Text references on 'kalasha/ kumbha/ ghaTa'

Marianna Kropf marianne.kropf at theol.unibe.ch
Wed Jul 30 12:26:01 UTC 1997

Dear members of indology list

I am working on the use and symbolism(s) of 'kalasha/kumbha/ghata' in the
ritual context. My main stress is on rituals the way they are executed
nowadays. My main three categories are 
1) the pot/ vessel/ jar used as recipient of different substances (purified
water, milky products,...) for ritual use;
2) the pot/ vessel/ jar used as (temporary) seat of a deity (male or female)
to be worshipped in this form;
3) The symbolism of an earthen pot explicitly broken during a ritual
(especially antyeshTi).

Within such an 'All-over-India-topic' I would be very grateful to get some
further references of text material (sources or other) concerning the
following questions:

a) references to passages dealing with the terms 'kalasha', 'kumbha' or
'ghaTa' in connection with their size/form and material (shilpa shAstras and

b) references to passages out of philosophical texts and subhAshya dealing
with the vessel/ pot/ jar as a metaphor/ symbol (Advaita and other traditions);

c) passages to compare the vessel/pot/jar with the (human) body;

d) references of texts/ ritual manuals - exept antyeshTi rituals - where the
breaking of a pot is explicitly described (and interpreted).

Any hint to one or the other point is most welcome - thank you so much!

Marianna Kropf

Marianna Kropf
Universität Bern
Institut für Religionswissenschaft
Länggassstrasse 51
CH-3000 Bern 9

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