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Chitragupta is a Hindu God assigned with the task of keeping complete records of all actions of human beings on the earth, and upon their death, deciding as regards sending them to the heaven or the hell, depending on their actions on the earth. Chitragupta Maharaj (Chitragupta, the King) is the patron deity of Kayasthas, a Hindu jâti (clan) of India, who trace their origin to him. The legend has it that Yama, the Hindu God of death, used to get confused when deciding the fate of dead people and sending them to hell or heaven, in the absence of any records of their actions on earth.

Yama narrated his predicament to the Creator of the world Brahma and prayed for his assistance. At the instance of Brahma, Lord Shiva commanded Chitragupta Maharaj, who was a clone of Brahma himself, to assume responsibility for this task. Lord Chitragupta is considered a perfect professional and is believed to keep meticulous, complete and accurate records of the actions of all human beings, from their birth till death. We also know this in theosophical parlance as the “Akashic Records”.

Lord Chitragupta came into being after Lord 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 earth, in the heavens above and on 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?”

Lord Brahma went into meditation for 11,000 years and when he opened his eyes he saw a man holding a pen and an ink-pot in his hands and a sword girdled to his waist.Lord Brahma spoke: “Thou hast been created from my body (Kaya), therefore shall thy progeny be known as the Kayasthas. Thou hast been conceived in my mind (Chitra) and in secrecy (gupta), thy name shall also be Chitragupta.” Brahma then enjoined him to dispense justice and punish those who violated the dharma (duties).