ॐ श्री चित्रगुप्ताय नमः
11 March 2012
Chitragupta (Sanskrit: चित्रगुप्त, 'rich in secrets' or 'hidden picture') is a Hindu god assigned with the task of keeping complete records of actions of human beings on the earth. Upon their death, Chitragupta has the task of deciding heaven or the hell for the humans, depending on their actions on the earth. Chitragupta Maharaj (Chitragupta the King) is the patron deity of Kayasthas, a Hindu caste of India.
Chitragupta Ji Maharaj’s Family
This is an argumental fact that different sub castes of Kayastha are named on the basis their residential places. After the analysis of different facts the following features are observed:
Srivastava: Bhanu son of Shri Chitragupta ji and Dakshina settled in the Kushal Kingdom of ancient India. Their generations hold the posts at different administrative level in that Kingdom. Minister of King Dashreth (Father of Lord Ram) "Sumant "belongs to the family of Bhanu Later on Lord Ram divided his Kingdom in between Lav and Kush in the form of north and south Kaushal. According to Valmeek the capital of north Kaushal is Shravasti. So attached with Shravasti they are called as Srivastava. Some myth are also existed that because being migrated from Srinagar they are also called as Srivastava. Some have the prediction that they are also residing on the banks of Saraswati River that is why they are called as Srivastava. According to famous writer Dr Rangyay Raghav the suffix of Srivastava is "Vastava" shows that they are very good architect (Vaastu Kala). That is why they had built Hastinapur, Ahichha and Sravasti. After analyzing the above views it is concluded that major density of this sub caste of Kayastha is in the Uttar Pradesh near Gonda district was the ancient Sravasti and this important subcast of kayastha was named on the basis of this.
Suryadhvaj: The son of Shri Chitragupta and Dakshina ,Vibahu get settled in the ancient Kashmir. On that time Kashmir province was situated north west of Himalaya which was also mentioned in Shakti Sagar Tantra. On that place the generation of Vibhanu was very powerful. Majority of them played their role in finances and judiciary sector, because of that local Brahmin feels jealous for them. Once they had also established their own kingdom. Since mother of Vibhanu is the daughter of Surya so generations of Vibhanu place sign of Sun on their flags. Because of this they are further called as Suryadhvaj.
Valmik: In the central part of the plains of Ganga and Yamuna there was a kingdom named Panchal having capital Kampil which was situated in the south of Ganga. In ancient South Panchal there was Ashram of Valmiki. The Kayastha residents of this kingdom was start staying in the adjoining areas of this Ashram and was great followers of Saint Valmiki. Because of this later on the residents of this kingdom was called as valmeek Kayastha.
Asthana: The son Veerbhanu of Shri Chitragupta ji was settled in Brahmavat Kingdom. In Hindu era the capital of Brahmavart was Sthaneshwar. When Harshawardhan merges the Kingdom of his sister in his Kingdom Kannauj had became his second capital. To handle the administration and system the persons of sub caste were settled there .Since they had the background of Sthaneshwer so they are called as Asthana .Before Mughals they are linked with different administrative jobs for Sharki Sultans. Raja Todarmal minister of Mughal emperor Akbar is also from Asthana family. In Mughal period as the influence of Avadh increases, Asthanas shifts towards Lucknow. Presently they are residing in the adjoining areas of Lucknow as Sitapur, Hardoi etc.
Kulshrestha: The eldest son of Shri Chitragupt form Iravati, Chitragupt was settled in old Panchal state contemporary Panchal state was from central west of U.P. to north of Shivalik range. This lies in present Rohilkhand part of U.P.. Later in this area was also pronounced as North Panchal. The capital of above Panch is Ahishera and the local residence are called as "Ahigad" as the time progresses their senenations are also name as Ahigad Kaystha. Because of the eldest among all sons Ahigad Kayastha also called theselves "Kulshrestha".
Mathur: Born from Irawati another son name Charan was settled in the coutryb of Saursen Kings and handled the ports of different ministerial and administrative cadre. The ancesto of Shri Krishna, King Yayati has ministers form the generation of Charan. The capital of Saursen was Mathura that’s why they later called as Mathurs. They are normally resides in Matura, Agra and adjoining distincts.
Gaur: Another son name Sucharu setteled in aur kingdom and gained the porst of minister. This Gaur kingdom has large area form Padma River of Bangal province.To Vardman Area in west. The other castes which are also residing in some area are also termed as Gaur an the provincial basis.
Bhatnagar: In the ancient time there was a kingdom in East Panjab area having capital Bhatner. The son of Shri Chitragupta named Chitra was working as minister in this kingdom and start residing there in Bhatner. Later on their transferred in different parts of Haryana, Panjab, North East of Rajasthan and west Uttar Pradesh. Because of having birth place in Bhatner later on they were called as Bhatnagar.
Saxena: In ancient time there was a kingdom named Gandhar which was spread over the area of west of Sindhu River (Present Afganistan). The capital of Gandhar was Takshshila later on Pushkawali (Present Peshawar). The son of Shri Chitragupta named Matimaan hold the post of minister in Gandhar Kingdom. The generations of Matimaan establishes the city named "Kayasthinvash" which was presently the capital of Afganistan named Kabul. In Puran, the residents of Sakun Kingdom they comes into two phases, the persons of first phase are called as Khare and that of second phase are Dusare.
Ambasta: In the ancient time there was a kingdom named Ambast which was in between ChandraBahga (Present Chenab river) and Airawart (Present Ravi river). The discussion of Ambast Kingdom was also mentioned in Brahmna Puran. The residents of this Kingdom was called as Ambasta. Padini was also called the residents of Southeast region of Kashmir as Ambasta. The son of Shri Chitragupta named Himvaan had hold the post of minister there and their generations are also settled there. There people are very brave and fight along with Kauravs in Mahabharath. Because of the residents of Ambast Kingdom they are called as Ambasta.
Nigam: Another son of Shri Chitragupta named Antarvendreya was of very religious nature. He spends lots of his time in the reading of Veds. He deployed his sons in the study of Veds or Nigam .This results that their generations are further named as Nigams.
Karna: Another son of Shri Chitragupta ji Vishvabhanu was settled in the south Bihar in ancient Magadh. Ancient Kaleshwar (Present Kashi) to Tapta Kund (Present Sita Kund in Munger) all the area comes into Magadh Kingdom. Its Rajgarh (Present Rajgir) In the period of Mahabharat Duryodhaon had presented the western part of this are to his friend Karna (Ang Desh). Later on residents of these areas are called as Karna. Kayastha from Gupta Era to Rajput Era they all are worked at different ministerial and administrative levels. In Khujraho the capital of Chandel Kingdom a minister named Yashovarman build a big temple.
Chitragupta came into being after Brahma, the creator, having established the four varnas — Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra — ordained Dharamraj (also called Yamraj, the god of death) to keep record of the deeds — good and evil — of all life-forms born and yet to be born on earth, in the heavens above and in the lands below. Dharamraj, however, complained, "O Lord, how can I alone keep record of the deeds of the beings born into 84 lakh yonis (life-forms) in the three worlds?"
Brahma went into meditation for 11, 000 years and when he opened his eyes he saw a man holding pen and ink-pot in his hands and a sword girdled to his waist. 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." Brahma then enjoined him to dispense justice and punish those who violated the dharma (duties).
Chitragupta is considered omnipresent and omniscient, believed to keep meticulous, complete and accurate records of the actions of all human beings from their birth till death. Chitragupta maintains record of the activities of all living beings, judges them based on good-deeds and misdoing, and decides, upon ones death, whether they will attain Nirvana, i.e., the completion of their life cycle and redemption from all worldly troubles or, receive punishment for their misdoing in another life form. We also know this in theosophical parlance as the "Akashic Records".
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)
चित्र इद राजा राजका इदन्यके यके सरस्वतीमनु ।
पर्जन्य इव ततनद धि वर्ष्ट्या सहस्रमयुता ददत ॥ RIG VEDA Book 8/ Hymn 21/ Stanza 18
The Rig Veda mentions an invocation to be made to Chitragupta before offering sacrifice. There is also a special invocation to Chitragupta as Dharmraj (Lord of Justice) to be made at the performance of shradh or other rituals. "Om tat purushaya vidmahe Chitragupta dhimahi tena lekha prachodayata."
The priests also pay reverence to Chitragupta: "Yamam Dharmarajya Chitraguptaya vain namah."
Chitragupta is the Athi Devathai for Ketu, one of the Navagrahas, and those who worship Chitragupta, would be bestowed with prosperity. Also the evil effects of Ketu during its transit period would be mitigated.
The birthday of Chitragupta is celebrated on Yama Dwitiya and Chitraguptajayanti Puja is performed on this day.
Chitragupta was born on Yama Dwitiya and his birthday is celebrated as Chitraguptajayanti. 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.
The process of Puja (worship rituals) starts in a similar fashion as other worships of Hindu gods and goddesses.
- According to the Vedic scriptures, the souls of men after death receive rewards and punishments according to their sins and virtues, and hence it is believed that good and bad deeds of men are not destroyed. The souls of men after death go to Yamapuri, which is presided over by the deities called Yamas who keep records of men's actions and accordingly give them their dues. The principal Yama is called Yamaraja or Dharamaraja, that is, the ruler of Yamapuri or the king of laws.
- The Yama Samhita, an extract from the 9th chapter of Ahilya Kamdhenu, a work of Hindu Law, says that Dharamaraja complained to Lord Brahma about his difficulties in performing his most responsible duties of keeping records of the deeds of men and doing justice to them. Lord Brahma went into meditation. Chitragupta sprang from his body and stood before him bearing an inkpot and a pen. The god Brahma (creator) said: "Because you are sprung from my body (kaya), therefore you shall be called Kayastha and as you existed in my body unseen I give you the name of Chitragupta." He then assumed charge of Yamapuri. Dharma Sharma married his daughter Irawati to Chitragupta and Manuji, son of Surya (the Sun) married his daughter Sudakhina to him." Chitragupta had eight sons from the former and. four from the latter and these twelve sons became the progenitors of the twelve subdivisions of the Chitraguptavansi Kayasthas, namely Srivastava, Mathur, Gaur, Nigam, Ashthana, Kulshrestha, Suryadwaja, Bhatnagar, Ambastha, Saxena, Karana and Vaalmik.
- Padma Purana after stating the legend says: "Chitragupta was placed near Dharamaraj to register the good and evil actions of all sentient 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."
- Bhavishya Purana states that God, the Creator, gave the name and duties of Chitragupta as follows: Because you have sprung from my body, therefore, you shall be called Kayastha and shall be famous in the world by the name of Chitragupta. Oh my son, let your residence be always in the region of the God of justice for the purpose of determining the merits and demerits of men.
- Vignana Tantra says the same thing.
- The same is the enjoinment of Lord Brahma to Chitragupta according to Brihat Brahma Khanda. He was named Kayastha having sprung from the body (kaya) of Lord Brahma. He was directed to perform all sanskars and to have writing as his profession.
- Garuda Purana describes the imperial throne of Chitragupta in Yamapuri holding his Court and dispensing justice according to the deeds of men and maintaining their record, in the following words: (There Dharmaraja, Chitragupta, Sravana and others see all sins and virtues remaining concealed in the bodies of men).
- The Mahabharata (Anusasan Parva, chapter 130) recites the teaching of Chitragupta requiring men to do virtuous and charitable acts and performing Yagya, saying that men are rewarded or punished according to their good or bad deeds.
The ancient story related to this, is now told. There was a mighty king, who had subjugated the whole world by his ambition to be the supreme king of kings. The stories of his cruel deeds had spread to all the corners of the world. His name was uttered only with great respect and a greater fear at heart, for everyone knew that his deeds were vile and extreme. His name was Sudass, the king of Saurastra, his capital, from where he ruled his vast empire with an iron fist. He was known to be one of most Adharmi (nearest meaning: irreligious and one who crosses the threshold of Dharma) and perpetrator of Paap (nearest meaning: sins). All through his infinite kingdom, it was known that their king had never ever done a Punya in his evil life. This king was fond of hunting and once on a hunting spree, was lost in the jungle. Unable to find his way out, and unknown to the fears of any kind, he decided to see what his jungles were like. He went on exploring the jungles when he heard the sound certain Mantras coming from North, he headed for the place where the mantras were being chanted. There he found a few Brahmins performing a yajna and few common people sitting to witness this. The king lost his cool on seeing a puja being performed without his consent. He thus spoke with thunder in his voice:
"I am King Sudass, the king of kings. Salute me you foolish men. Who are you and what are you doing here? I demand an answer."
The group of priests kept on chanting their mantra and paid no heed to the angry king, all the while people sitting at some distance and witnessing the yajna being performed kept mum, being afraid of the king. On being so ignored the king lost his cool and raised his sword to hit the head priest. Seeing this, the youngest of the priests stood up and spoke thus:
"Stop! King Sudass, stop! Don't turn this opportunity into a disaster. You have been sent here not to be condemned but saved."
On hearing these words the king got interested and said, "You, young boy have got great courage and knowledge for your age, will you elaborate on what you have just said."
The young priest said to the king, "O Sudass, you call yourself the king of kings, how mistaken you are! When you die you would be subjugated to such punishments that your pride will vanish in thin air. You want to know who these men are and what are they doing and what is the purport of my speech. Then listen:
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 left dumbfounded and followed the young priest as if in a trance. He then performed the puja with full devotion and the exact procedure. Thereafter he took the prasaad and went back to his kingdom with the other men.
With the passage of time there came the day when the Yamadoots came to take him away with them, to the Yamaloka. The Yamadoots tied the king's soul in chains and pulled it to the court of Yamaraja. When the bleeding and dilapidated 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: 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).
- Puja Items
- Puja process
There are numerous temples for Chitraguptaji Maharaj. Notable temples of Chitraguptaji Maharaj:
- The only notable temple in South India dedicated to Chitragupta is located at Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu state, India.
- Bhatnagar Sabha--Udaipur a group of Kayastha devotees in Udaipur, Rajasthan has built a grand temple of Chitragupta.
- 200-year-old temple of Chitraguptaji Maharaj are present at Alwar, Rajasthan.is a temple of Chitraguptaji at Khajuraho.
- There are two temples (around 2 to 3 hundred years old) in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.
- Ram Janardan temple and another Shri Chitragptaji temple at the bank of Shipra River at Ram Ghat.
- Foota Tal, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India. Regular Puja and aarti are performed here