Kumbha means ’pot’. A purna- kumbha is a full pot. The kumbha occupies a special place in Hindu rituals – when entering a new home, at a wedding, when welcoming a brahmachari / sannyasi at jnana yajnas or to our homes.
The pot is filled with water, a symbol of abundant prosperity in a traditional agriculture-based economy. The pot is decorated with the symbol of the sun using kumkum and turmeric, a coconut and mango leaves.
By chanting appropriate mantras, the gods, the Vedas, the oceans, rivers, the Gayatri and Savitri are all invited to reside in the pot. It may be placed on a plate filled with rice. The human body is likened to the pot and a human body filled with the Divine Spark of Life then becomes the purna-kumbha. The purna-kumbha thus signifies the fullness or completeness of life.
The Purnakumbha and a flower garland or bouquet are presented to the sanyasi to the chanting of the Vedic Arati as below.
This practice honors and reveres through the mahatma the state of fullness that is reached through the Scriptural tradition.