When the Sun is exalted in Aries and the Moon is aligned with the star Chitra in the constellation Libra, you can appeal to the accountant of Yamapuri ‘palace of God of Death’ (where you enter after your death) to improve your scores for a favorable decision on the final Judgment Day. Chitragupta is the celestial accountant who keeps track of our good and bad deeds in an eternal book called the Akashic Records. After death when a soul goes to Yama, Chitragupta examines this record book and informs Lord Yama how the soul fared during its stay on earth. Accordingly, Yama delivers his judgment, whether to award liberation or to send it for another round of grinding on earth to make amends for misdoings.
Significance of Chitra Pournami
Birthday of Chitragupta is celebrated on Chitra Pournami in the Tamil month of Chitirai (April – May) and this year it falls on May 7th, IST. On this day the Full Moon aligns with one of the brightest stars in the sky, Chitra. By synchronizing with the energies of the day you can send your prayers to Chitragupta and earn points to improve your scores in the celestial record book. Here is what is special about Chitra Pournami -
- Full Moon promotes creativity, abundance and manifestation of desires. It will encourage you to be positive and perform good deeds
- Chitra Full Moon day is effective for altering one’s karmic balance because the planet that controls star Chitra is Mars, whose ruling deity is Muruga.
- Lord Muruga’s main role is to diffuse bad karma. His mother, Goddess Parvati gave him a weapon “Vel” with which he destroys negativity and bad karma
- Libra is a sign of justice. It studies the actions and activities with equanimity and balances even difficult situations.
- It is the birthday of Chitragupta, the accountant of Yama, the God of death. Birthdays of deities are special days when their energies can be easily accessed.
How Shiva Relieved Lord Indra of his sins
Once, lord Indra, the king of the Gods had an argument with his teacher Brihaspati (Jupiter). Indra ignored his teacher’s advice and started committing sins. In order to lessen the burden of sins, Brihaspati advised Indra to go on a pilgrimage to the Earth. During the pilgrimage Indra suddenly felt being redeemed of his sins. He found himself standing close to a Shiva linga under a Kadamba tree and realized Lord Shiva helped him in relieving his sins. He worshipped Shiva with a golden lotus which he found in a nearby pond. It was the day of Chitra Pournami
Birth of Chitragupta
As per the legends, Lord Brahma entrusted Lord Yama with the task to determine the fate of the souls coming to him. Yama not able to keep track would often send the wrong souls to either hell or heaven. To solve the problem, Brahma created Chitragupta through meditation. He was named Chitragupta as he was first conceived in Brahma’s mind through a chitra or picture and this was kept gupt (secret) from the Gods.
There are few temples dedicated to Chitragupta in parts of India. Special rituals are organized in Chitragupta temple in Kanchipuram, Airavateshwarar temple in Darasuram, Chandra Mouliswar temple in Thiruvakkarai on this day. Members of the ‘kayastha’ community perform Dawat (inkpot) pooja to worship Chitragupta, who is considered as the progenitor of the community. They have a tradition of writing down their earnings on a piece of paper along with an expected amount they will require the next year. This piece of paper is offered along with other offerings like paper and pen, ink, honey, betel nut, matches, mustard, sugar etc. to worship Chitragupta.
How to improve your karmic record
A sincere prayer to the God (be it Chitragupta, Shiva or any deity close to your heart) on this day will help you to atone for misdoings. The prayer should be offered along with a resolve not to commit acts which are considered as sins in our society. Taking bath in holy rivers, observing fast and praying are some of the practices that are followed. Giving away foods, clothes, books, money or anything that can help a poor or needy is considered extremely beneficial to accrue merits to secure a place in the heaven.