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In my study of certain of the customs described in this little book I have been surprised to find how they vary in different areas, though the essen tials of belief are the same. Each caste seems to give its own interpretation to the ritual of things, though it maintains the idea intact and of course local conditions do not permit of uniformity in external ceremonies all over India. For instance, in regard to the ceremonial purification recorded in Chapter XIII., I asked three Brahmin women to tell me their custom in this ceremony. All maintained the necessity for the purification, but one stated that in her caste the use of one hundred and eight balls of saffron in the bath — the saffron being rubbed on like soap — was prescribed for the ceremony; the other two had varied interpreta tions, and none of these agreed with the details of the rite as performed by the Rani. Diversity in the carrying out of any religious idea is as com mon in the East as denominationalism is in the West.
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