Why is a kalash seen at all Hindu religious ceremonies?
When Then conducting religious ceremonies a kalash (water pot) takes the pride of place amongst other paraphernalia. It is mostly made of copper. Other metals used are brass or stainless steel. The kalash is filled with water and the top is closed by placing a coconut tied in a red cloth along with mango leaves. At the end of the ceremony the water is used as charanamrit and also sprinkled around the home. It is believed to bring good fortune.
A kalash is considered auspicious because the Hindu triad - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh reside in it along with their consorts - Saraswati, Lakshmi and Durga. During the churning of the ocean amrit (celestial nectar) was found in a kalash. It is believed that Sita emerged from a kalash in mother earth. In older temples a common scene is that of Lakshmi seated on a lotus and two elephants on either side offering water for a bath from a kalash held in the tusk.
In the Rig-Veda, 3/32/15, it is said:
A kalash filled with pure water is offered to Lord Indra.
In the Ramayana, it is said:
What is the importance of kusha asana for sitting at a religious ceremony?
It is customary to use an asana made of kusha grass for sitting during religious ceremonies, since time immemorial. During religious ceremonies, much energy is generated. Since people sit on the ground for ceremonies, there is likelihood of the generated energy being wasted by leakage into the ground. Since kusha has good insulation qualities, participants retain the energy generated in the ceremony. It is believed that mantras chanted sitting on a kusha mat always bring good results.
In the Devi Bhagwat, 19/32, it is said:
By using mats made of kusha one does not lose hair. It also helps in preventing a heart attack.
In the Vedas, kusha has been described as a medicine that gives immediate results. It is credited With promoting long life, helps in clearing up a polluted atmosphere and prevents spread of infection and disease.
In certain religious ceremonies, it is customary to wear a ring made of kusha grass to insulate this finger from the other fingers in the hand and prevent energy generated in this finger from leaking into adjacent fingers. It is believed that Surya resides in the ring finger. From Surya we get life energy, brilliance and fame, which must not be wasted.