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Chitragupta Puja done to please Hindu God Chitragupta, who is believed to be accountable for keeping a record of peoples’ Karma (actions) throughout their lives. He determines whether they go to hell or heaven after their death. He is the son of Lord Brahma, who created this whole universe as per the Hindu mythology.
When Lord Yama (God of death) was unable to keep a track of the lives of people, Lord Brahma solved his problem by creating Chitragupta. Thus, Chitragupta was assigned with the task of keeping full accounts of the deeds of human beings on the earth. Hence devotees perform Chitragupta Puja so as to get a place in heaven after death.
Chitragupta Puja is observed on Chaitra Poornima, the Full Moon day in Chaitra month (first month of the year).
Legends and Beliefs
When Lord Brahma created this world, he assigned Yama (God of death) with the job of maintaining the record of sins and good deeds of all the life forms present on earth. But, it got almost impossible for Yama to keep this record all by himself. So Lord Brahma started meditating and opened his eyes after 11,000 years. He saw a man holding a pen and an ink-pot in his hands and a sword hanging by his side.
Since he was created from Brahma’s body (kaya), the Lord commanded that his people would be called Kayastha. And, since he was conceived in Brahma’s brain (chitra) in privacy (gupta), he was named as Chitragupta and so Chitraguptajayanti Puja is performed on this day. Chitragupta was blessed by Brahma with four virtues: World Peace, Justice, Literacy and Knowledge.
Rituals and CelebrationsThis festival is observed with great pomp and show especially among the Kayastha sect (a class or community of Hindus). On this day, Lord Chitragupta’s idol is cleaned with water and then it is given a milk bath followed by water bath again. A lamp is lit in front of the idol and Panchamrit (a mixture of ghee, jaggery, milk, honey and curd) is prepared. Chitragupta Katha is read out loud and prasad (an edible food offered to the God) is distributed among the people present during the Puja (a holy ritual). Some people write their total income and expenses on a paper and keep it in front of the idol. In some places, idols and images of Chitragupta are taken out for a procession. People visit temples and offer their prayers to Chitragupta to seek a place in heaven after death. On this day, it is considered auspicious to bathe in River Chitra after reading the Chitragupta Katha.
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