Chitrasena was a Gandharva – celestial singer. Once Arjuna and Sri Krishna entered into a fierce fight over Chitrasena. Legend has it that Chitrasena was once traveling through a flying machine along with his wives Sandhyavali and Ratnavali. Chitrasena spat on the ground from his flying machine and to his bad luck the spit fell on Sage Galava who was performing his evening prayers.
Sage Galava complained to Sri Krishna about the incident and Sri Krishna vowed to bring the head of Chitrasena before the Sage.
Sage Narada informed Chitrasena about Sri Krishna’s promise.
Chitrasena knew that his death was imminent and resigned to fate. But his wives Sandhyavali and Ratnavali sought the help of Subhadra, the sister of Sri Krishna. Subhadra gave them the boon that they will live happily with their husband.
Subhadra later came to know about the promise of Sri Krishna and was now in a fix. Arjuna assured her that he will protect Chitrasena.
Arjuna first shielded all the arrows aimed at Chitrasena by Sri Krishna. Soon it turned into a direct fight between Sri Krishna and Arjuna.
Soon Subhadra came in between them and both found it difficult to continue the fight. The fight was stopped after Chitrasena apologized to Sage Galava.
Symbolically this story shows the importance of women in Hindu society. Sandhyavali and Ratnavali were able to save their husband despite the word of Sri Krishna. The words of women were taken seriously and followed. This is proved by Subhadra promising to save Chitrasena. Subhadra was able to stop a fight between Arjuna and Sri Krishna and this shows her high position in family and society.