From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Purnakumbha, PurNakumbha, Purnakumbha

Purṇakumbha literally means ‘pot filled with water’.

A purṇakumbha is a sacred symbol of prosperity. Other names for the same are:

  1. Purṇaghaṭa
  2. Purṇakalaśa

It is a part and parcel of many rituals since it indicates auspiciousness. It is prepared by filling up a pot of silver or copper with water, to which may be added certain scents, and the mouth covered with mango leaves and a coconut. When an important guest or an invitee for a sacred function arrives, he is to be received with purṇakumbha accompanied by the chanting of Vedic mantras that generally include the śāntimantras and selected portions from the Upaniṣads. Sculptural representations of purṇakumbha are frequently seen in the temples from very early times. They are shown on the walls and pillars in a variety of decorative arrangements.


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