.
The festivals are marked by vibrant and colorful attire, traditional music and dance, communal feasts, and offerings to deities. They are also a time when the Kalash engage in sports and games, such as the Chikik Gal ball game, held during the winter season. These festivals not only strengthen the Kalash community’s cultural identity but also serve as a means to maintain their religious beliefs and connection with the natural world.

Role Reversals Concepts: Role reversals during festivals are a unique feature of Kalash religious practices. The community divides into pure and impure groups, each engaging in different activities. This tradition may reflect ancient practices found in Vedic rituals. Role reversals are a way to maintain cultural and religious significance in their celebrations.

Altars, Shrines, and Community Participation: Kalash people, much like their Aryan ancestors in ancient Hinduism, uphold the tradition of maintaining shrines and altars across the landscape of their valleys. These shrines serve as sanctified spaces for the execution of religious ceremonies and rituals, mirroring the concept of altars and shrines in Hinduism. Specific shrines are often devoted to particular deities, with the central altar serving as the primary focal point for offerings and prayers. This practice bears a striking resemblance to the veneration of altars and shrines within Hinduism.

 Community Participation: The Kalash people, much like their Aryan ancestors in ancient Hindu religious practices, place a significant emphasis on communal participation. Their religious festivals and rituals bring the entire community together, strengthening the sense of unity and cultural identity among the Kalash people. This shared experience of religious ceremonies plays a crucial role in preserving their traditions and heritage. This communal worship is reminiscent of the practices within the domain of Kalash people religion reflects the customs of their Aryan ancestors in the worship of the Hindu religion, and even today, we can observe similar communal worship among Hindus in India, where people come together for collective religious activities.

Cultural Preservation:

 The Kalash people are dedicated to preserving their unique culture and religious traditions.

Despite external pressures and threats to their way of life, they remain committed to passing down their religious practices and rituals to future generations. Cultural preservation is a vital aspect of their religious identity.
These religious practices are a testament to the rich cultural heritage and ancient traditions of the Kalash people.

They provide a window into a unique blend of beliefs, rituals, and a way of life that has persisted for generations in the isolated valleys of Pakistan.

Deities and Spirits in Kalash People Religion: Parallels to Hinduism 

According to Richard Strand’s research on the peoples and languages of Nuristan, before their conversion to Islam, the Nuristanis practiced a form of ancient Hinduism.

Their religious beliefs were infused with local developments and adaptations.

They acknowledged multiple human-like deities who resided in the unseen Deity World, which is referred to as “Kâmviri d’e lu” and can be compared to the Sanskrit concept of “deva lok’a.”

This historical connection highlights the shared religious heritage between the Nuristanis and ancient Hinduism.

 Deities and Spirits:
The deities worshiped by the Kalash and Hindus indeed share some striking similarities, reinforcing the notion that there is a historical and religious connection between the two cultures. Here are some examples of deities worshiped by both the Kalash and Hindus:

 Indra (Indr), the God of Weather and Agriculture: Indra is a prominent deity in both Kalash and Hindu traditions. In Hinduism, he is considered the king of deities and the god of thunder, rain, and lightning. He is often depicted holding a thunderbolt and riding a white elephant named Airavata. Indra is responsible for bringing rain and fertility to the land, making him a vital figure in agricultural societies. In Kalash culture, Indra has similar attributes, such as controlling rainfall and being associated with the weather and agriculture.

Yama/Imra: Deity of Death and Judgment : Yama is a deity known in Hinduism as the lord of death and justice. He is responsible for determining the fate of souls after death and overseeing the cycle of rebirth. Among the Kalash, he is known as Imra and is associated with similar themes related to the afterlife and the judgment of souls. Both Yama and Imra play essential roles in the spiritual journeys of their respective communities.

 Jestak: Goddess of Domestic Life: Jestak is a goddess in Kalash culture, with responsibilities tied to domestic life, family, and marriage. She is often associated with women’s rituals and plays a vital role in Kalash social and family life. While her name may be different, her attributes resemble those of Hindu goddesses who are revered for their roles in marriage and domestic harmony.

– Krumai: The Unique Protector Deity: Krumai is a unique deity in Kalash belief associated with the mountain Tirich Mir. She is believed to appear in the form of a wild goat and is connected to childbirth. In Hinduism, mountains are considered sacred, and pilgrimages to high peaks like Mount Kailash are an important part of religious practice. Krumai’s role as a protector of a specific mountain is reminiscent of the significance of mountains in both traditions.

 Mahandeo (Mahadev): The Divine Parallels: Mahandeo is a deity venerated by the Kalash and bears similarities to Lord Shiva, also known as Mahadev in Hinduism. Shiva is one of the principal deities in Hinduism and represents both creation and destruction. He is associated with asceticism, meditation, and the balance of life’s opposing forces. Similarly, Mahandeo has attributes that parallel Shiva’s role in Kalash culture.
These descriptions illustrate how the deities in both Kalash and Hindu traditions share common themes, such as nature, family life, and cosmic order. 

Nuristan’s: Geographical Isolation and Climate Influence

Nuristan, the region where the Kalash people reside, is geographically isolated, and this isolation has played a significant role in shaping their distinct culture and beliefs.

Geographic isolation refers to the physical separation or detachment of a particular area or population from other regions due to natural barriers or distance.

This isolation can lead to the development of unique cultures, languages, and traditions that are distinct from those in nearby regions.

Here are some key points regarding geographic isolation:

 Natural Barriers: Geographic isolation is often caused by natural barriers such as mountains, deserts, oceans, or dense forests. These physical features create a physical divide that hinders easy access to the isolated region.

Impact on Culture: Isolated populations may develop unique cultures, languages, and traditions that are distinct from those in nearby regions. This isolation can lead to cultural diversity and the preservation of ancient traditions.

 Limited Interaction: Due to the physical separation, people in isolated areas may have limited interactions with outsiders. This can impact their access to resources, technology, and information from the broader world.

 Biodiversity: Geographic isolation can also lead to the development of unique ecosystems and biodiversity. Isolated regions often have species of plants and animals that are found nowhere else in the world.

 Challenges: While geographic isolation can lead to cultural richness, it can also present challenges. Isolated communities may face difficulties in accessing healthcare, education, and economic opportunities due to their remote locations.

Nuristan’s geographic isolation has contributed to the preservation of its cultural heritage and its distinct identity.

Persecution and Challenges Faced by the Kalash People

The Kalash people, residing in the Chitral District of Pakistan, have long faced persecution and numerous challenges that threaten their unique culture, traditions, and way of life.

These difficulties have been exacerbated by their distinct religious practices, geographic isolation, and cultural differences from the majority Muslim population in the region.

 Forced Conversions: One of the most significant challenges the Kalash people have faced is the pressure to convert to Islam. Historically, they have been labeled as “Kafirs” (infidels) by the surrounding Muslim communities, leading to discrimination, coercion, and threats to abandon their indigenous beliefs. Some Kalasha individuals have been forcibly converted to Islam, impacting their cultural identity.

 Violence and Attacks: The Kalasha have been subjected to violence, including killings, physical assaults, and sexual assaults. These incidents not only cause harm to individuals but also create an atmosphere of fear and insecurity within the community.

 Land Seizures: The Kalash people have experienced encroachments on their lands and properties, often driven by economic and political motives. These land seizures are part of broader efforts to marginalize and displace the Kalasha community.

 Desecration of Cultural Symbols: Kalasha gravesites, religious symbols, and cultural artifacts have been desecrated and destroyed. This vandalism not only erases their cultural history but also sends a clear message that their traditions are not respected.

 Discrimination and Marginalization: The Kalash people have been marginalized and discriminated against in various aspects of life, including education and employment. They face economic and social challenges due to their unique culture and religious practices.

 Cultural Erosion: The increasing influence of mainstream Pakistani culture and the encroachment of modernity pose a risk to the preservation of Kalasha traditions. Many young Kalash individuals are drawn to urban areas for better economic opportunities, which can lead to a loss of cultural knowledge and practices.

  Environmental Threats: The Kalasha valleys have faced environmental challenges, including deforestation and climate change. These challenges impact the livelihoods of the community, who rely on agriculture and natural resources.

  Lack of Legal Protections: The Kalash people often lack adequate legal protections to safeguard their rights and cultural heritage. The Pakistani government has been criticized for not doing enough to protect and promote the rights of this minority group.

The challenges and persecution faced by the Kalash people are significant and threaten the survival of their unique culture and religious practices.

Conclusion – Kalash People: Preserving Ancient Hindu Roots

In conclusion, the Kalash people, residing in the remote valleys of Chitral, Pakistan, represent a living connection to a distant past, a time when the hymns of the Rig Veda were composed.

Their unique cultural practices, beliefs, and rituals bear unmistakable resemblances to the ancient form of Hinduism as described in the Rig Veda.

This perspective suggests that the Kalasha faith, deeply rooted in nature, deities, and the worship of celestial beings, reflects the religious traditions that once prevailed in the Indian subcontinent thousands of years ago.

The historical references to the Kalash people in the Rig Veda provide valuable insights into their potential origins and connections with ancient Hinduism.

While the question of whether they are Hindus or not is a matter of interpretation, the evidence of shared practices, beliefs, and deities underscores the significance of their cultural and religious heritage.

To ensure the preservation of this unique and ancient way of life, it is crucial to acknowledge the challenges and persecution that the Kalasha people face.

 Protecting their rights as an indigenous community, as well as their cultural identity, is not only a matter of historical importance but a testament to the diversity and richness of the world’s religious traditions.

In this light, the Kalasha people continue to be a fascinating and valuable part of our shared human history.

Kalasa Pujan: Its Meaning, Significance And Other Sacred Constituents


Kalasa pujan or ghatasthapanā pujā is an important and primary practice in sanātana dharma.

 Every Sanātani or Hindu worships the kalasa or ghata in every festival, religious occasion, and rites. Ghatastapanā is done in both celebrating the festivities of happiness, rituals in sorrow, or in commencing a social activity. 

In Hinduism, some symbolize ‘kalasa’ or ‘Ghata’ as Mother Laxmi; the goddess of wealth, prosperity, and good luck, and some symbolize it as Lord Ganesh; the god of knowledge and remover of obstacles.

It is believed that without kalasa pujan or Ghatastapanā at the beginning of any noble work or festival, that would remain incomplete and lead to negative consequences.  

The kalasa pujan is done as an absolute unit, so we can say this ‘Purna Kalasa’.

In Rig Veda, the purna kalasa represents abundance and fulfillment of life.

We must have known several stories regarding the kalasa like devatās getting ‘Amrit Kalasa’ in ‘Samudra Manthan’, the churning of the ocean; king Dasharatha getting the ‘Charu Kalasa’ while doing ‘putrakāmesti yajna’ and so on.

But what is the significance of kalasa pujan or ghatastapanā in every religious ritual? Let us discuss.

Symbolism In The Kalash Pujan Rituals

One ancient Odiā saint-poet sang; “Rādhekrishna Rādhekrishna Rādhekrishna ratare, Ketedine chhādibu tu mātipinda ghata re”, which can be translated as, “Oh man, please chant the name of Rādhekrishna, who knows when you may have to leave this pot or ghata that is made up of soil.”

Here, the body is compared with a pot made up of soil, and hence, in actuality,  the kalasa pujan or ghatastapanā is like worshipping the consciousness named Rādhekrishna or the pair of Purusha and Prakriti inside the microcosm i.e. pinda or body. 

Kalash And Its Other Sacred Constituents

Tirtha Jal And Food Grains 

The kalasa or pot is made of soil, brass metal, or copper metal that indicates earth material or prithvi tattva.

Here, our body is compared with a pot of soil since it is made from food that in turn comes from the soil via plants; hence the kalasa represents our physical body.

We fill the pot with water.

Sometimes grains such as paddy, wheat, etc. are also added to the pot.

This is the vital energy in our physical body.

Here, water symbolizes prāna, as in the Satapath Brāhmana it is said, apo vai prānāh, which means the water verily is life-force.

So we worship the prāna or life-force in the body. 

Consciousness first manifests in the form of life-force in a material or physical body.  This prāna in a body comes from Mahāprāna, that is the first manifestation of Paramātmā or Almighty, who is ’Pure Existence’ as per Prashnopanishad (6:4), sa prānamasrujatah.

So, symbolically the water for kalasa is collected from a holy place, tirtha jal.

This also signifies that though the vital prāna is rajas in nature, it must have an essence of sattva guna.

It should always be moving towards mahāprana, like the river moves to merge with the ocean.

This is also called “Varuna pujā”, the worshiping of the deva of water. 

As water is the source of life; so we fill the ghata or pot with water.

We put coconut on the top of the pot.

This indicates the head of the human body.

The water inside the coconut indicates the cerebral fluid substance in the human brain and the pulp of the coconut is brain material.

The stem of the coconut symbolizes the human spine.

We can also consider it as the bridge between the conscious world and the subconscious mind. 

The kalasa looks like a yogi sitting in a cross-legged posture with the head, neck, and body straight.

At the base, the sand mixed with paddy or wheat is compared to a sitting posture.

Legs are the organs of actions of Manipurak, the mostly subconscious mind center.

These grains also symbolize the seeds that are ready to germinate from our subconscious; these are imprints of our karma from the past, or previous samskāras in our mind-stuff, Chitta. 

The sand particles symbolize the Chitta. 

The Three-Eyed Coconut

The coconut has three eyes; two eyes are visible but blind, and the third eye is hidden through which the sprout comes out.

Our two visible eyes are blind, which only can view the outer or manifested world.

Through the third eye or knowledge eye, one can see the realms of the subtle and causal world and finally realize the true self.

This states that our real-life journey starts when our knowledge eye is activated.

Hence the kalasa pujan is also done to activate our consciousness and inner knowledge. 

Pancha Pallava And Kalava

We put either five mango leaves or five different kinds of leaves, pancha pallava, which indicates our five sense organs i.e. organs of smell, taste, vision, touch, and sound.

We tie three rounds of a mixed color thread at the neck of the pot.

This colored thread indicates trigunātmikā māyā or three-faceted illusions.

It only can break through the activation of inner consciousness and knowledge. 

Coins/Gold And Panch Ratna

We put a coin or gold inside the pot which indicates our life material at Mulādhāra.

This is the seat of our material world consciousness.

We put a beetle nut on the top of the coin.

This is compared to linga mulam at the level of Swādhisthāna, representing the seat of love, affection, emotion, sex, human relations, love for pets, etc. The elevated portion from the base corresponds to Manipuraka, mind with contrasting characters; the middle bump of the pot corresponds to Anāhata, the ego center.

The neck portion is considered Vishuddha chakra, our state of bliss.

We put red sindur in the middle of the two eyes of the coconut.

This symbolizes the Ājnā chakra, the seat of individual consciousness.

The top of the coconut symbolizes Sahasrāra chakra, the Shiva consciousness state.  

We put five jewels or Pancha Ratna which represents five ‘Yamas’. 

Yama is the first limb of yoga as described by Rishi Patanjali.

Yoga of Patanjali has eight limbs: yama, niyama, āsana, prānāyāma pratyāhāra, dhāranā, dhyāna and samādhi. Yama is also known as ‘restrain’.

Further, Yama is five, viz. ahimsā (non-violence), satya (truthfulness), āsteya (nonstealing), brahmacharya (sexual restrain), and aparigraha (living with minimum needs).

These are the five jewels that every human must practice.

We put a rice bowl below the coconut on the mouth of the pot.

It symbolizes the manifested life energy. 

Sarbaushadhi And Soil

A good body needs medicine to survive; so we put sarbausadhi, different medicinal herbs.

We put kusha grass (a special grass used in all Hindu pujā) as the symbol of purity of our lives, a process of pavitrikarana. 

We put soil collected from seven different places i.e. soil from the stable of horses, stable of elephants, cowshed, anthill, the soil where two rivers join or sangama, from a pond, from a palace door of a king.

These represent the features of vigor, wealth, nutrition, community spirit, cooperation, calmness, and recognition in human life. 

Swastika, Durba Dal, Tulsi Bel Patra And Fruits

We draw a swastika symbol in the body of the pot. 

The swastika is the symbol of prosperity and good fortune.

Hence it indicates the auspiciousness, mangala, in our lives. 

When we keep our hands on our chest crossed, it forms a swastika.

So these are our retrained hands.

We are allowed to work in a restrained manner so that our actions don’t encroach upon the rights of others.

We offer durbā dal, Bermuda grass, which represents the softness or komalatā in our lives.

We offer flowers on the kalasa, those represent the blossoming mind.

Similarly, offering tulsi (holy basil), bilva patra (bel leaf), barakoli patra (green ber leaves) represent different aspects or virtue of our lives.

We offer fruits as the result of our actions.

Covering the kalasa with a red cloth symbolizes modesty with the honor of our lives. 

Invoking The Brahmanda

As we invoke Brahmā at the base, Rudra at the neck, and Vishnu at the face of the kalasa, we thus worship three aspects of creation, dissolution, and sustenance.

We also invoke seven seas, seven landmasses, four Vedas (Rig, Sāma, Yajur, and Atharvana) and Gāyatri, sāvitri, shānti, and pusti.

Also, we invoke seven rivers: Gangā, Yamunā, Godāvari, Saraswati, Narmadā, Sindhu, and Kāveri.

We also invoke tirtharaj Prayāgraj and all the tirthas (sacred places of pilgrims).

This is for the realization of our pinda, microcosm as a miniature form of brahmānda, macrocosm. 


Kalash or Kalasham Symbol in Hinduism

Kalash, Kalasha or Kalasham, is a coconut circled by mango leaves on a pot and is an important accompaniment in various rituals in Hindu religion.

A kalasha when filled with water, rice or other grains is known as ‘Purnakumbha.’

The pot for the Kalasha can be made of clay, brass or copper.

Nowadays a pot made of any metal is used. Mango leaves are arranged in the mouth of the pot.

A coconut – outer green covering removed – is placed over the mouth of the pot.

The neck of the pot is tied with a white, yellow or red colored thread or cloth.

Some people draw a swastika on the side of the pot.

Depending on their artistic skill, some draw various designs using natural products.

Today, various designer types of pots are used as Kalasha.

The Kalasha symbolically represents creation.

The vacant pot, symbolizes earth, and the water filled symbolizes the primordial water from which life began on earth.

Life began in water and nothing can exist in this world without water.

In Hindu Mythology, Lord Vishnu reclines on the ocean and a lotus with the creator Brahma emerges from Him.

This indicates that life began in water.

The mango leaves represent the life forms.

 And coconut a product from the life forms is again filled with water symbolically representing endless cycle and the single thread that runs in all of us.

When devas and asuras churned the ocean to obtain the immortality nectar, it is said that the nectar appeared in a kalasha.

Thus it also symbolizes immortality.

The water in the kalasha is also used during the consecration of temples and is known as kumbhabhishekam and it involves pouring water from several kalashas.

It is believed that at the mouth Kalash resides Vishnu, at the throat resides Shiva and Brahma at the base.

At the belly of the pot resides Mother Goddess. 

A kalasha is an important accompaniment in Hindu rituals conducted during housewarming or Gruhapravesam, wedding, while receiving important dignitaries, during festive occasions and as a welcome sign at the entrance of houses.

KALASH – A Brief description about worship the kalash – A copper pot is filled with water

Why do we worship the kalasha?

First of all what is a kalasha? A brass, mud or copper pot is filled with water.

Mango leaves are placed in the mouth of the pot and a coconut is placed over it.

A red or white thread is tied around its neck or sometimes all around it in a intricate diamond-shaped pattern.

The pot may be decorated wit designs.

Such a pot is known as a kalasha.

When the pot is filled with water or rice, it is known as purnakumbha representing the inert body which when filled with the divine life force gains the power to do all the wonderful things that makes life what it is.

A kalasha is placed with due rituals on all-important occasions like the traditional house warming (grihapravesa), wedding, daily worship etc.

It is placed near the entrance as a sign of welcome.

It is also used in a traditional manner while receiving holy personages.

Why do we worship the kalasha?

Before the creation came into being, Lord Vishnu was reclining on His snake-bed in the milky ocean.

From His navel emerged a lotus from which appeared Lord Brahma, the creator, who thereafter created this world.

The water in the kalasha symbolizes the primordial water from which the entire creation emerged.

It is the giver of life to all and has the potential of creating innumerable names and forms, the inert objects and the sentient beings and all that is auspicious in the world from the energy behind the universe.

The leaves and coconut represent creation.

The thread represents the love that “binds” all in creation.

The kalasha is therefore considered auspicious and worshipped.

The waters from all the holy rivers, the knowledge of all the Vedas and the blessings of all the deities are invoked in the kalasha and its water is thereafter used for all the rituals, including the abhisheka.

The consecration (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 the top of the temple.

When the asuras and devas churned the milky ocean, the Lord appeared bearing the pot of  nectar, which blessed one with everlasting life.

Thus the kalasha also symbolizes immortality.

Men of wisdom are full and complete as they identify with the infinite Truth (poornatvam).

They brim with joy and love and respect all that is auspicious.

We greet them with a purnakumbha (“full pot”) acknowledging their greatness and as a sign of respectful and reverential welcome, with a “full heart”.

Why do we consider the lotus as special?  

The lotus is the symbol of truth, auspiciousness and beauty (satyam, shivam, sundaram).

The Lord is also that nature and therefore, His various aspects are compared to a lotus (i.e. lotus-eyes, lotus feet, lotus hands, the lotus of the heart etc.).

The lotus blooms with the rising sun and close at night. Similarly, our minds open up and  expand with the light of knowledge.

The lotus grows even in slushy areas.

It remains  beautiful and untainted despite its surroundings, reminding us that we too can and should strive to remain pure and beautiful within, under all circumstances.

The lotus leaf never gets wet even though it is always in water.

It symbolizes the man of wisdom (gyaani) who remains ever joyous, unaffected by the world of sorrow and change.

This is revealed in a shloka from the Bhagwad-Geeta:

Brahmanyaadhaaya karmaani
Sangam tyaktvaa karoti yaha
Lipyate na sa paapena
Padma patram ivaambhasaa

He who does actions, offering them to Brahman (the Supreme), abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin, just as a lotus leaf remains unaffected by the water on it.

From this, we learn that what is natural to the man of wisdom becomes a discipline to be practiced by all saadhakas or spiritual seekers and devotees.

Our bodies have certain energy centers described in the Yoga Shaastras as chakras.

Each one is associated with lotus that has a certain number of petals.

For example, a lotus with a thousand petals represents the Sahasra chakra at the top of the head, which opens when the yogi attains Godhood or Realisation.

Also, the lotus posture (padmaasana) is recommended when one sits for meditation.

A lotus emerged from the navel of Lord Vishnu.

Lord Brahma originated from it to create the world.

Hence, the lotus symbolizes the link between the creator and the supreme Cause.

It also symbolizes Brahmaloka, the abode of Lord Brahma.

The auspicious sign of the swastika is said to have evolved from the lotus.

Kalasha means a pot to carry water.

Brass or silver Kalasa is usually used for poojas.

Kalash symbolically represents the Goddess in most pujas.

Here is a step by step guide to prepare a Kalasa for a simple Hindu Puja.

Requirements for Kalasha

  • A medium sized brass or silver pot.
  • Turmeric powder
  • Kumkuma
  • Water
  • Coconut
  • Mango leaves
  • Coins
  • Rice
  • Dried fruit
  • Flowers
  • A Piece of unstiched cloth – Vastaram

To Make a Simple Kalash for Normal Puja

First clean the pot thoroughly and wipe out the water content from outside.

Decorate the pot with turmeric and kumkuma dots.

The pot is filled with pure water or water collected from rivers.

The Kalasa is placed in the puja area usually on a Kolam or Rangoli.

The water from this pot is sprinkled while doing puja.

Kalasha puja

kalasham gandha-pushpa-kshatai rabhyarchya (pour water, akshantam, flower in the kalasham and apply gandham on three sides)

tadupari hastam nidhaya (place your right hand on kalasham and chant the following mantra)

kalashasya mukheh vishnuh kante-rudra-samasritah mule-tatrastito bramha-madhye

matru-ganah-smrutah kukshowtu-sagara-sarve sapta-dvipa-vasundhara rug-vedodha yajur-veda sama-vedo-hyadharvana

amgaischa-sahita-sarve kalashantu samasritah ayantu devapujardham mama-duritakshaya-karakah atra gayatri savitri shantih pushti-karishvari||

apova edagm sarvam vishwa-bhutanyapah pranaga apah pashava

> aponna-mapo-mrutamapah samradapo viradapasvara dapaschamdagam syapo-jyotigom-shyapoyaju syapasatyama-pasarva-devata apo bhurbhavasuva rapa om||

gangecha-yamune chaiva godavari sarsvati narmada sindhu-kaveri jalesmin sanidham-kuruh, kaveri tunga-bhadracha krusha-venicha gowtami bhagirdhi-cha vikhyatah pancaganga prakirtitah kalashodakena puja dravayani samprokshya,devamatma-namcha somprokshya

(take the water from kalash and sprinkle on god, pooja articles & yourself)

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