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Chitra Devi – The Compassionate-Hearted One

T oday is  Chitra Devi Sakhi’s divine appearance day. At Mayapur, she is adorned with colorful garlands and special decorations and her divine qualities are displayed, for everyone to glorify & pray to her for mercy to serve the divine couple.

In the year 1992, Chitra Devi was one of the last of the four Asta-sakhis, or principle associates of Srimati Radharani, to be installed in Mayapur. Chitra Devi stands third on Madhava’s right.

Sri Chitra Devi’s father is Chatura, her mother is Charchika, and her husband is Pithara. She has the beautiful complexion of kasmira, or saffron. She wears cloth which is glossy like a host of radiant crystals, known as kacha. Her Kunja, or grove, is situated on the eastern side of Sri Radha Kunda, and is called Padma-kinjalka, Lotus-whorl, or Chitranandada, and is coloured with variegated hues, which can be termed as Chitra.

Chitra’s favourite instrument is a sitar-like vina, and her favourite tune is Raga Samkata. Her specialised service to the Divine Couple is lavanga-mala, or preparing cloves and flower garlands. On the altar in Mayapur, she can be seen offering a box with refreshing betel nut, sometimes along with some jewels. She is twenty-six days younger than Srimati Radhika, being eternally fourteen years, seven months and fourteen days old.

She has the mood of a heroine who goes out for secretive meetings with her beloved, which is described as abhisarika. Chitra has an exaltedly soft temperament known as adhika-mrdvi. Her heart is full of wonderfully variegated moods, overflowing with compassion, chitram vichitra-hrdayam sadayam.

Chitra Devi is very learned in the astrological sciences, just like her father. She has special knowledge of secret ways of speaking, and is a scholar of many foreign languages. She is also fully versed in the scriptures of botany, animal husbandry and snake-charming mantras. She is the leader of the servants who collect medicinal and other useful herbs from the forest.

She has the ability to identify the ingredients used in cooked food merely by glancing at it. If she is presented with any type of milk, she can tell which animal it comes from, and simply by looking at honey, she can easily classify which type of bee collected the honey. She is expert in crafting various utensils from glass. Chitra Devi has siddha-hasta, or perfect hands, in cooking various palatable foodstuffs and nectar-drinks. Her maidservant is Rasa-manjari.

In Gaura lila, Chitra Devi appears as Vanamali Kaviraja, while others say Govindananda.