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Shrine for Chitragupta



The Utsava idols of Lord Chitragupta, who is believed to grace the devotee with prosperity, and his Consort...

THE TEMPLE town of Kanchipuram, in Tamil Nadu, which has 108 Siva temples and 18 famous Divyadesa Vaishnava temples, has also been blessed with a unique and separate temple for Chitragupta, the chief minister and chief accountant of Lord Yama (the God of Death), on Nellukara Street, in the heart of the town. There is no other separate shrine for Chitragupta.

Chitragupta, created by Lord Brahma through the Sun God, is the younger brother of Yama. He keeps track of all the good and bad deeds of human beings and sends them to `heaven' or `hell' after death.

According to archaeologists, the Chitragupta temple was built in Kanchipuram during the Chola period (Ninth Century) and is being maintained by a particular community of Kanchipuram from time immemorial.

The presiding deity (moolavar) is seen in a sitting posture holding the ezhuthaani (pen) in his right hand and a palm leaf in left symbolising his nature of work. The utsava panchaloka idol of Chitragupta is seen with His consort Karnikambal. It is believed that Lord Chitragupta is the Athi Devathai for Kethu, one of the Navagrahas, and those who worship Chitragupta at this temple, would be bestowed with prosperity. Also the evil effects of Kethu during its transit period would be mitigated. However, according to astrologers, Lord Vinayaka is the Prathi Devathai for Kethu and would also mitigate the evil effects of Kethu.

S. Kumaraswamy, the trustee of Sri Chitragupta Swamy Temple, says, that a large number of devotees come to the temple and perform abishekams and pujas, especially during Pournami (full moon) every month. Chitra Pournami is celebrated as a grand festival in the temple every year. This year it falls on April 16.

Pics. by A. Muralitharan

Chitragupta Temple... one of its kind

He says that a number of devotees had told him that Lord Chitragupta had fulfilled their prayers.He says that two small panchaloka idols of Chitragupta with His Consort Karnikambal were found while the ground around the temple was dug for carrying out repairs, in February 1911. But these idols could not be used for worship because of minor damages. However, they are being kept along with the presiding deity. The last kumbabhishekam of the temple was performed on July 14, 1918. Later, some repair works were carried out in August 1944. Several deities including Navagrahas, Durga and Vinayakar were installed in the temple.

According to the Puranas, Lord Yama requested Lord Siva to get Him an intelligent chief minister and chief accountant for looking after the good and bad deeds committed by the human beings.

Lord Siva in turn told Brahma, and Chitragupta was born to the Sun God and Neeladevi.

K. SUBRAMANIAN

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