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What is the significance of the ghata-sthapana in the worship of the hindu Gods? I have never seen ghatas in temples of Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu. It is seen primarily in the worship of the Goddess in any form.

Can anyone provide the scriptural reason and reference?

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  • ghat sthapana do mean kalasa sthapana then its done in every hindu temple, pooja and pooja is not complete without kalasa pooja if you meant some thing as ghata then I don't know
    – Prasanna R
    Mar 29, 2019 at 11:49
  • You mean same kalasa with coconut.. and prana prathistapana is done to kalasa.. all pooja (Satyanarayana pooja, mahalakshmi vrata pooja) all are done.. you call it ghata we call it kalasa. .coconut signifies presence thrimurthi and symbolize jiva so thrimuthi presence is required for any pooja
    – Prasanna R
    Mar 29, 2019 at 12:02
  • Kalasa is installed permanently in the temple altar that is what we call as kumbaabhesikam
    – Prasanna R
    Mar 29, 2019 at 12:07
  • in our madhva pooja vidhana kalasa and prana prathistapana is required but not every pooja requires coconut so they have kalasa with water all the mantras invoking the prana prathistapana is done to the kalasa without coconut and abhisheka is performed to presiding diety after pooja to kalasha
    – Prasanna R
    Mar 29, 2019 at 12:20
  • if you mean ghata as kalasa then its required for pooja.. but not coconut as must..
    – Prasanna R
    Mar 29, 2019 at 12:27

1 Answer 1

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The origin of the Puja ritual is from Agama or Tantra. The detail of the procedure varies among different sects of Hindus, such as Shaktas, Vaishnavas and Saivas as they use different Agamas.

I am going to describe the Shakta procedure as I am a Shakta and I know this procedure. Here I am quoting from the Mahanirvana Tantra, which is a principal Shakta Tantra. All the steps of Puja are described here in detail in chapters 5,6, 13 and 14.

After performing the initial steps, such as Achmana, Suryarghya, Samanyarghya, Dvardevata puja, Bighnapasaran, Asan puja, Karsuddhi, Digbandhan, Bhutasuddhi, Matrikanyas, Pranayam, Rishinyas, Anganyas, Karanyas, Pithanyas, Manas puja, Vishesharghya respectively one should perform Ghatasthapan. So basically this is done before Avahana and Prana Pratishtha steps. After these steps one should do the other steps such as Sakalikaran, Shodoshopochar puja, Pushpanjali, Validan, Hom, Japa, Pranam, reciting Stava and Kavacha, Atmasamarpana and Visarjana at the end. So, Ghata Sthapan is done in the middle. However, during Puja, Kalasa or Ghata is usually placed in the very beginning, and the related procedure is performed in the middle when it is supposed to be done.

Mahanirvana Tantra Chapter 5

I will now speak of the placing of the jar and the formation of the circle of worship by the mere institution of which the Devata is well pleased, the Mantra becomes fruitful, and the wishes of the worshipper are accomplished (180).

The jar is called kalasa, because Vishva-karma made it from the different parts of each of the Devatas (181).

It should be thirty-six fingers breadth (in circumference) in its widest part, and sixteen in height. The neck should be four fingers breadth, the mouth six fingers, and the bottom five fingers breadth. This is the rule for the design of the kalasha (182).

It should be made either of gold, silver, copper, bell-metal, mud, stone, or glass, and without hole or crack. In its making all miserliness should be avoided, since it is fashioned for the pleasure of the Devas (183).

A kalasha of gold, one of silver, one of copper, and one of bell-metal give enjoyment, emancipation, pleasure of mind, and nourishment respectively to the worshipper. One of crystal is good for the attainment of Vashikarana, and one of stone for the attainment of Stambhana. A kalasha made of mud is good for all purposes. Whatever it is made of it should be clean and of pleasing design (184).

On his left side the worshipper should draw a hexagon with a point in its centre, around it a circle, and outside the circle a square (185).

These figures should be drawn either with vermilion or Rajas (Kula-pushpa), or red sandal paste; the Devata of the support should then be worshipped thereon (186).

The Mantra for the worship of the Shakti or Devi of the support is – Mantra Hring, salutation to the Shakti of the support (187).

The support for the jar should be washed with the Mantra namah, and placed on the Mandala, and the jar itself with the Mantra Phat, and then placed on the support (188).

Let the disciple then fill the kalasha with wine, uttering meanwhile the Mula-mantra and the Matrika Varnas, with Vindu in Viloma order (189).

(One might be surprised to see the usage of wine. However, in Shakta tantric practices it is very common. However, in the modified version of the Puja, which is performed by regular householders (not Tantriks), they fill the jar with the Ganges water.)

The wise one who is then himself possessed of the disposition of the Devi should worship the region of Fire, Sun, and Moon in the support in the jar and in the wine in the manner already described (190).

After decorating the jar with vermilion, red sandal paste, and a garland of crimson flowers, the worshipper should perform Panchikarana (191).

Strike the wine-jar with a wisp of kusha grass, saying Phat; then, whilst uttering the Vija Hung, veil it by the Avagunthana Mudra, next utter the Vaja Hring, and look with unwinking eye upon the jar, then sprinkle the jar with the Mantra Namah. Lastly, whilst reciting the Mula-mantra, smell the jar three times. this is the Panchikarama ceremony (192).

As far as I know, and also as you can see from the quotes ghata or kalasa is used for worshipping Goddesses.

Reference-

  1. Mahanirvana Tantra translated by Arthur Avalon

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