Wednesday, December 24, 2008


The kalash (kalasha) and deepak (dipaka) are prominent Vedic symbols that symbolize respectively the manifestations of Gayatri and Yagya. As Gayatri and Yagya are revered to be the origin of the Vedas and Vedic Science and Culture, the presence and worship of kalash and deepak in every sacrament, on every auspicious occasion is quite natural in the Vedic Culture. The symbol of kalash is physically represented by a metal or earthen pitcher or urn. It is filled with water (preferably the water of holy Ganga, any sacred river or clean, running water). Its top open end holds betel or mango leaves and a red-yellow sanctified thread (kalawa or mauli) is tied around its neck. The kalash has many symbolic meanings and teachings associated with it as described below.

The kalash symbolizes the cosmos. The water inside the kalash represents the primordial waters, elixir of life or the soul filled with love and compassion, abundance, and hospitality. Varuna, the Lord of the oceans and the divine source of water element, is invoked while filling a kalash with water. In some cultures, the kalash is said to represent the body, the leaves the five senses and water, the life-force. Some Vedic scriptures refer it as a symbol of the mother earth and divine consciousness. The word meaning of the scriptural hymns of the kalash's worship describe the mouth, throat and base of the kalash as seats of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma respectively whereas the belly represents all goddesses and Divine-mother's power streams. Thus in this small urn the presence of all gods and goddesses is symbolized. This exemplifies that all the gods are essentially one and are emanations of the same Supreme Power.

Lord Dhanvantari is described as having four arms carrying various healing instruments in each hand, viz., a chakra (divine wheel) to defeat the devil forces, shankha (conch shell) to make the atmosphere free of viruses, bacteria and evil effects; jalouka (leech) used for curing all the diseases caused by vitiated blood and a kalash containing amrita (the elixir of life) to rejuvenate the sick.Because of its uniformity and symmetry in all directions, the kalash is a symbol of the entire universe and of that omnipresent Brahman which is the uncaused cause of all. All the gods in their microcosmic and macrocosmic subliminal forms are meditated, during devotional worships, as to be present in this symbolic form of the universe. Thus, through the medium of the kalash we are made aware of all the gods in one place, at one time and in one symbol.

This song by the Queen of Melody Lata Mangeshkar visualizes the rising Sun at dawn as a kalash that is overflowing with Divinity Herself – what a powerful imagery that inspires us to start the day with noble thoughts and impressions!

Jyoti Kalash Chalke

The Pot of Divine Light overflows
Hue Gulabi, laal , sunhere, rang dal badal ke

Thues turn pink ochre & Golden on the canvas of the clouds
Jyoti Kalash , Chalke

The Pot of Divine Light overflows
Ushane aanchal failaya, faili sukh ki sheetal chaya,

neeche aanchal ke ! Jyoti kalash chalke
the Dawn spreads its warm shroud,

and the calming shadow of happiness / contentment - spreads beneath it

- The Pot of Divine Light overflows
Jyoti Yashoda, Dharti Gaiyya, Neel Gagan, Gopal Kanaihyaa

Shyamal chabi jhalke ! Jyoti Kalash chalke
The Sun ( eternal ) is the Mother ( Yashoda ), the Earth is the Cow - and the BLUE SKY is KRISHNA - The Pot of Divine Light overflows
Paat Paat Birva Hariyaala, dharti ka mukh hua Ujala,

Mangal ghat dhalke, Jyoti Kalash chalke
Every leaf and shrub in greenery drenched, the Earth is resplendant in her unbridled JOY as the Auspicious pot overflows (with its blessings onto us) - The Pot of Divine Light overflows


Anonymous said...

Excellent job of explaining the symbolism of kalash and illustrating the philosophy with Lataji's glorious hymn that she sang for Meena Kumari, a wonderfully gifted star who brought the song to life on the silver screen.

sr devraj said...

wow great awesome admin... explaining each and every thing... you got great stuff sir... provide hanuman chalisa history sir please...