Kumbhabhishekam Ritual in Hindu Temples



Kumbhabhishekam is part of the consecration ceremony in a Hindu Temple. Abhisheka means ritualistic bathing. For the Kumbhabhisheka ritual, a golden pot (Kalasha) is kept atop the temple’s sanctum sanctorum or at the highest point. Consecrated water is then brought and poured into this pot with the chanting of the mantras. Maha Kumbhabhishekam ritual is held in certain temples in once in twelve years.

The Kalasha after the Kumbhabhishekam ritual atop the temple represents nirguna form – the attributeless Brahman. The temple deity has a particular form and it is the Saguna (form) aspect of Brahman.

Swami Tejomayananda of Chinmaya mission explains the Kalasha after Kumbhabhishekam –

A person approaching the temple from a distance is able to see the Kalasha on top, but he or she enters the temple first to worship the personal form of the Lord inside. Subjectively, this means that from a distance we see the highest goal we want to attain – the formless, nirguna Brahman – but in order to reach there, we must go through the practice of worshiping the saguna aspect of the Lord. Thus the path for the spiritual aspirant is indicated. Through worship of the Lord (with attributes), we reach the highest, formless Brahman.

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