CHITRALEKHA – the artist who brought two lovers together
Other names: Chitralekhaa, Cheetralekha
Chitralekha was the daughter of Ushmand, the minister of the demon King Banasur. She was the best friend of Usha, daughter of Banasur. Chitralekha, similar to her name, was an expert in Chitrakala (drawing). Once, Usha saw Aniruddha, grandson of Shree Krishna in her dreams and fell in love with him. Usha was engrossed thinking about Aniruddha. Chitralekha noticed that her friend was preoccupied, so she asked her whom she was thinking of. Usha revealed her thoughts to her friend and said that she had had a dream and in it was a man more handsome than any she had ever seen.
He was dark in color, eyes like lotus petals and with the Pitambar (yellow silk cloth) draped beautifully on his body and she had fallen in love with this dream man immediately and so could not stop thinking about him.
Chitralekha asked Usha if she wanted to know him in real life, so that Chitralekha could bring him to her at once through the power of her drawing yoga. With close attention to Usha’s description, Chitralekha made sketches of Vasudev, Balram, Shree Krishna and Pradyumna, but it was none of them. Next she made a sketch of Aniruddha and Usha recognized him immediately.
Chitralekha, by means of her Yogic power, reached Dwarka and picked up Aniruddha, fast asleep late at night, and brought him to Banasur’s capital Shonitpur, depositing him in Usha’s chambers.
When Banasur got the news about Aniruddha, he tied up Aniruddha with a Nagpash (a noose used to seize an enemy in battle). At this, there was a fight between Shri Krishna and Banasur. During the battle, just as Shri Krishna was about to kill Banasur, Lord Shiva manifested then and there and asked Krishna to forgive Banasur, as he was a devotee of Shiva.
Afterwards, Banasur arranged for his daughter Usha to marry Aniruddha. Krishna returned to Dwarka with his grandson Aniruddha and daughter-in-law Usha.
Chitralekha’s role is very important in bringing the love story of Usha and Aniruddha to a successful culmination of marriage. That is why in the ancient love stories; Chitralekha is depicted as a sympathetic friend who helps the lovers meet.