Ghaṭa

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Ghata, GhaTa, Ghata


Ghaṭa literally means ‘a pot'.

Ghaṭa

A ghaṭa or a mud-pot is an important accessory in many religious rituals.

Significance

As a Kumbha

When ghaṭa is filled with water and decorated with certain leaves and coconut, it becomes fit for any deity for being ceremonially invoked into it. Such a ghaṭa is also called as a kumbha or a kalaśa. It is one of the four receptacles of divinity. The other three are the:

  1. Agni - fire
  2. Vigraha - icon
  3. Sthaṇḍila - consecrated platform

As a Motif in Temples

It is sometimes used as an art motif which indicates auspiciousness and abundance. It is found on the pillars and doors in temples.

In Navarātra Festival

A ceremonially installed pot is an essential part of the worship of the Mother Durgā during this festival.

As per Haṭhayoga

According to the works on Haṭhayoga, ghaṭa or ghaṭāvasthā is a state of prāṇāyāma. In this state, the two prāṇas or vital airs are in a balanced state which leads to the union of the jīva (individual soul) with Paramātman (the Supreme Soul). These two vital airs are:

  1. The prāṇa
  2. The apāna

In Philosophy

According to the philosophical treatises, the word ‘ghaṭa’ is sometimes used to indicate the body. It indicates the body as fragile as a mudpot.

References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore