A kalasha, also spelled kalash or kalasa (Sanskrit: ???; kala?a, literally "pitcher, pot"), is a metal (brass, copper, silver or gold) pot with a large base and small mouth, large enough to hold a coconut. Sometimes "Kalasha" also refers to such a pot filled with water and topped with a coronet of mango leaves and a coconut. This combination is often used in Hindu rites and depicted in Hindu iconography. The entire arrangement is called Purna-Kalasha.
Worship of a Kalasha.
The Purna-Kalasha is considered a symbol of abundance and "source of life" in the Vedas. Purna-Kumbha is preeminently a Vedic motif, known from the time of Rigveda. It is also called Soma-Kalasha, Chandra-Kalasha, Indra-Kumbha, Purnaghata, Purna-Virakamsya, Bhadra ghata, or Mangala ghata. It is referred to as "overflowing full vase" (purno-asya Kalasha) in the Vedas.
The Kalasha is believed to contain amrita, the elixir of life, and thus is viewed as a symbol of abundance, wisdom, and immortality. The Kalasha is often seen in Hindu iconography as an attribute, in the hands of Hindu deities like the creator god Brahma, the destroyer godShiva as a teacher, and the goddess of prosperity Lakshmi.