Monday, November 3, 2008

Chitragupta Puja : Kayastha Samaj

Origin of Kayasthas
There are two known theories of the origin of Kayasthas as given in the Puranas and as it has come down in tradition from generation to generation.

The first theory is the orthodox one, and is hitherto accepted generally by all castes and communities in India, based as it is on the authority of no less than four Puranas ---viz. Padma Puran (Srishti Khand,Patal Khand and Uttar Khand), Bhavishya Purana, Yama Samhita, Mahabharata and Brihad Parashar Smriti.

It is said that 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 the 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 then closed his eyes, meditated for a while and lo and behold! there appeared a radiant figure with a quill-pen in one hand and an ink-pot in another. Brahma named him Chittagupta for he was conceived in his cognitive-self (chitta) and he was lying in Him, dormant and secret (gupta). He was born of Brahma’s body (kaya) and so the Lord decreed that his progenies be called Kayasthas. He was assigned to work as a minister, to write and record for Dharamraj. Thus, the fifth varna, the Kayastha, came into existence.


Sanskrit texts of yore tell us that Chittagupta married Irawati and Nandini. The 12 Kayastha sub-castes are traced to his 12 sons, eight by Irawati and four by Nandini. Mathurs, Gaurs, Bhatnagars, Saxenas, Ambhasths, Nigams, Karns and Kulshreshths became the descendants of the eight sons by Irawati, whereas Srivastavas, Suryadhwajs, Asthanas and Valmiks became the descendants of the four sons by Nandini. As time passed, the name Chittagupta got transformed into Chitragupta.

Ancient Sanskrit texts dating back to the pre-Mughal period, though, have references to Kayasthas and Chitragupta. The Smriti of Yajnavalkya describes the Kayasthas as writers, scribes and village accountants. The Vishnu and Parashara Smritis have also similar references to them, describing them as magistrates, judges and chief executive officers.

In the Garud Puran, Chitragupta has been described as the giver of the script (Chitraguptaya namastubhyam veda aksharadatre — salutation to Chitragupta, the giver of the script). The Rig Veda enjoins a salutation to Chitragupta before offering sacrifice — Sri Chitraguptaya vai namah.


Residents of Kaya-Desh
The second theory or view may be deemed as the heterodox one. According to this the word Kayastha only meant residents of Kaya-desh or Madhya-desh, which was synonym to Ayodhia.

On this view it is possible to hazard a guess that the class or community of Kayasthas may have come into existence by the formation of something like a guild of all those people who, although drawn from educated members of more than one Dwij varanas, (viz. Brahmans, Kshattriyas and even possibly Vaishyas), took to and adopted government service or administration as their hereditary profession or calling from the earliest times in Hindu history.

They may have been or indeed were residents of different parts of India. The fact that by ancient custom inter-marriage and even inter-dining was strictly prohibited amongst the twelve sub-castes of the Kayasthas interse seems to lend some support to this view.

The 12 sub-castes of the Kayasthas are not only endogamous subdivisions, but they also have exogamous divisions based on als. An al would refer to a distinguished ancestor or the place of origin or it could refer to a characteristic acquired during migration. Members of the same al are prohibited to inter-marry and hence als perform the same function that gotras do in other castes.

Chitragupta Puja : Celebarated on Kartik Mase Dwitiya Tihti.(Bhai Dooj Also celebrated this day)
Chitragupt Ji Maharaj

Hindu Mythology believes that the entire world, that was created by Lord Bramha, the Creator. Lord Bramha first created 16 Sons from various parts of his own body. Shree Chitraguptjee, his 17th creation, is believed to be the creation from Lord Bramha's belly. Thus, Shree Chitraguptjee is the divine incarnation in human form. Called Kayastha since he is the only one created in entirety [Kaya] from the Lord Bramha's body.

The Duty Of Chitragupt Ji Maharaj
Hindu Dharam is based on a multiple phase life cycle involving re-birth. It is believed that those who do not attain a balance between their good-deeds and misdoing, have to attain re-birth in any living form , to complete the life cycle.

The primary duty awarded to Shree Chitraguptjee is to create log of the lives of all living beings, judge their lives based on good-deeds and misdoing, and decide, upon ones death, whether they will attain Nirvana, ie, the completion of their life cycle & redemption from all worldly troubles or, receive punishment for their misdoing in another life form.

Twelve Sons of Chitragupta Ji Maharaj
Kulshrestaha, Srivastava, Ambastha,Suryadwaj, Gorh, Mathur, Bhatnagar,Nigam, Saxena, valmik,Asthana, Karn.

Puja Items
Sandalwood Paste, Til, Camphour/Kapoor, Paan, Sugar, Paper, Pen, Ink, Ganga Water, Unbroken Rice, Cotton, Honey, Yellow Mustard, Plate Made Of Leaves, Puja Platform, Dhoop, Youghart, Sweets, Puja Cloths, Milk, Seasonal friuts, Panchpatra, Gulal (Color powder), Brass Katora, Tulsi leaves, Roli, keasar, Betul nut, Match box, Frankincense and Deep.

Puja Process
First clean the Puja room and then Bath Chitragupt Ji's idol or photo first with water, then with panchamitra/or rose water, followed by water once more. Now put Deepak (Lamp) of ghee in front of the Chitragupt Ji. Make a Panchamitra with 5 ingredients of milk, curd, ghee (clarified butter), sugar & Honey. Place Few mithais, snacks & fruits as a prashad. Make Guraadi (Gur + Adi = Molasses + Ginger). Make offerings of flowers, Abir (red colour), Sindoor (vermillion) and Haldi (turmeric). Light the Agarbatti (incense sticks) and lamps filled with Ghee. Read the holy book of Chitragupta puja. After the completion of Katha, perform aarti. Now take plain new paper & make swastik with roli-ghee, then write the name of five god & goddess with a new pen. Then write a "MANTRA (Given Below)" & write your Name, Address (permanent & present), Date (hindi date) your income & expenditure. Then fold the the paper & put before Chitragupt Ji.

Chitragupt Puja and Dawat Puja

Chitragupt Puja 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.

Kayastha Prominent Personalities:

Raja Todar Mal: Akbar's finance minister .One of the akbar's nau ratnas.
Swami Vivekanand ji
Subhash Chandra Bose
Lal Bahadur Shashtri
Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Munshi Premchand
Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan
Dr. S .S. Bhatnagar
Vinod Dham
Firaque Gorakhpuri
Vrindavan Lal Verma
Jagdish Chandra Bose