It is but a blessing that Shri Chithragupta Swamy in accompaniment of Shri Karnagi Ambal is seated in the sanctorium of a temple in the centre of Kanchipuram near the bus stand. This temple adds effect to Kanchipuram town which is considered as one of the seven heavens.
The history of Shri Chithragupta Swamy is given in three different versions but is inter- related.
One version narrates as Lord Shiva gave a picture depicting the rainbow colours which was given life by Goddess Parvathi and eventually became Shri Chithra(picture) Guptha Swamy.
The second version goes like this….. In order to clear the curse of Shri Indira Devan, Shri Chithragupta Swamy was delivered by Kamadhenu in the Indira Heaven. That is why we avoid cows milk and curd to sanctify the diety of Shri Chithragupta Swamy.
‘Chith’ means inner conscience. ‘Aptham’ means hidden conscience. Whatever we hold back in our conscience is brought out by Shri Chithragupta and plans the life of a person. Hence the name Chithragutha.
Having to account the sins and goodness of crores of people Lord Yama Dharma felt it difficult doing it all alone so he prayed to God Shiva to give him an assistant. Immediately Lord Shiva instructed Brahma to give an assistant to Lord Yama. Brahma knew that this is possible only by Sun God(Surya Devan). So Brahma created a fire within the sun. the sun develops romance and in that romantic mood seven colours of the rainbow integrates and forms into a girl and she became to be known as Neeladevi and she lived with the sun. The relationship results into the delivery of a male child in the tamil month of chithirai and that too on a full moon day hence he was named as Chithraputhiran., The child on delivery carried a book in his left hand and a writing nail in the right. (Since Chithragupthr was born of a rainbow people as sacrifice present him with multi colored clothes).
Chithraguptar performed penance and prayed to Lord Shiva and in turn he received intelligence and all brilliance. In order to test his powers he began to create. This stunned Brahma the “God of Creation”. This act was complained to Sun God. The Sun God advised his son Chithragupta that he determines the time of human beings by terming day and night likewise you can account for the goodness of human beings. The work of creation is Brahman .
The sun god decided to get his son married inorder to bring him into control. The Virgins who came as descendants of shiva namely Mayabrahman’s daughter Prabhavathy, Manu Brahmam’s daughter Neelavathy, Viswa brahma who occupied anthanar dharmam whose daughter Karnagi. All there three were married to Chithraguptar. Lord Yama who was annoyed over the way Chithraguptar was maintaining his family in a happy way, complained to his father ‘‘Sun” and ‘Sun God’ immediately sent Chithraguptar to be responsible and help Lord Yama.
Chithraguptar who went along with his wives to Yama’s world is still accounting the goodness and evil activities of mankind from then on.
In 1907 when temple renovation was done under the earth and beneath the altar a statue was found that of Chithraguptar with his wife. The period of the statue is not known. That statue is kept in the main sanctum.
Thulabara Mandapam Kanakarayar a minister in Chola King Chenni Valavan’s cabinet created a statue for festive occasions. This diety is separately placed in the temple and it is taken in procession.
On Chithra Pournami (full moon day of the Chithrai month) special pooja and the marriage celebrations of Chithraguptar takes place and food is sponsored.
Off the nine planets Kethu’s Lord is Chithraguptar. Hence any offering made to Chithraguptar will relieve us from all trial and tribulation of Kethu planet.
The offering comprises of cereals, seven lamps, and multicolour clothes. Added to this an abhisheka is done.
Most importantly there is only one temple for Chithraguptar and that too in Kanchipuram.
All these years till now the temple is well maintained by the Karuneegar Community and added to this, the HR & CE has appointed a trustee to facilitate better functioning. The appointed trustee is also from the Karuneegar Community.