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Why Is Chitra Pournami Celebrated?

Chitra Pournami is the full moon that falls on the first month of the Tamil calendar, known as Chithirai. This month is considered very auspicious. The day is dedicated to Chitragupta, the keeper of deeds, who is the assistant and official bookkeeper of Yama, the god of death. Chitra Pournami 2020 is on May 7.

Chitragupta was originally born as a painting or ‘chithiram’ to Goddess Parvati. Later, he entered the womb of the divine cow, Kamadhenu, and was born on Chitra Pournami day. Thus, he got the name, Chitragupta. It is believed that Chitragupta keeps track of people’s good and bad deeds during their lifetime. When a human being dies, his soul goes to Lord Yama first. Chitragupta tallies the person’s deeds and gives a report to Lord Yama, who will then pass the final judgement to decide the concerned person’s fate.

Chitra Pournami Rituals

Usually, people worship him by offering delicacies like Chakkarai Pongal and certain other food items that are not salted. It is believed that this will bring happiness to the family all through the year. It is also said that devotees should avoid consuming milk and milk products on this day. This is because he was born to Kamadhenu. However, buffalo milk can be consumed, if needed. Once the pooja and rituals are completed, devotees donate rice, dal, vegetables, and dakshina, in a sieve or muram (made of plastic or bamboo mesh).

Some devotees draw a kolam at the entrance of the house, leaving the south side empty. After the pooja, the kolam will be erased at once. Worshipping Ambal on this day is considered significant. Since Chitra Pournami is significant for Meenakshi Amman and Kallazhagar, worshipping them will also give manifold benefits.

Significance of Chitra Pournami

The day of Chitra Pournami reminds us that we will be called to account for our good or bad deeds both on earth, as well as the afterlife. Hence, it is important to do good deeds and avoid doing evil things that harm others. Chitra Pournami is also a day for expiation, whereby our sins can be cleansed. By doing so, people will be relieved of their sins, and the impact of their bad deeds will be reduced.

The Legend behind Chitra Pournami

Another legend related to Chitra Pournami suggests that Indra, the king of the Gods, failed to respect his Guru, Brihaspati, and committed many sins in his absence. When Brihaspati returned and came to know of Indra’s peccadilloes, he suggested that Indra undertake a pilgrimage to reduce his sins. A remorseful Indra decided to take his Guru’s advice. He noticed a Shiva Lingam under a kadamba tree and began to worship Shiva by offering a golden lotus from a pond nearby. This earned him the blessings of Shiva, and he was freed of his sins on the day of Chitra Pournami