National Geographic : 1965 Jan
Without my lord, my life to bless, Where could be heaven or happiness? RAMAYANA Before the sacred fire, symbol of purification, the couple exchange solemn vows with their right hands bound. During the hours-long ceremony, the priest reads in Sanskrit from Vedic texts. Toward the end, the couple take ritual steps around the fire, sealing their marriage. Wife of two worlds: Though married in the old tradition, the new Maha rani of Rajpipla is a matron of progress. She holds a master's degree in philosophy from Rajasthan University in Jaipur. The new Hindu code safeguards her property rights, assures her a share of her husband's es tate, and guarantees that he will take no other wives. Only on festive occasions will she wear the jewel-weighted nose ring of the married woman. Soon she will accompany her husband to the United States for his advanced studies. But traditional or progressive, the bride believes with the Rig-Veda: "Perfect, 0 Gods, the union of the wife and husband." EKTACHROME(OPPOSITE) AND KODACHROMEC N.G S.