From The Caves And Jungles Of Hindostan Translated From The Russian Of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky



























 -   The women sing in chorus,
and the ceremony of betrothal is over.

The ceremonies with the astrologers, and the exchange - Page 250
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The Women Sing In Chorus, And The Ceremony Of Betrothal Is Over.

The ceremonies with the astrologers, and the exchange of presents, are too long to be described.

I shall mention only, that in all these ceremonies the astrologer plays the double part of an augur and a family lawyer. After a general invocation to the elephant- headed god Ganesha, the marriage contract is written on the reverse of the horoscopes and sealed, and a general blessing is pronounced over the assembly.

Needless to say that all these ceremonies had been accomplished long ago in the family to whose marriage party we were invited in Bagh. All these rites are sacred, and most probably we, being mere strangers, would not have been allowed to witness them. We saw them all later on in Benares - thanks to the intercession of our Babu. - - - - -

When we arrived on the spot, where the Bagh cere-mony was celebrated, the festivity was at its height. The bridegroom was not more than fourteen years old, while the bride was only ten. Her small nose was adorned with a huge golden ring with some very brilliant stone, which dragged her nostril down. Her face looked comically piteous, and sometimes she cast furtive glances at us. The bridegroom, a stout, healthy-looking boy, attired in cloth of gold and wearing the many storied Indra hat, was on horseback, surrounded by a whole crowd of male relations.

The altar, especially erected for this occasion, presented a queer sight. Its regulation height is three times the length of the bride's arm from the shoulder down to the middle finger.

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