Chitra Pournami refers to the Full Moon day of the Tamil month Chithirai (April-May). While Pournami or Purnima is Full Moon, Chitra refers to both, Chithirai month and the Chitra star, which aligns with the Pournami Full Moon. This is also regarded as the day of birth of Chitragupta, the lieutenant of Lord Yama, the God of Dharma, and death.
Thus, Chitra Pournami remains a sacred occasion when people observe austerities like fasting and offer worships seeking divine blessings.
Chithirai is the first month of the Tamil year when the Sun transits the first zodiac sign Aries and remains exalted, with its full power there. Further, Chitra is one of the brightest stars in the sky, whereas Pournami remains an auspicious occasion that supports creative pursuits, prosperity, and realization of dreams. On that occasion, the Moon will be occupying the sign Libra that stands for ‘Justice.’ Also, for Mars, the planetary Lord of star Chitra, the ruling deity is Muruga, the Lord who destroy negativities and clears bad Karma.
With so much of astronomical, astrological, and religious significance, the Full Moon day of Chitra Pournami is full of positive and creative energies that can mitigate the harmful effects of our Karmic load and help people enjoy many beneficial results like health, finances, good relationships, abundance, and joy.
Chitra Pournami 2021 or Chitra Purnima 2021 occurs on April 26, in the current year 2021.
Chitra Pournami has its share of mythological importance, too. Once Indra, the king of the celestial beings, entered into an unpleasant argument with his Guru Brihaspati. This upset the Guru, who withdrew from the scene and thus denied Indra and heaven the benefit of his counsel and guidance. This resulted in Indra going astray and committing blunders, which began accumulating as his sins. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Brihaspati returned and advised Indra to visit the holy places on earth for relief. As Indra continued with his pilgrimage, he suddenly realized that he had been redeemed of the sins. At that place, he saw a Shiva Linga under a Kadamba tree and understood that it was this Lord who relieved him of his burden. And he worshipped the Lord with the golden lotus flowers he found nearby. While the place was said to be the holy town of Madurai in Tamil Nadu state, that day happened to be the sacred Chitra Pournami. Devendra Pooja is performed in the famous Meenakshi Amman temple, Madurai on Chitra Pournami, even now, to commemorate the legend.
Hence, Chitra Pournami came to be regarded as the occasion that can relieve people of their sins.
Chitra Pournami is also considered as the day of the advent of Chitragupta, regarded as the younger brother and bookkeeper of Lord Yama. He is also said to keep a meticulous record of the good, and bad people did during their lives on earth and present them to Yama after their death. Hence, he is said to play a decisive role in the ‘lives-after-death’ of the people, and so, people offer special Poojas to him on his birthday, seeking his grace for destroying or minimizing their sins.
People take holy baths in sacred rivers, ponds, or other water bodies on this occasion with the belief that it can cleanse them of their sins and help them in the other world. Women decorate the houses with rangolis and organize paper, pencil, and pen in the Pooja room, as these items are believed to depict the divine accountant Chitragupta. They also make offerings to him like rice, dhal, sweet Pongal, and Moong Dhal Payasam (Kheer) prepared of buffalo milk. Then they chant slokas in Chitragupta’s praise and perform Pooja to him, seeking his blessings for overlooking their bad deeds and considering only the good ones, and also ensuring their welfare in the ‘life-beyond.’
People also provide food to the poor and the needy on this day, as it is believed that this noble act can please the Gods and help people get relieved of their sins and lead a peaceful and happy life with family.
Many devotees observe fasting on Chaitra Pournami and spend the day in worships and prayers. Since Chitragupta is believed to have emerged out of the divine cow Kamadhenu, people should better avoid milk or milk products on that day. This is especially so for cow milk; so, people can take buffalo milk as an alternative. Salt is another item to be strictly avoided for that entire day. It is customary for the people fasting on that day to consume curd rice without salt and refrain from eating any other solid item. After performing Pooja and making offerings to Gods, people are advised to donate rice, vegetables, pulses, and cash to holy men and Pandits.
On the Chitra Pournami 2021 or Chitra Purnima 2021 day of April 26, 2021, people can offer worship to Chitragupta and other deities and seek their blessings for relief from the harmful effects of their bad Karma and their welfare.
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