There is a special significance to the full moon in April, known as Chitra pournami.
As per puranas, Brahma entrusted Yama (son of Surya – Sun God) with the task to determine the fate of the souls coming to him. He is known as Yama Dharmaraja – the righteous one. Being righteous and practising it in a world full of living beings, living and performing good and bad deeds every second of their wakeful life, increases the amount of records to be maintained for every individual.
Yama not able to keep track would often send the wrong souls to either hell or heaven. To solve the problem, Brahma created Chitragupta through meditation. He was named Chitragupta as he was first conceived in Brahma’s mind through a chitra or picture and this was kept gupt (secret) from the Gods.
Chitragupta assists Yama in maintaining these records for every living being, all throughout their life. It is believed that he has huge books and a multitude of assistants to record even the minutest of details. To those who use computers, it is like our browsing history – that never gets deleted for our entire life.
Chitra pournami (Full moon day in April when moon is in Chitra star) is the day when we propitiate to Chitragupta. A sincere prayer to the God (be it Chitragupta, Shiva or any deity close to your heart) on this day will help you to atone for misdoings. The prayer should be offered along with a resolve not to commit acts which are considered as sins in our society. Taking bath in holy rivers, observing fast and praying are some of the practices that are followed. Giving away foods, clothes, books, money or anything that can help a poor or needy is considered extremely beneficial to accrue merits to secure a place in heaven.
A variety of rice dishes Chitra-annam is offered to the deity.
Lemon rice, Tamarind rice, Cilantro rice, Mint rice, Curd rice with Vadas and Kheer are usually offered in a variety of ways.
So, this Chitra pournami, donate money or food to someone in need, introspect on some bad habit of yours, some past sins or wrongdoing you have committed and pledge not to repeat them again with sincerity.
Stay blessed and stay healthy!