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    15. Why do we worship the kalasha?

    First of all what is a kalasha? A brass, mud or copper pot is filled with water.
    Mango leaves are placed in the mouth of the pot and a coconut is placed over it. A red or
    white thread is tied around its neck or sometimes all around it in a intricate diamondshaped pattern. The pot may be decorated wit designs. Such a pot is known as a kalasha.
    When the pot is filled with water or rice, it is known as purnakumbha
    representing the inert body which when filled with the divine life force gains the power to
    do all the wonderful things that makes life what it is.
    A kalasha is placed with due rituals on all-important occasions like the traditional
    house warming (grihapravesa), wedding, daily worship etc. It is placed near the entrance
    as a sign of welcome. It is also used in a traditional manner while receiving holy
    personages. Why do we worship the kalasha? Before the creation came into being, Lord
    Vishnu was reclining on His snake-bed in the milky ocean. From His navel emerged a
    lotus from which appeared Lord Brahma, the creator, who thereafter created this world.
    The water in the kalasha symbolizes the primordial water from which the entire
    creation emerged. It is the giver of life to all and has the potential of creating innumerable
    names and forms, the inert objects and the sentient beings and all that is auspicious in the
    world from the energy behind the universe. The leaves and coconut represent creation.
    The thread represents the love that "binds" all in creation. The kalasha is
    therefore considered auspicious and worshipped. The waters from all the holy rivers, the
    knowledge of all the Vedas and the blessings of all the deities are invoked in the kalasha
    and its water is thereafter used for all the rituals, including the abhisheka.
    The consecration (kumbhaabhisheka) of a temple is done in a grand manner with
    elaborate rituals including the pouring of one or more kalashas of holy water on the top
    of the temple. When the asuras and devas churned the milky ocean, the Lord appeared
    bearing the pot of nectar, which blessed one with everlasting life.Thus the kalasha also symbolizes immortality. Men of wisdom are full andcomplete as they identify with the infinite Truth (poornatvam). They brim with joy and
    love and respect all that is auspicious. We greet them with a purnakumbha ("full pot")
    acknowledging their greatness and as a sign of respectful and reverential welcome, with a "full heart".

    16. Why do we consider the lotus as special?

    The lotus is the symbol of truth, auspiciousness and beauty (satyam, shivam,
    sundaram). The Lord is also that nature and therefore, His various aspects are compared
    to a lotus (i.e. lotus-eyes, lotus feet, lotus hands, the lotus of the heart etc.).
    The lotus blooms with the rising sun and close at night. Similarly, our minds open
    up and expand with the light of knowledge. The lotus grows even in slushy areas. It
    remains beautiful and untainted despite its surroundings, reminding us that we too can
    and should strive to remain pure and beautiful within, under all circumstances.
    The lotus leaf never gets wet even though it is always in water. It symbolizes the
    man of wisdom (gyaani) who remains ever joyous, unaffected by the world of sorrow
    and change. This is revealed in a shloka from the Bhagwad-Geeta:
    Brahmanyaadhaaya karmaani
    Sangam tyaktvaa karoti yaha
    Lipyate na sa paapena
    Padma patram ivaambhasaa
    He who does actions, offering them to Brahman (the Supreme), abandoning
    attachment, is not tainted by sin, just as a lotus leaf remains unaffected by the water on it.
    From this, we learn that what is natural to the man of wisdom becomes a
    discipline to be practiced by all saadhakas or spiritual seekers and devotees. Our bodies
    have certain energy centers described in the Yoga Shaastras as chakras.
    Each one is associated with lotus that has a certain number of petals. For example,
    a lotus with a thousand petals represents the Sahasra chakra at the top of the head, which
    opens when the yogi attains Godhood or Realisation. Also, the lotus posture
    (padmaasana) is recommended when one sits for meditation. A lotus emerged from the
    navel of Lord Vishnu. Lord Brahma originated from it to create the world. Hence, the
    lotus symbolizes the link between the creator and the supreme Cause.
    It also symbolizes Brahmaloka, the abode of f Lord Brahma. The auspicious sign of the swastika is said to have evolved from the lotus.