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Chitragupta (rich in secrets' or 'hidden picture') is a Hindu god assigned with the task of keeping complete records of actions of human beings on the earth. Upon their death, Chitragupta has the task of deciding heaven or the hell for the humans, depending on their actions on the earth. Chitragupta Maharaj (Chitragupta the King) is the patron deity of Kayasthas, a Hindu caste of India. He is the son of Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe, and holds a fairly special place in the Hindu pantheon because of the order of his birth.

Lord Brahma had many various sons and daughters in various myth structures, including many seers born of his mind, such as Vashishta, Narada, and Atri, and many sons born of his body, such as Dharma, Delusion, Lust, Death, and Bharata. The story of the birth of Chitragupta is related in different ways, but he is nearly always delineated differently from the other children of Lord Brahma, and a common thread is that he is born directly of Lord Brahma’s body.

In one popular version of the creation myth of Chitragupta, it is said that Lord Brahma gave the land of the dead over to the god Yama, also known as Dharamraj or Yamraj. Yama would become confused sometimes when dead souls would come to him, and would occasionally send the wrong souls to either heaven or hell. Lord Brahma commanded him to keep better track of everyone, and Yama declared that he could not reasonably be expected to keep track of the many people born of the eighty-four different life forms in the three worlds.

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 Lord Brahma’s body, or kaya in Sanskrit, Brahma declared that his children would forever be known as Kayasthas. As he was first conceived in Brahma’s mind, or chitra, and then made whole in secrecy, or gupta, away from the other gods, he was named Chitragupta.

Chitragupta is sometimes also referred to as the first man to use letters, and is hailed that way in the Garud Puran. He is known as being incredibly meticulous, and with his pen and paper he tracks every action of every sentient life form, building up a record of them over the course of their life so that when they die the fate of their soul can be easily determined. These perfect and complete documents are referred to in mystical traditions as the Akashic records, and as they contain the actions of each person from birth to death, they can be said to contain every action taken in the universe.

Items associated with Chitragupta in his puja include the paper and pen, ink, honey, betel nut, matches, mustard, sugar, sandalwood, and frankincense. A puja is often performed to Chitragupta in reverence of the four virtues he is seen to embody: justice, peace, literacy, and knowledge. Part of the Chitragupta puja also includes writing down how much money you make in your household, and how much you need to make to survive in the following year, while making offerings of turmeric, flowers, and vermilion

In scriptures
Yama's Court and Hell. The Blue figure is Yama with Yami and Chitragupta, 17th century Painting

    According to the Vedic scriptures, the souls of men after death receive rewards and punishments according to their sins and virtues, and hence it is believed that good and bad deeds of men are not destroyed. The souls of men after death go to Yamapuri, which is presided over by the deities called Yamas who keep records of men's actions and accordingly give them their dues. The principal Yama is called Yamaraja or Dharamaraja, that is, the ruler of Yamapuri or the king of laws.

Indicating to a rational meaning of Chitragupta, writes Sailen Debnath, "The meaning of Chitragupta itself guides us to the overall understanding of the god-witness for justice. Chitragupta is a combination of two words- Chitra and Gupta. Chitra means image and Gupta means hidden or concealed; thus, Chitragupta means concealed images. Judgment is given on the basis of the concealed images. Now the query is what the concealed images are, how they are formed, where they are concealed and how valuable and dependable are they for judgment? The images are the memories, they are concealed in the brain or in the brain cells and they are solely dependable for they are the images of all activities and thoughts of the individual whose conscious soul is subjected to judgment. In death the body comes to an end but as the conscious soul is deathless and reborn, it retains all memories of previous life until it is reborn in a new form. In fact this automatic selection of the new body for rebirth is the judgment, for the rebirth of the soul takes place on the basis of the achievement of the soul in previous life. There are subtle levels in nature or the universe where the images that are recorded in the individual brain are also recorded in a system, as the vast electrical world, that the sky is, contains the images of everything as well as the sounds. This vast vacuum is the container of all things. On the other hand even after death the essence of the individual existence does not get diminished. The essence hangs as the bundle of memories with the capsule of departed consciousness which is deathless and remains to be reborn. This is the Hindu view of rebirth, the type of which is also accepted with some modifications by the Buddhists."

    The Yama Samhita, an extract from the 9th chapter of Ahilya Kamdhenu, a work of Hindu Law, says that Dharamaraja complained to Lord Brahma about his difficulties in performing his most responsible duties of keeping records of the deeds of men and doing justice to them. Lord Brahma went into meditation. Chitragupta sprang from his body and stood before him bearing an inkpot and a pen. The god Brahma (creator) said: "Because you are sprung from my body (kaya), therefore you shall be called Kayastha and as you existed in my body unseen I give you the name of Chitragupta." He then assumed charge of Yamapuri. Dharma Sharma married his daughter Irawati to Chitragupta and Manuji, son of Surya (the Sun) married his daughter Sudakhina to him." Chitragupta had eight sons from the former and. four from the latter and these twelve sons became the progenitors of the twelve subdivisions of the Chitraguptavansi Kayasthas, namely Shrivastava, Mathur, Gaur, Nigam, Ashthana, Kulshrestha, Suryadwaja, Bhatnagar, Ambastha, Saxena, Karana and Vaalmik.

    Padma Purana after stating the legend says: "Chitragupta was placed near Dharamaraj to register the good and evil actions of all sentient beings, that he was possessed of supernatural wisdom and became the partaker of sacrifices offered to the gods and fire. It is for this reason that the twice-born always give him oblations from their food. As he sprang from the body of Lord Brahma he was called Kayastha of numerous gotras on the face of the earth."

    Bhavishya Purana states that God, the Creator, gave the name and duties of Chitragupta as follows: Because you have sprung from my body, therefore, you shall be called Kayastha and shall be famous in the world by the name of Chitragupta. Oh my son, let your residence be always in the region of the God of justice for the purpose of determining the merits and demerits of men.
    Vignana Tantra says the same thing.

    The same is the enjoinment of Lord Brahma to Chitragupta according to Brihat Brahma Khanda. He was named Kayastha having sprung from the body (kaya) of Lord Brahma. He was directed to perform all sanskars and to have writing as his profession.
    Garuda Purana describes the imperial throne of Chitragupta in Yamapuri holding his Court and dispensing justice according to the deeds of men and maintaining their record, in the following words: (There Dharmaraja, Chitragupta, Sravana and others see all sins and virtues remaining concealed in the bodies of men).

    The Mahabharata (Anusasan Parva, chapter 130) recites the teaching of Chitragupta requiring men to do virtuous and charitable acts and performing Yagya, saying that men are rewarded or punished according to their good or bad deeds.

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Chitragupta came into being after Brahma, the creator, having established the four varnas — Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra — ordained Dharamraj (also called Yamraj, the god of death) to keep record of the deeds — good and evil — of all life-forms born and yet to be born on earth, in the heavens above and in the lands below. Dharamraj, however, complained, "O Lord, how can I alone keep record of the deeds of the beings born into 84 lakh yonis (life-forms) in the three worlds?"

Brahma went into meditation for 11, 000 years and when he opened his eyes he saw a man holding pen and ink-pot in his hands and a sword girdled to his waist. Brahma spoke: "Thou hast been created from my body (Kaya), therefore shall thy progeny be known as the Kayasthas. Thou hast been conceived in my mind (Chitra) and in secrecy (gupta), thy name shall also be Chitragupta." Brahma then enjoined him to dispense justice and punish those who violated the dharma (duties).

Chitragupta is considered omnipresent and omniscient,[citation needed] believed to keep meticulous, complete and accurate records of the actions of all human beings from their birth till death. Chitragupta maintains record of the activities of all living beings, judges them based on good-deeds and misdoing, and decides, upon ones death, whether they will attain Nirvana, i.e., the completion of their life cycle and redemption from all worldly troubles or, receive punishment for their misdoing in another life form. We also know this in theosophical parlance as the "Akashic Records".

In the Garuda Purana, Chitragupta is hailed as the first man to give the script.

            Chitragupta namastubhyam vedaksaradatre
            (Obeisance to Chitragupta, the giver of letters)

In the legends of Chitragupta as well as in the Vedas, he is referred to as the greatest king, while the rest are "Rajakas," or little kings.

चित्र इद राजा राजका इदन्यके यके सरस्वतीमनु ।
पर्जन्य इव ततनद धि वर्ष्ट्या सहस्रमयुता ददत ॥ RIG VEDA Book 8/ Hymn 21/ Stanza 18

The Rig Veda mentions an invocation to be made to Chitragupta before offering sacrifice. There is also a special invocation to Chitragupta as Dharmraj (Lord of Justice) to be made at the performance of shradh or other rituals. "Om tat purushaya vidmahe Chitragupta dhimahi tena lekha prachodayata."

The priests also pay reverence to Chitragupta: "Yamam Dharmarajya Chitraguptaya vain namah."

Chitragupta is the Athi Devathai for Ketu, one of the Navagrahas, and those who worship Chitragupta, would be bestowed with prosperity. Also the evil effects of Ketu during its transit period would be mitigated.

The birthday of Chitragupta is celebrated on Yama Dwitiya and Chitraguptajayanti Puja is performed on this day.

A more than 300-year-old very famous temple of Shri Chitra Gupta is located in the centre of city in Alwar,Alwar, Rajasthanwhere an annual fair is held for darshan and worship of chitraguptaji , between Dhantriyodashi to Yam Dwitia in the Hindu month of Kartic(october-november).to celebrate the chitragupta jayanti,on Yam Dwitiya.

There are numerous temples for Chitraguptaji Maharaj. Notable temples of Chitraguptaji Maharaj:

A more than 300-year-old a very famous temple of Shri Chitra Gupta is located in the centre of city in Alwar,where an annual fair is held for darshan and worship of chitraguptaji , between Dhantriyodashi to Yam Dwitia in the Hindu month of Kartic(october-november).It is situated between Munshibazar and Delhi Gate,in Alwar. Alwar, Rajasthan.

    The only notable temple in South India dedicated to Chitragupta is located at Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu state, India.
    Bhatnagar Sabha--Udaipur a group of Kayastha devotees in Udaipur, Rajasthan has built a grand temple of Chitragupta.
    More than 300-year-old a very famous temple of Shri Chitra Gupta is located in the centre of city in Alwar,where an annual fair is held for darshan and worship of chitraguptaji , between Dhantriyodashi to Yam Dwitia in the Hindu month of Kartic(october-november).It is situated between Munshibazar and Delhi Gate,in Alwar. Alwar, Rajasthan.
    There are two temples (around 2 to 3 hundred years old) in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.
    Ram Janardan temple and another Shri Chitragptaji temple at the bank of Shipra River at Ram Ghat.
    Foota Tal, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India. Regular Puja and aarti are performed here.
    dharma-hari-chitra gupta temple(even worshiped by lord ram, according to legendary belief), ayodhya, uttar pradesh.

"एक दिव्य देव शक्ति जो चिन्तान्त: करण में चित्रित चित्रों को पढ़ती है, उसी के अनुसार उस व्यक्ति के जीवन को नियमित करती है, अच्छे-बुरे कर्मो का फल भोग प्रदान करती है, न्याय करती है। उसी दिव्य देव शक्ति का नाम चित्रगुप्त है।" चित्रगुप्तजी कायस्थों के जनक हैं।


कायस्थों का स्त्रोत श्री चित्रगुप्तजी महाराज को माना जाता है । कहा जाता है कि ब्रह्माजी ने चार वर्णो को बनाया ( ब्राह्मण , क्षत्रीय , वैश्य , शूद्र ) तब यम जी ने उनसे मानवों का विव्रण रखने मे सहायता मांगी।

फिर ब्रह्माजी ११००० वर्षों के लिये ध्यानसाधना मे लीन हो गये और जब उन्होने आँखे खोली तो देखा कि " आजानभुज करवाल पुस्तक कर कलम मसिभाजनम" अर्थात एक पुरुष को अपने सामने कलम, दवात, पुस्तक तथा कमर मे तल्वार बाँधे पाया । तब ब्रह्मा जी ने कहा कि "हे पुरुष तुम कौन हो, तब वह पुरुष बोला मैं आपके चित्त में गुप्त रूप से निवास कर रहा था, अब आप मेरा नामकरण करें और मेरे लिए जो भी दायित्व हो मुझे सौपें, तब ब्रह्माजी बोले जैसा कि तुम मेरे चित्र (शरीर) मे गुप्त (विलीन) थे इसलिये तुम्हे चित्रगुप्त के नाम से जाना जाएगा। और तुम्हारा कार्य होगा प्रेत्यक प्राणी की काया में गुप्तरूप से निवास करते हुए उनके द्वारा किये गए सत्कर्म और अपकर्म का लेखा रखना और तदानुसार सही न्याय कर उपहार और दंड की व्यवस्था करना। चूंकि तुम प्रेत्यक प्राणी की काया में गुप्तरूप से निवास करोगे इसलिये तुम्हे और तुम्हारी संतानो को कायस्थ भी कहा जाएगा । "

श्री चित्रगुप्त जी को महाशक्तिमान क्षत्रीय के नाम से सम्बोधित किया गया है । इनकी दो शादिया हुई, पहली पत्नी सूर्यदक्षिणा/नंदनी जो ब्राह्मण कन्या थी, इनसे ४ पुत्र हुए जो भानू, विभानू, विश्वभानू और वीर्यभानू कहलाए। दूसरी पत्नी एरावती/शोभावति नागवन्शी क्षत्रिय कन्या थी, इनसे ८ पुत्र हुए जो चारु, चितचारु, मतिभान, सुचारु, चारुण, हिमवान, चित्र, और अतिन्द्रिय कहलाए।

    चित्र इद राजा राजका इदन्यके यके सरस्वतीमनु ।
    पर्जन्य इव ततनद धि वर्ष्ट्या सहस्रमयुता ददत ॥ ऋगवेद ८/२१/१८

गरुण पुराण मे चित्रगुप्त जि को कहा गया हैः

    "चित्रगुप्त नमस्तुभ्याम वेदाक्सरदत्रे"
    (चित्रगुप्त हैं पात्रों के दाता)

==श्री चित्रगुप्त जी की आरती==

जय चित्रगुप्त यमेश तव, शरणागतम शरणागतम।
जय पूज्य पद पद्मेश तव, शरणागतम शरणागतम।।

जय देव देव दयानिधे, जय दीनबन्धु कृपानिधे।
कर्मेश तव धर्मेश तव, शरणागतम शरणागतम।।

जय चित्र अवतारी प्रभो, जय लेखनी धारी विभो।
जय श्याम तन चित्रेश तव, शरणागतम शरणागतम।।

पुरुषादि भगवत अंश जय, कायस्थ कुल अवतंश जय।
जय शक्ति बुद्धि विशेष तव, शरणागतम शरणागतम।।

जय विज्ञ मंत्री धर्म के, ज्ञाता शुभाशुभ कर्म के।
जय शांतिमय न्यायेश तव, शरणागतम शरणागतम।।

तव नाथ नाम प्रताप से, छुट जायें भय त्रय ताप से।
हों दूर सर्व क्लेश तव, शरणागतम शरणागतम।।

हों दीन अनुरागी हरि, चाहे दया दृष्टि तेरी।
कीजै कृपा करुणेश तव, शरणागतम शरणागतम।।
--- सचिन खरे ([email protected])

वन्दे मातरम.

चित्रगुप्त जी हमारी-आपकी तरह इस धरती पर किसी नर-नारी के सम्भोग से उत्पन्न नहीं हुए... न किसी नगर निगम में उनका जन्म प्रमाण पत्र है.

कायस्थों से द्वेष रखनेवालों ने एक पौराणिक कथा में उन्हें ब्रम्हा से उत्पन्न बताया... ब्रम्हा पुरुष तत्व है जिससे किसी की उत्पत्ति नहीं हो सकती. नव उत्पत्ति प्रकृति तत्व से होती है.

'चित्र' का निर्माण आकार से होता है. जिसका आकार ही न हो उसका चित्र नहीं बनाया जा सकता... जैसे हवा का चित्र नहीं होता. चित्र गुप्त होना अर्थात चित्र न होना यह दर्शाता है कि यह शक्ति निराकार है.हम निराकार शक्तियों को प्रतीकों से दर्शाते हैं... जैसे ध्वनि को अर्ध वृत्तीय रेखाओं से या हवा का आभास देने के लिये पेड़ों की पत्तियों या अन्य वस्तुओं को हिलता हुआ या एक दिशा में झुका हुआ दिखाते हैं.

कायस्थ परिवारों में आदि काल से चित्रगुप्त पूजन में दूज पर एक कोरा कागज़ लेकर उस पर 'ॐ' अंकितकर पूजने की परंपरा है.'ॐ' परात्पर परम ब्रम्ह का प्रतीक है.सनातन धर्म के अनुसार परात्पर परमब्रम्ह निराकार विराट शक्तिपुंज हैं जिनकी अनुभूति सिद्ध जनों को 'अनहद नाद' (कानों में निरंतर गूंजनेवाली भ्रमर की गुंजार) केरूप में होती है और वे इसी में लीन रहे आते हैं. यही शक्ति सकल सृष्टि की रचयिता और कण-कण की भाग्य विधाता या कर्म विधान की नियामक है. सृष्टि में कोटि-कोटि ब्रम्हांड हैं. हर ब्रम्हांड का रचयिता ब्रम्हा,पालक विष्णु और नाशक शंकर हैं किन्तु चित्रगुप्त कोटि-कोटि नहीं हैं, वे एकमात्र हैं... वे ही ब्रम्हा, विष्णु, महेश के मूल हैं.आप चाहें तो 'चाइल्ड इज द फादर ऑफ़ मैन' की तर्ज़ पर उन्हें ब्रम्हा का आत्मज कह सकते हैं.

वैदिक काल से कायस्थ जान हर देवी-देवता, हर पंथ और हर उपासना पद्धति का अनुसरण करते रहे हैं चूँकि वे जानते और मानते रहे हैं कि सभी में मूलतः वही परात्पर परमब्रम्ह (चित्रगुप्त) व्याप्त है.... यहाँ तक कि अल्लाह और ईसा में भी... इसलिए कायस्थों का सभी के साथ पूरा ताल-मेल रहा. कायस्थों ने कभी ब्राम्हणों की तरह इन्हें या अन्य किसी को अस्पर्श्य या विधर्मी मान कर उसका बहिष्कार नहीं किया.

निराकार चित्रगुप्त जी कोई मंदिर, कोई चित्र, कोई प्रतिमा. कोई मूर्ति, कोई प्रतीक, कोई पर्व,कोई जयंती,कोई उपवास, कोई व्रत, कोई चालीसा, कोई स्तुति, कोई आरती, कोई पुराण, कोई वेद हमारे मूल पूर्वजों ने नहीं बनाया चूँकि उनका दृढ़ मत था कि जिस भी रूप में जिस भी देवता की पूजा, आरती, व्रत या अन्य अनुष्ठान होते हैं सब चित्रगुप्त जी के एक विशिष्ट रूप के लिये हैं. उदाहरण खाने में आप हर पदार्थ का स्वाद बताते हैं पर सबमें व्याप्त जल (जिसके बिना कोई व्यंजन नहीं बनता) का स्वाद अलग से नहीं बताते. यही भाव था... कालांतर में मूर्ति पूजा प्रचालन बढ़ने और विविध पूजा-पाठों, यज्ञों, व्रतों से सामाजिक शक्ति प्रदर्शित की जाने लगी तो कायस्थों ने भी चित्रगुप्त जी का चित्र व मूर्ति गढ़कर जयंती मानना शुरू कर दिया. यह सब विगत ३०० वर्षों के बीच हुआ जबकि कायस्थों का अस्तित्व वैदिक काल से है.

वर्तमान में ब्रम्हा की काया से चित्रगुप्त के प्रगट होने की अवैज्ञानिक, काल्पनिक और भ्रामक कथा के आधार पर यह जयंती मनाई जाती है जबकि चित्रगुप्त जी अनादि, अनंत, अजन्मा, अमरणा, अवर्णनीय हैं...
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