Do you know about Chitra Pournami? Haven’t heard about it? Well, It is a popular festival of Tamil Nadu that is observed in the month of Chithirai or Chitra (between April-May).
As it falls on Poornima or full moon day, it is called Pournami. People worship Chitragupta God. According to holy scriptures, Chitra Guptan or Chitragupta is the accountant of Lord Yama- the God of Death.
Chitra Pournami commemorates Lord Indra as well. It is the day on which full moon and the star Chitra align together. The day also celebrates the birthday of God Chitragupta.
Meaning of Chitragupta
Chitragupta stands for the archive of pictures. Chitragupta is believed to the assistant or accountant of Lord Yama. He keeps track of one’s deeds whether good or bad. Once a person dies, Chitragupta narrates his deeds to Lord Yama.
On Chitra Purnami, temples dedicated to Chitragupta are decorated. Special puja or worshipping ceremony is held. Devotees, on the other hand, take bath in holy rivers or in ponds located in the premises of the temple to do away with their sins.
Birth of Chitragupta
The story of Chitragupta’s birth is very interesting. It is believed that He was born to Parvathi Devi. He was born through a painting called Chitira Puthiran. He was conceived by Gomatha Kamdhenu and born on the day of Chitra Pournami. That is why he is called Chitra Guptan.
Shrine dedicated to Chitra Guptan
In South India, there is only one temple that is dedicated to Chitragupta. It is located in Kanchipuram. The Thirukoteeswarar shrine located enroute Kumbakonam and Mayiladuthurai in Thirukodikaval has different places of worship for Lord Yama and Chitragupta.
These shrines organize Chitra pournami festival with great fanfare and fervor.
Legend associated with Chitra Pournami
According to the legend, once Lord Indra had an argument with his Guru Brihaspati. AS Indra didn’t respect his guru, Brihaspati stopped advising him. In the lack of advice, Indra started committing sins.
After a few days, Brihaspati came back to his duty. He found Indra stressing over the burden of the sins he committed in between his absence. Brihaspati advised him to take a pilgrimage of the earth to lower the effect.
Indra followed his advice and started the pilgrimage of the earth. Soon he got the redemption from all his sins. During his visit, he discovered a Shiva Linga under a Kadamba tree. He also discovered a golden lotus in a nearby pond which he offered onto the Lord Shiva’s lingam.
The whole incident took place on the day of Chitra Pournami. The place is deemed to be in Madurai. This is why the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai organizes Devendra puja on the same day.
Chitra Pournami 2018 Celebration in Tamil Nadu
This year, the festival will be observed on Monday, 30 April. It is said that those who worship Him with Chakkarai Pongal along with other essentials devoid of salt brings prosperity and good fortune.
In Tamil Nadu the pooja procedure or Chitra Pournami vritham involves drawing a kolam as a mark of his entrance. Once the adulation of Chitraguptan is finished, the kolam is wiped out immediately.
Please note that those who observe a fast shouldn’t partake milk and other milk products. After puja and Naivedhya offering, devotees donate dhal, rice, vegetables, and Dakshina (monetary alms).
Devotees also worship Ambal, Meenakshi Amman and Kallazhgar.
It is really an interesting festival, isn’t it?