Lord Chitragupta in Mythology, Chitragupta Puja, Chitragupta Aarti, Chitragupta Katha
Chitragupta (‘Hidden Picture’ or ‘Rich in secrets’) is a Hindu god who is responsible for keeping the records of all the deeds performed by a living being during his or her life time. In Vedanta, Karma is the collective result of the past actions that determine the present incarnation.
It is Chitragupta (also known as Chitragupta Maharaj) who keeps an accurate record of the actions that are performed by a human being in his or her life. In some references, these records are also known as “Akashic Records”. These records track every action taken in the universe.
Chitragupa Maharaj is also the patron deity of Kayasthas, a Hindu caste of India.
Lord Chitragupta in mythology
Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, entrusted Lord Yama (Lord of the dead) to reward or punish the mortals after their death according to the actions of their past life. It was Lord Yama’s responsibility to direct a person to naraka (hell) or swarga (heaven) as per their karmic actions.
Lord Yama complained to Lord Brahma, “O Lord, it is difficult to keep record of the deeds of the living beings being born in 84 Lakh life-forms in the three worlds.”
Lord Brahma, to find a solution for this problem for Lord Yama, went into meditation for 11, 000 years. When Lord Brahma opened his eyes, he saw Chitragupta Maharaj standing in front of him. Chitragupta was holding a pen and ink-pot in his hands and had a sword girdled to his waist.
Lord Brahma spoke: “Thou hast been created from my body (Kaya), therefore shall thy progeny be known as the Kayasthas. Thou hast been conceived in my mind (Chitra) and in secrecy (gupta), thy name shall also be Chitragupta.”
Lord Brahma then instructed Chitragupta to dispense justice and punish those who violated the dharma (righteousness).
Lord Chitragupta in scriptures
In the Garud Puran, Chitragupta is hailed as the first man to give the script.
“Chitragupta namastubhyam vedaksaradatre”
(Obeisance to Chitragupta, the giver of letters)
The story of Lord Brahma meditating and Chitragupta Maharaj emerging from his kaya is mentioned in The Yama Samhita.
In the Padma Purana, it is mentioned “Chitragupta was placed near Lord Yama to register the good and evil deeds of all living beings, that he was possessed of supernatural wisdom and became the partaker of sacrifices offered to the gods and fire. It is for this reason that the twice-born always give him oblations from their food. As he sprang from the body of Lord Brahma he was called Kayastha of numerous gotras on the face of the earth.”
• In The Mahabharata (Anusasan Parva, chapter 130) the teachings of Chitragupta regarding performance of virtuous deeds for men and women are mentioned.
Lord Chitragupta and Kayastha Lineage
As per scriptures, Chitragupta Maharaj has twelve sons and these form the lineage of the present Kayastha community. The names of Chitragupta sons are: Srivastava, Surajdwaj, Bulmik, Asthana, Mathur, Gaud, Bhatnagar , Saxena, Ambasht, Nigam, Karna and Kulshreshth.
Chitragupta Puja: Chitragupta Aarti
Chitragupta was born on Yama Dwitiya and his birthday is celebrated as Chitraguptajayanti. Chitragupta Puja including yajna is done on this day. The legend states that whoever performs this yajna is spared the punishments of hell, whatever his records of deeds on the earth be.
This is celebrated on the same day of Bhaiduj that is two days after Diwali. This is the main puja of the Hindu Kayastha caste. This puja is famous for its value to education as it is also called as puja of Kalam-Dawat (pen-ink)
There was a powerful king, who had won over a huge territory and subdued various other kingdoms. He had become arrogant due to his victories and became cruel towards people who went against his will.
His justice was self-centred and he disregarded other people around him. People were extremely scared of him. This king was called Sudass and he ruled the kingdom of Saurastra.
The king drunk with power and riches, left the path of Dharma, committed sins and stopped performing virtuous deeds. His tendency to commit sins, cruelty towards people, lack of respect for virtue and a life addicted to sensual pleasures made his citizens extremly afraid of him.
Sudass was fond of hunting. Once on a hunting expedition, he got separated from his soldiers and was lost in the jungle. While trying to find his soldiers, he went on exploring the forest and went further inside the jungle.
After travelling in the jungle for some time, he heard Mantras being chanted from a distance. Filled with curiousity, he proceeded towards the chants. He saw a few Brahmins performing a yajna surrounded by some people. The Brahmins went on with their yagna and ignored the king.
The king’s ego was hurt and he got angry. He shouted in a threatening voice, “I am King Sudass, the king of kings. Stop right now and offer your salutations to me. Who are you and what are you doing here? Answer me fools.”
The group of priests kept on chanting their mantra and ignored the angry king. The people surrounding the Yagna kept silent, although they had recognized the kinds and were in a state of panic.
The King could not tolerate this insult and became enraged. He stepped towards the Yagna, raised his sword and aimed at the head priest.
A young priest immediately stood up and spoke to the king, “Stop O King Sudass! Stop right now. Don’t turn your opportunity into a disaster. You have been sent here not to be condemned but saved.”
On hearing these words, curiosity got the better of the king. He lowered his sword and said to the young priest, “What do you mean I am here to be saved?”
The young priest addressed the king, “O Sudass, you call yourself the king of kings, but you are ignorant! When you die after leading your sinful life, you are going to be subjugated to such punishments that your all your pride will vanish. You want to know who these men are and what are they doing? Very well listen to me then:
We are the sons of Lord Chitragupta, whom the great Rigveda call the true king of kings, and whose title you are not worth stealing. We are Kayasthas and we are performing yajna to our Lord Yamaraj and our progenitor Maharaj Chitrgupta on this great day of Yamadwitiya. O King Sudass, whoever performs this puja is spared the punishments of hell. You can be free from hell if you will only submit to Yamaraj and Chitraguptaji, who has the record of all the sins that you have done in your vile life! Nothing in this world is hidden from Him and only He could save you. On one hand is salvation and on the other is hell. Come, join us or kill us all.”
The king was shaken on hearing this and realizing the folly of his pride, calmed down and requested the young priest for instructions. King Sudass then performed the puja with full devotion and the exact procedure. Thereafter he took the prasaad and went back to his kingdom.
Years passed and the King became old. Finally the time of his death approached and Yamadoots came to take him away to Yamaloka. The Yamadoots tied the king’s soul in chains and pulled it to the court of Yamaraja. When the bleeding and worn out king reached the court of Yamaraj, Lord Chitragupta opened the book of his deeds and thus spoke to Yamaraj. “O great Yamaraj, I can only see a life full of sins in his case, yet this king did perform our yajna in his lifetime. He performed the puja on Karthik shukla dwitiya and with full devotion and the right procedure. He performed our and your vrat on that day. Thereby, all his paaps have been nullified and according to the rules of Dharma, he cannot be sent to hell.”
Thus the king was saved from hell and till this day whoever performs the Chitraguptajayannti puja is spared the punishments of hell.
Chitragupta Puja is celebrated on the same day of Bhaiduj that is two days after Diwali. This is the main puja of the Hindu Kayastha caste. This puja is famous for its value to education as it is also called as puja of Kalam-Dawat (pen-ink)