The festival of Chitragupta puja or dawaat puja

chitragupta-puja

The festival of Chitragupta puja

Chitragupta bhagwan oldest statue from Ashoka period at Patna city
Chitragupta bhagwan oldest statue from Ashoka period at Patna city

Every year, a day after diwali, Kayastha’s all over the world celebrate Chitragupta puja. This festival is also known as Dawaat puja. It is believed that byy doing this puja, devotees will be benefited as Chitragupta god keeps the record of good and evil deeds of every person. Onthe basis of these records a man fate is decided whether he will ascend to heaven or hell.

So worshipping the Lord Chitragupta pleases him and the person is surely benefited.

chitragupta-puja
chitragupta-puja

Legend behind Chitragupta

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.

Yama court with chitragupta

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

Significance of Chitragupta Puja

Chitragupt Puja festival is performed by Kayastha Parivar that believes in world peace, justice, knowledge and literacy, the four primary virtues depicted by the form of Shree Chitraguptjee. The puja is also known as Dawat (Inkpot) Puja, in which the books and pen are worshipped, symbolizing the importance of study in the life of a Kayastha. During the Chitragupt Puja, earning members of the also give account of their earning, writing to Chitragupt Maharaj the additional amount of money that is required to run the household, next year.

Legends of Chitragupta Puja

There was a tyrant king who was always involved in sinful activities. One day, he saw few people observing this festival he also decided to perform the same.  In his records, where he was marked as gatayu (whose life is over), the records shown that he was nor shatayu (one whose life is of hundred years). Thus, performing once this puja, that king was rewarded. There are other stories Saudas where he was immensely benefited by performing this puja.

Shloka

The most important shlok is

Masibhajan sanyuktacharsi twam mahitale. Lekhi katini hast chitragupt namostute.

chitragupta namastubhyam lekhakshardayakam, kayastha jatimasadya chitragupt namostute.

Chitragupt puja mantra (shloka)

Family and sons of Chitragupta

He had two wives, Iravati and Sudakhina. He had twelve sons who later formed the twelve subdivisions of kayasthas. His sons are Shrivastava, Mathur, Gaur, Nigam, Ashthana, Kulshrestha, Suryadwaja, Bhatnagar, Ambastha, Saxena, Karana and Vaalmik.

Vrata Katha of Chitragupta Puja

There was a king whose name was Saudas . King was unjust and tyrant . He did not ever had the good deed . One day, he was wandering in the wilderness . He saw  a Brahmin who was worshiping . Out of curiosity he asked the Brahmin that whom we was praying. The Brahmin replied that today is  Kartik Shukla’s second day and I am worshiping  Yamraj (God of death) and Chitragupta (His bookkeeper) . Their worship is supposed to provide salvation from hell . After hearing this, Saudas also followed the rituals and performed the worship.

Later, when his time was complete, messengers of god came to earth and took him to God Yamaraj. He was produced before in his court. When his books were examined by Chitragupta, and he told to Yamaraj – Though he is sinful and tyrant, but he has performed yours and my worshsip with proper rituals, hence he cannot be sent to hell. His place is in heaven. Thus by performing only one day of puja, he was absolved of his sins.

Chitragupta Puja
Chitragupta Puja

Chitragupta jee ki aarti

Chitragupta jee ki aarti
Chitragupta jee ki aarti

Govardhan Puja

The meaning and importance of Shivlinga

true meaning of Shivlinga

What is Shivlinga?

Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of linga from ancient times. Lord Shiva is one of the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and even considered to be supreme lord. He has been worshipped by various devtas (gods) in Hindu mythology and by Vishnu Dashavatara’s. But why in the form of Linga?

 

Worship of Linga is not a strange thing and it is a known fact that reproductive organs have been worshipped across various civilizations. This underlines the importance of linga. By representing Lord Supreme, the humankind is suggesting to give proper importance to linga, hence Shiv linga is worshipped.

 

But Shivlinga is and should be treated as the manifestation of male and female and thus represent the birth of everything. Though Lord Shiva is also regarded as the god of destruction, an important aspect is forgotten that he is the beginning as well. Thus Lord Shiva is given the highest status symbolically and physically both.

 

true meaning of Shivlinga
true meaning of Shivlinga
Puranas and scriptures in Hinduism narrate in detail why Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of linga. It is said that the he appeared before Lord Brahma and Vishnu in the form of a ‘pillar of fire’, which had no end and beginning. It is one among the many symbols of Brahman. There are numerous other incidents in the Puranas including the famous Deodar forest incident in which the wives of saints are attracted to Shiva and he castrates himself and leaves the Linga on earth as his symbol.
Incarnations of Lord Vishnu is known to have worshipped the Shivlinga including Lord Ram, Parashuram and Krishna.
When the mind is clear and is without prejudices, we will realize that the Linga form of Shiva is the most innocent form of Brahman that our ancestors had realized. It is pure and they got it from pure nature. Many of the forms that we worship today are the reflections of our mind, which is corrupted by ego, society and education. It is not pure.

As per the epic Mahabharata,  ‘Know everything, which is male, to be Ishana, and all that is female to be Uma; for this whole world, animate and inanimate, is pervaded by these two bodies. Shiva’s divine Linga is worshipped by the Gods, seers, Gandharvas and Apsaras.’ (Chapter 7, section 20, verse 22)

 The legend behind Shivlinga worship

 

There is an interesting story behind the worship of Shivlinga. 

 

Lord Shiva descended in form of Shivalinga on the day of Mahashivaratri. Worshipping Shivalinga on the day of Mahashivaratri has different mythological significance and story. The story is as follows. Once, Prajapati Daksha organised a Yagya and invited all kings and deities, but, he did not call husband of Sati (Parvati). Knowing this, Sati burnt herself in the fire of this Yagya and died.

 

Note: Shakti peeths were formed when Mata Sati’s body parts were fallen on earth.[button url=”http://ritsin.com/sati-and-shakti-peeths-gods-of-indian-mythology-world-mythology-story.html/” ]Read about Shakti Peeths[/button]

 

On the death of Mata Sati, lord Shiva became angry and started doing Tandav on earth in a naked form and started roaming on earth. Once, he reached the village of Brahmans. Brahmanis got fascinated by seeing this form of lord Shiva. On this, the Brahmans became angry and cursed him. As a result, lord Shiva’s Linga separated from his body and fell on earth. The weight of Linga was unbearable for earth. This incident created chaos in all the three Loks.

 

When the situation became worse, all god and Rishis reached lord Brahma for help. God Brahma came to knew the reason behind this incident. He went to lord Shiva with everyone. Lord Brahma worshipped Shiva and requested him to wear his Linga back. So, lord Shiva said that if everyone worship my linga then only he shall wore it back. On this, lord Brahma created a Shivlinga of gold and performed a systematic Puja. Later, all deities, Rishi, Muni created Shivlinga with different substance and worshipped it.

 

According to this legend, worshipping of Shivlinga had begun from that time. It is believed, a place where Shiva Linga is worshipped, changes into a pilgrimage. A person receives Shiva Lok if, he dies at a place where Shivlinga is worshipped always. Just by chanting the word ‘Shiva’, sins of a normal person are cancelled.

The story of Madhu and Kaitabh

Madhu and Kaitabh, Vishnu and Yog Nidra

At the beginning of universe, there was ocean all around. Vishnu lay on Sheshnag in deep slumber under the influence of Yog Nidra. While Vishnu slept a lotus stalk grew out of his navel. At the upper end of the stalk was a lotus flower. Brahma was born in the lotus flower and was in deep meditation at the time of his birth.  At the same time when Brahma was in deep meditation in the lotus flower reciting the Vedas, ear wax flowed out of both ears of Vishnu and  two Asuras known as Madhu and Kaitabh were born out of the ear wax.

Madhu and Kaitabh

There names are Madhu and Kaitabh. Both performed great penance for thousands of years. The Goddess was pleased with their devotion, appeared before them and granted them the boon that death would come to them only when they desired it. By the knowledge of their immense strength, both the asuras became arrogant. They attacked Brahma and stole away from him the four Vedas. Brahma though furious, was helpless in the before the Asuras. Hence he rushed in great consternation to Vishnu to seek his protection.

Vishnu, however, was in deep sleep under the influence of yog nidra and did not wake up inspite of the best efforts of Brahma. When Brahma realised that he could not wake up Vishnu in the normal course as he was sleeping under the influence of Yog Nidra. He then beseeched and praised ‘Yoga Nidra to help him awaken Vishnu. . The fervent prayers of Brahma pleased Yog Nidra. She took pity on Brahma’s plight and left Vishnu’s body. When yog nidra left lord Vishnu’s body, he woke up. Brahma told him about the malicious intent of Madhu and Kaitabh and requested him to destroy them. Thus Lord Vishnu engaged in a fierce and long battle with the two Asuras at the end of which he killed them.Both asuras have expressed the desire that they wanted to die at a place where nobody died before. Vishnu promptly killed them by mashing them on his thighs.

Madhu and Kaitabh. Brahma born from lotus.

In the episode of Madhu and Kaitabh, Goddess Durga has been portrayed as the ‘Yoga Nidra’ whose powerful influence renders even Lord Vishnu helpless.

The story of Shiva curse to Brahma

The curse on Brahma

There are very few temples erected exclusively to Brahma in India and abroad. There are myths that explain this strange neglect. They vary but it is generally seen that a god or goddess got angry with Brahma. He cursed Brahma. Shiva’s devotees believe in such specific myth. Following is the story.

Long time ago, the two gods of the Hindu triad — Brahma and Vishnu — began an argument on who the most powerful of the triad was. This argument became so heated that these gods asked Shiva, the third of the triad, to intervene. Shiva assumed the form of a gigantic lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva that depicts him as a creator). The lingam was of flaming fire and it went up to the heavens and descended into the nether regions underneath the earth. Both Brahma and Vishnu determined that if they could find how enormous the fiery lingam was, they could establish who among the triad was the most powerful. Brahma took the form of a swan and went upwards along the length of the ascending lingam while Vishnu assumed the form of a boar and descended along the lingam into the nether regions.

The curse of Brahma by Shiva- in quest of supremacy

Both went on searching but neither could reach the end. Vishnu, being wise, realized that he had been outdone by Shiva and came back to acknowledge Shiva as the greatest of the triad. Although, Brahma decided that he could get past Shiva with trickery. On his ascent to determine the end of the upper part of the lingam, Brahma had passed the ketaki flower (Pandanus odorifer). Brahma requested ketaki, who was used to inhabit the upper end regions of the lingam, to testify before Shiva that he, Brahma, had reached the uppermost end. Ketaki agreed and, when brought before Shiva, the flower told Shiva that he had observed Brahma reach the upper end of the lingam.

Shiva was angered at this lie. He cursed Brahma that he will not be worshipped on earth while he also cursed the flower with the depressing eternal condition of never ever being used in any Hindu worshipping rituals.

 

Shiva cursed Brahma in anger

Weapons in the period of The Ramayana

Rama and Ravana - The Ramayana

Weapons used in the times of the Ramayana

Long before the advent of nuclear weapons, we heard it many times in Indian mythology and ancient texts that not only powerful weapons existed, but they were also used by various people. Some of these weapons had the power to annihilate the whole universe. This provides us with some fascinating reading, as we can related to these weapons with modern warfare.

Lord Rama and his weapons

Probably the most written and popular is the Brahmastra, which is has found mention in Mahabharat and The Ramayana. This was the most potent and could be used once in the lieftime.  Lord Ram earlier intended to use this against Sagar (Sea god),as he wanted to ocean to give way to Lanka. Sagar was not yielding when Rama requested him, so as the last measure, he resorted to use the Brahmastra. Sagar promplty complied. By this time, the Brahmastra was invoked, so Rama has directed it towards a place, where it could do minimal harm.

When Rama invoked Brahmastra on Sagar (Sea God)
When Rama invoked Brahmastra on Sagar (Sea God)

Ravana’s killing: Lord Rama used prasvapna as the means to evaporate the amrita (nectar) from Ravana, which was the reason Ravana was not dying. This important advice was given by Vibheeshana to him.

Rama using Prasavapan on Ravana
Rama using Prasavapan on Ravana

 

In the war,  he used Gandharvastra to kill 14000 asurs, as this weapon compelled asuras to think that the next person fighting to them is Rama. Thus they fought with each other and killed themselves. Only two people knew to use this weapon, Rama and Ravana, though Ram only had the knowledge to neutralize this.

Earlier, in his student days, Lord Rama used Manava upon Maricha.

Rama and Ravana - The Ramayana
Ravana killing by Lord Rama – The Ramayana

Lakshman and his weapons

Lakshman used various weapons in this war. He has killed Ravana’s son Meghnad. He used Varunaastra which Meghnaad failed. He used Sauryaastra to neutralize Meghnaad’s Aagneyastra . Then Lakshman had to use powerful weapon named Maheshwar to stop Meghnad’s asur weapon. Meghnad was killed when Lakshman used Indrastra. Prior to that Meghnaad used his powerful weapon Shakti, due to which Laskhman was unconscious on battle field. Hanuman brought Sanjeevani to revive him.

Hanuman bringing sanjeevani booti to revive Laxman

Meghnaad managed to imprison Rama and Laxmana in Naagpaash. Hanuman sought the help of Garud to free Rama and Lakshman. This is a very interesting and important incident, where the gods have been rendered helpless and had to seek help of mortals. Thus this mythology story is a teacher which teaches us to be humble, as help is needed by gods too.

 

Meghnaad used naga astra against Ram and Laxman

 

Ram and Laxman in nagpaash - reviced by Garuda
Ram and Laxman in nagpaash – revived by Garuda

 

Meghnaad’s boon and his death – Meghnaad had this boon that he could not be killed after performing a yagya. After completing the yagya, he would have received a rath (chariot) and while sitting on this, he could not be killed. Rama was told by Vibheeshan of this fact and Rama ordered him, Lakshman and Hanuman to go and stop this yagya. There was a precondition that he could not touch any weapon when performing this yagya.

There they disturbed his yagya and did not allow him to complete the yagya. So he had to get up in the middle of the yagya and fought with Lakshman and Hanumaan only with Yagya utensils. He was very angry with Vibheeshan, his uncle. He had saved a Divine Astra, Yamastra, to kill him, so he used it to kill him, but Kuber had already warned Lakshman about it, so Lakshman countered it and saved himself. Meghnaad used his three most fierce Astra (BrahmastraPashupatastra and Vaishnavastra) at Lakshman but to his surprise none of them even touched him; rather Vaishnavaastra circumambulated Lakshman before disappearing.

Meghnaad realized that Lakshman was no ordinary man, so he briefly disappeared from the battle ground and came to his father, told him everything and requested to make peace with Rama. But Ravana rebuked him for being coward, so Meghnaad again came to the battle after bidding good bye to his parents and wife. He fought with Lakshman fiercely and then was killed by Indrastra.

Laxman killing Indrajit

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108 names of Goddess Durga

Nine forms of Durga - Navratri

Here are 108 names of Goddess durga with its meaning

Deity Durga is the supreme force who came to fight Mahisasura. Mahisasura had conquered the devas and even Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva could not defeat him. Unable to tolerate his tyranny the gods plead with Vishnu to annihilate the demon. The Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara (Shiva) come together to create a powerful female form with ten arms – Goddess Durga or ‘Mahamaya’. Then they armed the devi with individual blessings and weapons. Thus armed with powers of gods, the devi has defeated Mahisasura. Hindu’s celebrate this festival as Navratri which culminates on Vijaydashmi.

 

 

  1. Durga —The Inaccessible
  2. Devi— The Diety
  3. Tribhuvaneshwari —Goddess of The Three Worlds
  4. Yashodagarba —Sambhoota Emerging From Yashoda’s Womb
  5. Narayanavarapriya —Fond of Narayana’s Boons
  6. Nandagopakulajata —Daughter Of The Nandagopa Race
  7. Mangalya —Auspicious
  8. Kulavardhini —Developer Of The Race
  9. Kamsavidravanakari— Threatened Kamsa
  10. Asurakshayamkari— Reducer Of The Number Of Demons
  11. Shilathata Vinikshibda —At Birth,Slammed By Kamsa
  12. Akashagamini —Flew In The Sky
  13. Vasudevabhagini —Sister Of Vasudeva
  14. Divamalya Vibhooshita— Adorned With Beautiful Garlands
  15. Divyambaradhara —Beautifully Robed
  16. Khadgaketaka Dharini —Holder Of Sword And Shield
  17. Shiva —Auspicious
  18. Papadharini —Bearer Of Others’ Sins
  19. Varada— Granter Of Boons
  20. Krishna —Sister Of Krishna
  21. Kumari —Young Girl
  22. Brahmacharini— Seeker Of Brahman
  23. Balarkasadrushakara— Like The Rising Sun
  24. Purnachandra Nibhanana— Beautiful Like The Full Moon
  25. Chaturbhuja—- Four-Armed
  26. Chaturvakttra—- Four-Faced
  27. Peenashroni Payodhara —-Large Bosomed
  28. Mayoora Pichhavalaya—- Wearer Of Peacock-Feathered Bangles
  29. Keyurangadadharini —-Bejewelled With Armlets And Bracelets
  30. Krishnachhavisama—- Like Krishna’s Radiance
  31. Krishna—- Dark-Complexioned
  32. Sankarshanasamanana —-Equal To Sankarshana
  33. Indradhwaja Samabahudharini —-With Shoulders Like Indra’s Flag
  34. Patradharini —-Vessel-Holder
  35. Pankajadharini—-Lotus-Holder
  36. Kanttadhara—- Holder of Shiva’s Neck
  37. Pashadharini —-Holder Of Rope
  38. Dhanurdharini—- Holder Of Bow
  39. Mahachakradharini —-Holder Of Chakra
  40. Vividayudhadhara —-Bearer Of Various Weapons
  41. Kundalapurnakarna Vibhooshita—- Wearer Of Earrings Covering The Ears
  42. Chandravispardimukha —-Beautiful Like The Moon
  43. Mukutavirajita —-Shining With Crown Adorned
  44. Shikhipichhadwaja Virajita —-Having Peacock-Feathered Flag
  45. Kaumaravratadhara—- Observer Of Fasts Like Young Girls Do
  46. Tridivabhavayirtri —-Goddess Of The Three Worlds
  47. Tridashapujita —-The Goddess Of The Celestials
  48. Trailokyarakshini—- Protector Of The Three Worlds
  49. Mahishasuranashini—- Destroyer Of Mahisha
  50. Prasanna—- Cheerful
  51. Surashreshtta —-Supreme Among The Celestials
  52. Shiva —-Shiva’s Half
  53. Jaya —-Victorious
  54. Vijaya—- Conqueror
  55. Sangramajayaprada—- Granter Of Victory In The War
  56. Varada —-Bestower
  57. Vindhyavasini`—- Resident Of The Vindhyas
  58. Kali —-Dark-Complexioned
  59. Kali —-Goddess Of Death
  60. Mahakali —-Wife Of Mahakala
  61. Seedupriya —-Fond Of Drinks
  62. Mamsapriya—- Fond Of Flesh
  63. Pashupriya —-Fond Of All Beings
  64. Bhootanushruta —-Well-Wisher Of Bhootaganas
  65. Varada —-Bestower
  66. Kamacharini —-Acting On One’s Own Accord
  67. Papaharini —-Destroyer Of Sins
  68. Kirti —-Famed
  69. Shree —-Auspicious
  70. Dhruti —-Valiant
  71. Siddhi —-Successful
  72. Hri—- Holy Chant Of Hymns
  73. Vidhya—- Wisdom
  74. Santati —-Granter Of Issues
  75. Mati —-Wise
  76. Sandhya—- Twilight
  77. Ratri —-Night
  78. Prabha —-Dawn
  79. Nitya —-Eternal
  80. Jyotsana —-Radiant Like Flames
  81. Kantha —-Radiant
  82. Khama —-Embodiment Of Forgiveness
  83. Daya —-Compassionate
  84. Bandhananashini—- Detacher Of Attachments
  85. Mohanashini —-Destroyer Of Desires
  86. Putrapamrityunashini —-Sustainer Of Son’s Untimely Death
  87. Dhanakshayanashini —-Controller Of Wealth Decrease
  88. Vyadhinashini —-Vanquisher Of Ailments
  89. Mruthyunashini —-Destroyer Of Death
  90. Bhayanashini —-Remover Of Fear
  91. Padmapatrakshi—- Eyes Like The Lotus Leaf
  92. Durga —-Remover Of Distress
  93. Sharanya —-Granter Of Refuge
  94. Bhaktavatsala—- Lover Of Devotees
  95. Saukhyada —-Bestower Of Well-Being
  96. Arogyada —-Granter Of Good Health
  97. Rajyada—- Bestower Of Kingdom
  98. Ayurda —-Granter Of Longevity
  99. Vapurda —-Granter Of Beautiful Appearance
  100. Sutada —-Granter Of Issues
  101. Pravasarakshika —-Protector Of Travellers
  102. Nagararakshika —-Protector Of Land
  103. Sangramarakshika —-Protector Of Wars
  104. Shatrusankata Rakshika —-Protector From Distress Caused By Foes
  105. Ataviduhkhandhara Rakshika—- Protector From Ignorance And Distress
  106. Sagaragirirakshika —-Protector Of Seas And Hills
  107. Sarvakaryasiddhi Pradayika —-Granter Of Success In All Attempts
  108. Durga —-Deity Durga