Chaitra Purnima is the full moon day in Chaitra month. On this day, the Sun is in an exalted position in Aries. The Moon is also aligned with the bright star Chaitra in the constellation of Libra. It is the first full moon of the Hindu New Year. The Full Moon is supposedly a powerful time for manifestation and creation. Also, the exalted Sun in Aries gives us the energy and power to make good “karmic” choices that will influence our current and future lives.
To Chitragupta, Chaitra Purnima is a holy day. Chitragupta is the Keeper of Deeds. He keeps track of our karma, good as well as bad, and reports them to Yama, the God of death. Legend says that Brahma created Chitragupta. He is also Yama’s younger brother. Full moon days are best for invoking Chitragupta’s blessings. Chaitra Purnima can erase all sins and help us acquire virtue for the hereafter.
Chaitra Purnima 2023 is on April 6.
Chaitra Purnima Significance
Chitragupta, the divine book-keeper of Yama, keeps track of the number of births and deaths on earth throughout the year. He also makes note of people’s good and bad karma. Based on Chitragupta’s records, we will be rewarded or punished after we die.
Chaitra Purnima is significant for Hindus. It is an ideal time to reflect on our words and acts. It is also a time to forgive and forget the wrongs that others did to us. Devotees also pray to God and ask him to forgive their sins on this day. Hanuman Jayanti is also on the same day.
The Legend behind Chaitra Purnima
Mythology says that once, Indra disobeyed Brihaspati, the guru of the gods. Irked by this, Brihaspati delegated his duties to Indra, solely to teach him a lesson. Indra did many bad things in Brihaspati’s absence. When Brihaspati returned, Indra asked him how to remove his bad karma. Brihaspati advised Indra to go on a pilgrimage.
During his pilgrimage in Madurai, South India, Indra felt as if the burden of his sins had fallen off. He discovered a Shiva Linga at that place and felt that it was responsible for the miracle. He also built a temple on the spot. Shiva created some golden lotuses in a pond nearby when Indra was worshipping Shiva Linga. On Chaitra Purnima, Indra worshipped Shiva and was relieved of his sins.
Rituals of Chaitra Purnima
∙ Wake up early and take a holy bath in a sacred river before sunrise.
∙ Offer prayers to Vishnu and Hanuman after the bath.
∙ Observe a ‘Satyanarayana’ fast. Recite the “Satyanarayana Katha” and make offerings to the deity. These can include fruits, supari, banana leaves, moli, incense sticks, and sandalwood paste. There are elaborate arrangements at various temples for the Pooja.
∙ In the evening, offer ‘Arghya’ to the Moon.
∙ Take part in Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana readings.
∙ Offer donations and do charity work. One can donate food, clothing, money, etc., to the poor.
Why is Chaitra Purnima Auspicious?
Purnima, or full moon days, are very auspicious in Hinduism. Chaitra Purnima is the first full moon day in the Hindu Panchang.
Chaitra Purnima is also called Cheti Punam. The fast helps one to get blessings from Satyanarayana.
Those who observe the Chaitra Navratri fast can have their wishes fulfilled. All hardships and sorrows can vanish from your life.
On this day, people also celebrate the birthday of Hanuman. They worship Vishnu and the Moon. This full moon is also known as Chaiti Poonam, as Krishna created the Raas festival in Braj, known as Maharas, on this day. Thousands of Gopis participated in it, and Krishna took turns to dance with each Gopi.
Festivals in Chaitra Month
Spring season is associated with the month of Chaitra. Holi, a spring festival, falls on the Purnima of Phalguna, the month before Chaitra, 6 days after the Chaiti festival.
Chaitra is the first month of the new year in the lunar calendar. The first day of Chaitra is called Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Vishu in Kerala, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, and Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Chaitra Navratri, Ram Navami, which falls on the 9th day of Chaitra, and Hanuman Jayanti, which is on the last day of Chaitra, are major festivals in this month. Bengalis celebrate Charak Pooja. Madurai hosts the world-famous “Chithirai Thiruvizha” this month. It takes place on the banks of the Vaigai River.
∙ Chithirai is the 1st month of the Tamil calendar. It begins with the Sun’s entry into Aries in mid-April.
∙ “Chithira Pournami” in Tamil means “full moon day.” It is an auspicious day for Amman (Goddess).
∙ Chaitra is a very auspicious month, as the universe was first created in this month.
∙ “Chitra” means “spring” or “Aries sign.” It is a popular name in India.
∙ Brahma created the cosmos on the first day of Shukla paksha in Chaitra, according to the Sloka, Chaturvarga Chintamani. He added the planets, stars, rithu (seasons), years, and lords of years later in a gradual manner.
∙ The 15 days of Shukla Paksha in Chaitra are dedicated to 15 deities. A different god is honored on each of these days.