Once upon a time, there was a rich family living in Benares, in northern India. They arranged for their son to marry a good and honest girl from a nearby village. Being very pretty as well, they were sure they could not find a better wife for their son.
The groom’s family decided on a date for the wedding. The bride’s family agreed to meet them in the village on the wedding day.
Meanwhile, the rich family also had their own special astrological priest. When he found out they had picked the wedding day, without paying him to consult the stars, he became angry. He decided to get even with them.
When the wedding day arrived, the astrological priest dressed up in his finest robes, and called the family together. He bowed to them all, and then looked at his star charts very seriously. He told them that this star was too close to the horizon, and that planet was in the middle of an unlucky constellation, and the moon was in a very dangerous phase for having a wedding. He told them that, not seeking his advice, they had picked the worst day of the year for a wedding. This could only lead to a terrible marriage.
The frightened family forgot all about the wonderful qualities of the intended bride, and remained home in Benares.
Meanwhile the bride’s family had arranged everything for the village wedding ceremony. When the agreed upon hour arrived, they waited and waited for the future husband and his family. Finally they realized they were not coming. So they thought, “Those city people picked the date and time, and now they didn’t show up. This is insulting! Why should we wait any longer? Let our daughter marry an honourable and hard working village man.” So they quickly arranged a new marriage and celebrated the wedding.
The next day, the astrological priest said that, suddenly, the stars and planets and moon were in perfect positions for a wedding! So the Benares family went to the village and asked for the wedding to take place. But the village people said, “You picked the date and time. Then you disgraced us by not showing up!”
The city people replied, “Our family priest told us that yesterday the stars and planets and moon were in terrible positions. It was a very unlucky day for a wedding. But he has assured us that today is a most lucky day. So please send us the bride at once!”
The village family said, “You have no honour. You have made the choice of the day more important than the choice of the bride. It’s too late now! Our daughter has married another.” Then the two families began to quarrel heatedly.
A wise man happened to come along. Seeing the two families quarrelling so,. he tried to settle the dispute.
The city people told him that they had respected the warnings of their astrological priest. It was because of the unlucky positions of the stars and planets and moon, that they had not come to the wedding.
The wise man said, “The good fortune was in the bride, not in the stars. You fools have followed the stars and lost the bride. Without your foolishness, those far off stars can do nothing!”