Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Chitra Pournami Vritham on 29-4-2018


Chitra Pournami  Vritham  on  29-4-2018

Compiled by
P.R.Ramachander









Chithra  Guptha is the book keeper  of Yama the God of death    who keeps tag of the sins and good  deeds committed   by  each individual being on earth .It is based on his accounting that  God of death sends one to hell or heaven. There  are  few   great stories  about his origin .

1.Yama  the God of death  was the son of Sun  God  and one day he rushed to Kailasa, the  abode of Lord  Shiva. He was obviously  worried  and when  Lord Shiva   asked him, what he wanted, Lord Yama  told him, “God too many beings are there in   the earth and I am finding it extremely   difficult to keep track   of the sins and good deeds   done by them, so that  I can  punish them or honour them. So please  help me by giving a  helper  who is pious  , judicious , wise  , skilled and  can write quickly ..” AS soon as  as he heard this request  Lord Shiva instructed Lord Brahma  to do the needful. Lord Brahma   made God of love  enter the mind of Lord Sun. That day he was watching   his rays reflected in the ocean and splitting in to seven colours and Sun wished to have a lady as pretty   as that and  suddenly a rain bow  was formed and Lord Sun made  her in to a lady and called her Nila  Devi and Sun God started living with her   and a son was born to her on the full moon day of the  Chithre month ( April –may)and he   was named as Chithra  Puthran.At birth the boy had  a writing stylus   and dried palm leaf. He was given  to Lord Yama   as book keeper .Since  all that he maintains should be secret he was later named as Chithra Guptha (Guptha means secret).He later  got married to three ladies Prabhavathi, Neelavathi  and  Karniki.(some references say two wives)   It seems he had   eight sons.

2.There  is another version of the story   given in Wikipedia. Lord Brahma, determined to solve this problem for Yama, sat in meditation for many thousands of years. Finally he opened his eyes, and a man stood before him with a pen and paper. As Chitragupta was born of Brahma's body or kaya in Sanskrit, Brahma declared that his children would forever be known as Kayastha*( a major   caste in North India)
.
3.Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction was discussing with his wife Parvathi about maintaining Dharma amidst all human beings in earth and maintaining good account of their deeds. He felt that he wanted to have someone to have a close watch on the people to prevent them from indulging in crime and involving themselves in good deeds. Shiva drew a picture in a gold plate - Parvathi was impressed and wanted Shiva to detail it. The picture turned into a deity by the divine grace of Shiva and Parvathi. Shiva entrusted the duty of maintaining the account of deeds of all human beings in earth. He came to be known as Chitraguptha as he was derived from a Chitra (piture) and Gupta (accountant). He was set as the accountant of Yama, who is the deity of death..

4.Brihaspati, the Guru of planetary deities had a disagreement with Indra  the king of celestial deities. On account of the confrontation, Brihaspati discontinued his advocacy to Indra. At a later point, Indra realized his mistakes and patched up with his Guru. To expiate himself from the sins created, he started on a pilgrimage and reached the place to find a Linga. He constructed a temple in the place and golden lotuses started appearing in the nearby temple tank. The day was Chitra Pournami.

5.Indra  prayed to Shiva to have a child, but as per the divine wish, his wife Indrani was not supposed have any progeny. Shiva directed Kamadhenu , the holy cow to give birth to a child. Shiva later entrusted the child to Indra and Indrani, who later brought him up as Chitragupta.

Chithra pournami    festival which xcomes this year on 30-4-2018   is considered as birthday   of Chithraguptha 

In olden days people  alone or    in groups observe Vratham(Penance)   on Chithra pournami  and go to the temple and read  the story of Chithra  Guptha   in Tamil.     They  believed that Chithra Guptha would come to earth and visit every being   and the  effect of sins done knowingly or unknowingly would get reduced    by reading  his story. They also believed   that   by reading or hearing the story they and their family would be   healthy and prosperous.

There   is also a story regarding why penance on Chithra  pournami   was being undertaken. This is the summary  of the story that   they used to read

There was country  in olden times called  Mukthi puri  and there   was a young girl there   called  Kalavathi. Once she went in side the forest   and saw a  pretty small temple there. Some deva  maidens were doing pooja there, They were   reading the story of Chithra guptha. When they came out Kalavathi asked them, what they were   doing and what story they were   reading,. They told her that  it was God Chithra Guptha’s story and all those  who observe penance  on his birthday(Chithra pournami)   and read the story    would become prosperous, get good husnands   , sweet children and  succeed  in all that they do  Kalavathi requested them to teach her that   story .She became the queen of that country.Being a great devotee , she spread the  procedure of the penance    and the story throughout the country.


 Preparation for the penance   and pooja on the previous day

On the previous night of Chitra Pournami, please  

wash the lamps, keep turmeric, kumkum dots, put thread and keep it ready for the next day.

Sweep the house and keep it clean.

Usually we make sweet pidi kozhukattai using homemade rice flour. So we prepare the homemade rice flour in advance and keep it ready for next day’s use. (Some people offer  Jaggery payasam)

Draw maakolam in the entrance and in front of pooja room.

Usually we draw  kolam in the entrance and pooja room(see image) .

 Foot of Chitra gupta along with an umbrella, hand fan, stick,foot of bull, foot of horse and flag should also be drawn. Refer picture attached

Should draw it from entrance till pooja room feet   just the way you put Lord Krishna feet for Gokulashtami/Krishna jayanthi. It is believed that Chitra Gupta is entering our house on this day. Refer  image

Wash the muram and divide into 9 parts by drawing segments using maakolam.

Keep 9 types of grains/ Navadhaniyam in them as shown in the image. Keep a fresh bunch of neem flower if you have. I have kept some dried flowers.You should also keep a coconut, raw mango and palm hand fan(visari)  nearby the muram.

. In a white paper, write “Chithiranaar Puthiranaar Sivanadiyaar Perungkanakkar” ( "சித்திர  புத்திரனார் சிவனடியார் பெருங்கணக்கர் ") and keep a Pen nearby. Place a raw mango & coconut in the muram.  In olden days  they used to keep   "Kothoda manga kulaioda thengai" (Bunch of mangop and coconuts
.
Keep this muram ready the previous night itself.

 On  the  Festival Day 

Fasting Rules:
We should avoid taking milk and milk-products on that day since he came out from Kamadhenu. (It is preferable 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

On that day   early morning ( around 6 am), we take head bath and start to make dishes for neivedyam.

We make sweet Pidi kozhukattai by mixing the 1 cup of homemade rice flour in jaggery syrup ( 1 cup grated jaggery & 1.25 cups of water) adding 1/4 tsp of cardamom powder & 2 tbsp of grated coconut. Make shapes using fingers and steam it in an idli pot. In the mean time, wash and pressure cook 1/2 cup of raw rice adding 2.5 cups of water.Cook for 2 whistle in very low flame. Remove and mash the rice.Transfer to a bowl. Make a dent in the center. Keep a small piece of banana, jaggery and add a tsp of ghee. (some people do not make   these kozhukattais but only offer  Chakarai pongal)  If you wish you can make a no onion no garlic sambar as well. Then make Panagam by mixing water, jaggery, a pinch of edible camphor, crushed cloves, cardamom. Make neer mor and temper it. Keep all the neivedyam dishes in mud pots and plates if you haveIn an auspicious time of the day, light the lamp and keep the neivedyam in front of God.

 Avoid Rahu Kalam and Yama kandam.Place the muram ( winnowing basket) with 9 grains, hand written paper & pen. In a plate, keep betel leaves, nuts, banana and a coconut. Keep the panakam, neer mor in bowls.Sweet pidi kozhukattai  and white pongal in a plate. Show the deep, dhoop and mangala harathi.Finish the pooja. If you wish, you can read the story of Chitra Gupta and chant some slokhas as well. 
This is one famous sloka

Chita guptham mahaa praagyam lEkanee pathra dhaarinam
Chitra rathnaambaratharam madhyastham sarva dEhinaam.

Chithra guptha  , the very wise one, who carries the pen and palm leaves,
Who  wore  gems of various colours,  and who  is the witness   of all beings

This is how we celebrate Chitra Pournami festival in one house. There may be slight variations in the celebration procedures based on your tradition. Consult the elders in your home and do the changes accordingly. Some people also make Vada, Payasam for lunch.
If you wish, you can offer food to the poor & needy on this night to get the blessings of Almighty and remove the bad karma on you. I hope this post would help you to get some idea of Chitra Pournami

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