By Swami Harshananda
Ghaṭa literally means ‘a pot'.
A ghaṭa or a mud-pot is an important accessory in many religious rituals.
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:
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.
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:
According to the philosophical treatises, the word ‘ghaṭa’ is sometimes used to indicate the body. It indicates the body as fragile as a mudpot.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore