Kalashapuja, Kalaśapūjā, Kalasha-puja: 5 definitions


Kalashapuja means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Kalaśapūjā can be transliterated into English as Kalasapuja or Kalashapuja, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Ganapatya (worship of Ganesha)

[«previous next»] — Kalashapuja in Ganapatya glossary
Source: Google Books: Ganapati: Song of the Self

Kalaśapūjā (कलशपूजा) refers to the “worship of the vessel”, representing one of the possible preliminary rites (upacāra) of a pūjā (deity worship).—Each act in a pūjā is not only physical and/or mental, but also symbolic, cosmic, and spiritual. Sprinkling, sipping, and bathing are symbolic of purification, of the worshipped as well as of the worshipper and the surroundings. Various offerings [viz., kalaśapūjā] symbolize the surrendering of one’s latent tendencies (vāsanā) as expressed in thoughts, words, and deeds.

context information

Ganapatya (गाणपत्य, gāṇapatya) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Ganesha is revered and worshipped as the prime deity (ishta-devata). Being a minor though influential movement, Ganapatya evovled, llike Shaktism and Shaivism, as a separate movement leaving behind a large body of literature.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Kalashapuja in Shaktism glossary
Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (shaktism)

Kalaśapūjā (कलशपूजा) refers to the “worship of deities including the goddess, the Mothers and waters from the sacred fords in a vase”, as part of the Navarātra Tantric ritual (an autumnal festival of the warrior goddess Caṇḍikā).—The first seven days involve: kalaśapūjā (worship of deities including the goddess, the Mothers and waters from the sacred fords in a vase); a king bathing in the sanctified waters from the kalaśapūjā; fasting, worshiping Śiva thrice daily, animal sacrifice (paśubali); daily worship of the royal horses; fire oblations and feeding a maiden.—Various 8th century sources refer to rituals such kalaśapūjā, for example: Devīpurāṇa, Kālikāpurāṇa, Kṛtyakalpataru, Durgābhaktitaraṅgiṇī, Durgāpūjātattva, Durgāpūjāviveka, Bhadrakālīmantravidhiprakaraṇa in Sanderson (2007); account of the Durgā Pūjā in Kelomal, West Bengal (Nicholas 2013).

Shaktism book cover
context information

Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Kalashapuja in Shaivism glossary
Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

Kalaśapūjā (कलशपूजा) refers to “veneration of the water pot”, according to the Netratantra of Kṣemarāja: a Śaiva text from the 9th century in which Śiva (Bhairava) teaches Pārvatī topics such as metaphysics, cosmology, and soteriology.—Accordingly, [verse 19.99cd-101ab, while describing the ritual that protect the king and his kingdom]—“Once [he has] venerated the water pot (kalaśapūjāpūjanaṃ ... kalaśe pūjite sati), [the Mantrin] should worship the Lokapālas and their weapons with flowers, guest water, and [other ritual] offerings before the king. [The king] whose learned teachers constantly [perform these acts], [he] obtains what was said before [i.e. protection]”.

Shaivism book cover
context information

Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Kalashapuja in Hinduism glossary
Source: ACHC: Smarta Puja

Kalaśapūjā (कलशपूजा) refers to the “worship of the vessel” representing one of the various preparatory rites performed before pūjā (ritualistic worship of a deity) which aim at the purification of the devotee.—[After nyāsa], the worshipper sanctifies the utensils which he is going to use in the following pūjā by invoking deities into their different parts. Thereby he makes them suitable instruments of worship. The vessel worshipped (kalaśapūjā) here is of a particular shape and is filled with water. Along with the conch it serves as a container for water which is used in worship. The gods Viṣṇu, Rudra (Śiva), Brahman, the groups of mother goddesses, the ocean, earth and the four Vedas are imagined to stay at its various parts. Then sacred rivers like Gaṅga and Yamuna are invoked in its water. While reciting the prescribed verses the worshipper places his right hand on the top of the vessel thus invoking the rivers as present.

For the worship of the vessel (kalaśapūjā) a small quantity of sandalwood paste, grains of unbroken rice (akṣata) and a flower are made to stick on it. Finally the cow-(dhenu) mudra (cf. illustration) is shown over the vessel. In this mudrā the position of the fingers imitates the shape of four udders of a cow, thereby suggesting that the vessel is filled with milk from the udders of the heavenly cow (surabhi).

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: OSU Press: Cakrasamvara Samadhi

Kalaśapūjā (कलशपूजा) or “Kalaśa worship” (i.e., ‘worship of a the ritual flask called the kalaśa’) refers to one of the various rituals typically performed as a part of the larger rites, according to Buddhist teachings followed by the Newah in Nepal, Kathmandu Valley (whose roots can be traced to the Licchavi period, 300-879 CE).—Kalaśapūjā, “Kalaśa worship”, is the worship of a the ritual flask called the kalaśa, which is imagined to symbolize the body, which receives the samayasattva, “vow being”, which is the visualized deity, and the jñānasattva, “knowledge being”, which is the deities essence. The kalaśapūjā also includes the nirāñjana, which figuratively means “removing darkness” and involves burning fragrant scents in a clay pot and reciting mantras to purify the worshiper.

The kalaśapūjā also includes the worship of Gaṇeśa and Mahākāla; the deity Āyur Vṛddhi, “the Increase of Long Life”, as the Dhaupati, “Yogurt Pot”; the pañca-gomātā, “the Five Cows” deities, as the Gogrāsa, literally “cow’s mouth”, which is a leaf for making offerings to the pañca-gomātā; Vasundharā and Lakṣmī, the Goddesses of the earth and wealth respectively, as the Jvālā Nhāykaṃ, “the flaming mirror” and Sinhaḥmū, a special pot for storing ṭīkā powder, (both names in Newah), respectively; Cakrasaṃvara and Vajravārāhī again as the mākaḥdalū and kāybhaḥ; and finally this time Vaiśvānara, “The Universal Man”, another form of the sun god, as the sukundā.

From a spiritual perspective the kalaśapūjā is primarily about embodying the samayasattva and jñānasattva, but from a practical perspective it lays out and worships most of the required ritual implements as divine entities for longer more complicated rites. The laying out of the remaining ritual implements for more esoteric rites comes next in the vāruṇī-pūjā.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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