The full moon day on tamil calendar month “Chitra” is observed as Chitra Pournami. It is a special occasion for Chitragupta who is the assistant of Lord Yama, the God of Death. This auspicious day is also dedicated to Lord Indra, the God of Devas. Chithra pournami is famous for Meenakshi amman and Kallazhagar also. It is mentioned in our religious books that those who observe fast on this day would be relieved of death fear(Yama Bayam Neengum).
Chitragupta was born to Parvathi Devi through painting(Chithira Puthiran) and later he entered into Gomatha Kamadenu and born on Chitra Pournami and got the name Chitragupta.
It is believed that Chitragupta examines the good and bad deeds(Karma) of every person. When a person dies, his soul first reaches Lord Yama, where Chitragupta tallies the deeds and report it to Yama. Special worship is done in Honour of Lord Chitragupta – the Divine Accountant – who keeps an account of our karmas and appeals for forgiveness for our shortcomings are raised on this day.
On this auspicious day, special poojas will be performed in temples and people take bath in holy rivers/temple ponds and pray to wash their sins. There is a Chitragupta Temple at Kancheepuram and it is the only temple inSouth India for Chitragupta.
Story behind Lord Indra:
Following this, he started worshipping him. He worshipped Lord Shiva with a golden lotus which he found from a nearby pond. This was believed to have happened on a Chitra Pournami day at Madurai in South India. Devendra pooja or Indra Pooja is held during Chitra Pournami festival in Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, commemorating the event.
How should we celebrate this auspicious day?
Chitra Pournami is especially for females though even males can do the pooja. After taking holy bath in the morning, women should clean the entrance of house and put maakolam depicting chitragupta with paper and pen or we can put padi kolam(Ezhakolam) with the south side open as a mark of entrance to Lord Chitragupta.
In the pooja room, we need to make these items available before we start with the pooja. Paper, pencil, navadhanyam, rice, dhal. We need to prepare Sakaraipongal as neivedhyam or we can also prepare moong dal Payasam using buffalo milk instead of cow’s milk as Chitragupta was born out of kamadenu.
We need to pray to Chitragupta to consider our good deeds and to ignore our bad deeds. We can find Chitragupta Pooja book in book shops and we can chant the slokas given in there.
We should avoid taking milk and milk-products on that day since he came out from Kamadhenu. (It is preferrable to take buffalo milk if available). Then after finishing usual pooja and naivedhya, we have to donate rice, vegetables, dhal and dakshina in a "MURAM" to Brahmins. It is a customary to eat curd rice without salt on this day and to fast without eating anything else. In any case avoiding salt in food items throughout the day is recommended on this day, if possible.
Mantra to worship Chitragupta:
Mashibhajansanyuktaschrasi Twang! Maheetale|
Lekhani-Katinihasta Chitragupta Namostute ||
Chitragupta Namstubhyam Lekhakaksharadayakam |