Is Chitragupt of Yamlok mentioned in any scriptures?


Is there a real character called Chitragupta?

"Brahman said, 'O highly blessed one, excellent is the duty that thou hast enunciated, together with its secret ritual. Praise be to thee! I grant thee this boon, viz., that thy penances will continually increase!' "Yams said, 'I have heard from thee an excellent and agreeable discourse. Listen now to what Chitragupta has said and what is agreeable to me. Those words relate to duty with its secret ritual, and are worthy of being heard by the great Rishis, as also by men endued with faith and desirous of achieving their own good. Nothing is lost of either piety or sin that is committed by creatures. On days of the full moon and the new moon, those acts are conveyed to the sun where they rest. When a mortal goes into the region of the dead, the deity of the sun bears witness to all his acts. He that is righteous acquires the fruits of his righteousness there. I shall now tell you of some auspicious duties that are approved by Chitragupta. Water for drink, and lamps for lighting darkness, should always be given, as also sandals and umbrellas and Kapila kine with due rites. In Pushkara especially should one make the gift of a Kapila cow unto a Brahmana conversant with the Vedas. One should also always maintain one's Agnihotra with great care. Here is another duty which was proclaimed by Chitragupta.

— The Mahabharata :Book 13: Anusasana:Parva SECTION CXXX


Is there a scripture that describes this part after death in detail?


Does Yama really decide the fate of each person?

And garuda purana says:—

  1. Garuḍa said: What are the torments like that the sinful suffers, having passed along the way of Yama into the abode of Yama? Tell me this, O Keśava.

  2. The Blessed Lord said: Listen, O Descendant of Vinatā. I will tell it to you from the beginning to the end. Even at the description of hell you will tremble.

  3. Four and forty yojanas, O Kāśyapa, beyond the city of Bahubhīti, lies the great city of the King of Justice.

4-5. The sinful man cries when he hears the mingled wails of 'Oh, Oh,' and having heard his cry, those who walk about in the city of Yama. All go to the door-keeper and report it to him. The doorkeeper Dharmadhwaja, always stands there.

  1. He, having gone to Chitragupta, reports the good and evil deeds. Then Chitragupta tells it to the King of Justice.

  2. The men who are Deniers, O Tārkshya, and always delight in great sin; these are all, as is proper, well- known to the King of Justice.

  3. Nevertheless, he asks Chitragupta about their sins. Chitragupta, although he is all-knowing, enquires of the Śravaṇas.

— The Garuda Purana: CHAPTER III. An Account of the Torments of Yama.


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