procession drew near the ridge whence Kali's home burst on the vision, a halt was called.
While still sheltered from her eyes and those of her sentinels the raja descended from his
palanquin, doffed robes, ornaments and head-dress, instead, to enable the mathes of Sapni,
a village nearby, attired himself in raja's dress, while the raja donnedinconspicuous
garments of grey.
A priest waved a vessel of holy
water round his head and then poured its contents over the mathes' head. Then the latter
was borne in the royal palanquin, and treated like the raja, who himself walked in the
crowd until the procession entered the fort. He then resumed his dignities, but the robes
and ornaments worn by the mathes became his perquisite. He (mathes) was then sacrificed
within the fort, and his acquisitions fell to his heirs. He was called the raja-ki-bali.
On one occasion when the heir-apparent visited
Kamru, the old rites were all observed, but the water was poured on the hands of mathes,
instead of on his head; and the man who then took the part declared that he was the first
of his family to survive the ordeal by a year. As late as the middle of the last century
no act of state was performed without the approval of Bhimkali, who was regarded as the
ruler of the land, she having granted, the regency to the raja's ancestor six score
generations ago, just as she had conferred the hereditary priesthood to the senior branch
of his family.