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Chitragupta – Account Keeper of the Good and Bad deeds of Human Beings on Earth

As per Hindu belief, Chitragupta is the one who keeps accounts of the activities of human beings on earth. He is the keeper of both good and bad deeds. He helps Yama, the Hindu God of Death, to decide as to whether the dead person should suffer in hell or enjoy in heaven.

He is responsible for recording meticulously the virtues and vices of mankind on earth - be in thought, word or deed - not collectively but individually. It is also duty of Chitragupta, among other things, not to allow anyone to live a day - or even a moment - longer than the lease of life granted to one by Brahma, the Creator. 

On the day of judgement of every living being in the court of Yama, Chitragupta presents accurately before Yama the details of the merits earned and sins committed by the concerned person during his life. Punishment (hell) or reward (heaven) is decided on the basis of this record.

Legend has it that Yama was given the task of keeping records of virtues and sins of all living beings and rewarding them as per merit. Yama asked Brahma to assign him an accountant who would help in keeping the record of pious and sinful acts of a person on earth.

Brahma went into deep meditation for several thousand years. Finally, when he opened his eyes he saw a handsome and brilliant man in front of him, holding a pen and inkpot.

As he was created in secrecy (gupt) in the mind (chit) of Brahma, he was named Chitragupta.

He resides in the region of Devas. Chitragupta had two wives, Irawati and Sudakshina. In some scriptures, the name of the wives are Nandini Devi and Shobavati Devi. He had twelve sons and they are the ancestors of the 12 subdivisions of the Kayastha community.

Garuda Purana, states that He is always present in the conscience of human beings keeping track of every activities.

It is believed that worshipping Chitragupta ushers in peace and prosperity.

Those having trouble due to Ketu Navgraha find relief after offering prayers to the deity.

The most important puja dedicated to Him is observed on Kartik Shukla Paksha Dwitiya (two days after Diwali) and it is known as Chitragupta Puja or Chitragupta Jayanti.

The murti of Chitragupta worshipped in temples have him holding pen and inkpot. He is an handsome man with a moustache. A sword girdled to his waist is another striking feature. In some images, he is shown as holding a pen and a book.

He is the patron deity of the Kayastha community and all those who make living by writing, printing or publishing.