At the altar of an Indian home, it is not uncommon to see a kalash being used. The kalash is an essential component of every religious or cultural ceremony.
What is a kalash?
A container made of earth or metal that has an entrance at one end while the other is blocked to hold objects, most often water, is called a pot. A pot is devoid of its contents yet has the capacity to hold a great many things. The inert body is symbolised by the pot; however, once the pot is filled with the water of knowledge, it transforms into a fully functional body that is capable of meeting all of life’s requirements.
A kalash is a pot that is filled with water and on which a few sprigs of mango leaves are placed at the mouth. Finally, a full coconut is placed on top of the mango leaves and is positioned so that its head fits into the mouth of the pot while the conical portion of the coconut protrudes from the pot. This coconut is often put on top of a cloth that has rice inside of it. A little diamond-shaped pattern is formed on the surface of a pot by tying a thread around its circumference and length to create the design.
When the kumbha (pot) is filled with rice, symbolising fertility and prosperity, it is referred to as the poorna kumbha, and it means that everything is finished. It’s also possible that it refers to the water and food that are essential for keeping our bodies nourished.
It is not only adorned with a swastika symbol but also filled with water inside of it. The term “swastika,” which comes from the Sanskrit language, may be broken down into two parts: “swasti,” which means “the well-being of everyone,” and “ka,” which means “symbol.” The swastika sign, which appears the same in every direction, also stands for the sun, which is known as the “generator of life.” The kalash immediately comes to represent power whenever it is shown atop a pot of water since water is considered to be the water of knowledge.
Water is symbolic of wealth, intelligence, and a connection to the divine since it is the water in the oceans that causes clouds to form and rain to fall, plants cannot survive without water, and in times past, commerce was done on the ocean’s surface. Even in modern times, a ship that is shown as being “loaded with merchandise” is seen to be a sign of good fortune. Therefore, the kalash, which has water inside of it, and the swastika symbol, which is ornamented on the exterior, represent the significance of sun and rain for producing a plentiful harvest. The coconut that is positioned at the opening of the kalash is symbolic of the flora and fauna that flourish thanks to the presence of light and water. Even while some kalash have a lotus blossom within, the vast majority of them have a coconut.
Coconut trees are abundant along the seashore, and the landscape of coastal regions would be lacking without their presence. The coconut tree, also called the Kalpa Vruksha, yields fruit that may be utilised in a variety of culinary and medicinal applications. The water of a tender coconut is said to be as soothing to a dry throat as honey, and back in ancient times, the shells of coconuts were used to make fire. Traditionally, the leaves were used to cover the roofs of huts. To make a broom, the thin stalks that grow in between the numerous leaves are gathered and wrapped around one another. Does the well-known coconut oil even need a sentence of its own? It should come as no surprise that the coconut is put at the opening of the kalash.
Jackfruit leaves, as well as the leaves of the peepal tree (Bodhi-ficus religiosa), are often substituted for mango leaves in religious ceremonies. The Bodhi tree, also known as the peepal tree, is believed to be the site where the Buddha attained enlightenment. In contrast, the mango tree bears a fruit that is both very tasty and extremely uncommon. Jackfruit trees are also known to be productive.
The thread across the pot
In order to create a pattern in the shape of a diamond, the length and breath of the poorna kumbha are each linked with a thread. All living things on this planet are connected by a shared experience of love via this thread, which runs through them all. The act of smiling is recognised all across the world as a global sign of love, compassion, acceptance, and pleasure. A kind word and unconditional love are the ties that unite everything in existence.
When doing anything considered to be fortunate, one must summon the knowledge contained inside the four Vedas, the waters of sacred rivers, and the favour of all gods and goddesses. Thus, the newlywed couple, the young Brahmachari boy whose spiritual journey begins with the tying of the sacred thread on his torso, the woman who is blessed for the smooth delivery of her progeny, and the family that enters into a brand new house all place the Kalash in an effort to seek the knowledge of the waters, the fertility and prosperity of the leaves and rice, the omnipotence of the coconut, the well-being of the swastika, and the love.