Citragupta, Citra-gupta: 19 definitions


Citragupta means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Alternative spellings of this word include Chitragupta.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Citragupta in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Citragupta (चित्रगुप्त).—A minister of Kāla. (God of death). His duty is to examine, after the death of men, a list of the good and evil actions they had done while living. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 130).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Citragupta (चित्रगुप्त).—An Adhidevatā of the planet Ketu; Icon of, near Yama.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 93. 15; 102. 23; 261. 14.
Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Discover the meaning of citragupta in the context of Purana from relevant books on Exotic India

Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Citragupta in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Citragupta (चित्रगुप्त) is the name of a deity representing the secretary of the gods, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 72. Accordingly, as the robber Siṃhavikrama reflected: “... if I betake myself to Śiva or Viṣṇu, what value will they attach to me, when they have gods, hermits and others to worship them? So I will worship Citragupta, who alone records the good and evil deeds of men. He may deliver me by his power, for he, being a secretary, does alone the work of Brahmā and Śiva: he writes down or erases in a moment the whole world, which is in his hand”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Citragupta, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Kavya book cover
context information

Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

Discover the meaning of citragupta in the context of Kavya from relevant books on Exotic India

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Shodhganga: Elements of Art and Architecture in the Trtiyakhanda of the Visnudharmottarapurana (shilpa)

Citragupta (चित्रगुप्त) refers to one of the two companions of Yama, whose iconography is described in the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, an ancient Sanskrit text which (being encyclopedic in nature) deals with a variety of cultural topics such as arts, architecture, music, grammar and astronomy.—According to the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, the image of Yama should be made along with his two companions viz., Citragupta and Kāla.  In the Ṛgveda, two dogs of Yama are referred to as yamadūta i.e., the messenger of Yama. So, there may be a connection between the relation of Citragupta, Kāla and Yama with the Vedic portrayal of the two dogs with Yama. The image of Citragupta and Kāla should be placed in the right and left side of the image of Yama respectively.

The etymological meaning of the term citragupta identifies him as a recorder of vices and virtues of mankind. According to the Medinīkośa, Citragupta is an attendant as well as a writer of Yama. So, it can be said that taking this concept from earlier sources, the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa prescribes that the idol of Citragupta should hold a pen in the right hand and a leaf in the left hand. Moreover, the idol of Kāla should hold a noose in his left hand

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

Discover the meaning of citragupta in the context of Shilpashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Citragupta in Hinduism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Citragupta (चित्रगुप्त, “manifold secret”):—The scribe of Yama. He was instructed to write down the accounts of the good and bad deeds of all living beings. Yama, the vedic God of death, represents the embodiment of Dharma. Yama rules over the kingdom of the dead and binds humankind according to the fruits of their karma.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Chitragupta is the accountant of Yama. He keeps track of the deeds, both good and bad, of everyone. When a person dies and is sent to Yama's abode for judgement, Chitragupta's records are the key determinant of what happens to the person, whether he is sent to heaven, or to hell.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Citragupta in Jainism glossary
Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Citraguptā (चित्रगुप्ता) refers to one of the eight Dikkumārīs living on the southern Rucaka mountains (in the Rucakadvīpa continent), according to chapter 1.2 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.


“[...] Eight Dikkumārīs [viz., Citraguptā], living on the southern Rucaka Mountains, came there, impelled by joy like a whip. Having bowed to the Ford of Jinas and his mother and having introduced themselves as before, they stood on the right, singing, with pitchers in their hands. [...].”.

Note: In the continent Rucakadvīpa is a circular mountain-ranges Rucaka. On this in the four directions are 4 temples, and on both sides of each temple are 4 mountain peaks, making 8 peaks in each direction. Each peak is inhabited by a Dikkumārī [viz., Citraguptā].—(cf. ‘Die Kosmographie der Inder’ pp. 257f).

General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

Discover the meaning of citragupta in the context of General definition from relevant books on Exotic India

India history and geography

Source: Tessitori Collection I (history)

Citragupta (चित्रगुप्त) is said to have been the forefather/ progenitor of the Kāyasthas from Māthurā, according to the “Samoṣaṇa Kāitha Māthura-rāsa” (dealing with caste history), and is included in the collection of manuscripts at the ‘Vincenzo Joppi’ library, collected by Luigi Pio Tessitori during his visit to Rajasthan between 1914 and 1919.—In between the work deals with the legendary origin of the Kāyasthas as sons of Citragupta, himself born from Brahmā’s body. The Māthura Kāyasthas are one of the twelve Kāyastha groups. [...] This group, which is said to take its name from the fact that it was associated with Mathura (Māthura Nivāsī) is referred for the first time as such in an inscription dated VS 1161 (1103 CE; cf. Chitrarekha Gupta, The Kāyasthas. A Study in the Formation and Early History of a Caste, calcutta: K.p. Bagchi and company, 1996, pp. 103ff.). the

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

Discover the meaning of citragupta in the context of India history from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Citragupta in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

citragupta (चित्रगुप्त).—m (S) The registrar of the court of yama; the recorder of the vices and virtues of mankind. 2 fig. An accomplished penman or writer, whether intellectually or manually.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

citragupta (चित्रगुप्त).—m The registrar of the court of. yama Fig. An accomplished writer.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

Discover the meaning of citragupta in the context of Marathi from relevant books on Exotic India

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Citragupta in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Citragupta (चित्रगुप्त).—one of the beings in Yama's world recording the vices and virtues of mankind; नामान्येषां लिखामि ध्रुवमहम- धुना चित्रगुप्तः प्रमार्ष्टु (nāmānyeṣāṃ likhāmi dhruvamahama- dhunā citraguptaḥ pramārṣṭu) Mu.1.2.

Derivable forms: citraguptaḥ (चित्रगुप्तः).

Citragupta is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms citra and gupta (गुप्त).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Citragupta (चित्रगुप्त).—m.

(-ptaḥ) 1. A name of Yama, or rather one of the fourteen Yamas. 2. Yama'S registrar, who records the vices and virtues of mankind. E. citra wonderful, and gupta preserving; or citra writing, and gupta as before.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Citragupta (चित्रगुप्त).—[citra-gupta], m. Yama's registrar, who records the vices and virtues of mankind, Mahābhārata 13, 5924.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Citragupta (चित्रगुप्त) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—on [dharma] Quoted by Raghunandana in Jalāśayotsargatattva and in Maṭhapratiṣṭhāditattva.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Citragupta (चित्रगुप्त):—[=citra-gupta] [from citra > cit] m. Name of one of Yama’s attendants (recorder of every man’s good and evil deeds), [Mahābhārata xiii; Skanda-purāṇa; Nāradīya-purāṇa; Varāha-purāṇa; Bādarāyaṇa’s Brahma-sūtra iii, 1, 15 [Scholiast or Commentator]; Kathāsaritsāgara lxxii]

2) [v.s. ...] (also candra-g, [Horace H. Wilson])

3) [v.s. ...] a secretary of a man of rank (kind of mixed caste)

4) [v.s. ...] a form of Yama, [Tithyāditya]

5) [v.s. ...] Name of the 16th Arhat of the future Utsarpiṇī, jain, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

6) [v.s. ...] of an author (?).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Citragupta (चित्रगुप्त):—[citra-gupta] (ptaḥ) 1. m. Yama, god of the dead, or his registrar.

[Sanskrit to German]

Citragupta in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

Discover the meaning of citragupta in the context of Sanskrit from relevant books on Exotic India

Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Citragupta in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Citragupta (ಚಿತ್ರಗುಪ್ತ):—

1) [noun] an attendant of the Death God Yama, who is supposed to keep record of the virtues and vices of every individual, throughout his or her lifetime.

2) [noun] (fig.) a slanderer or sly-informant.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

Discover the meaning of citragupta in the context of Kannada from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Related products

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: