In 1829 Viceroy Bentinick bans the social evil of sati in India, however, the practice is continued without any check. In Bengal a very ill, elderly man, on his deathbed, Shankarnarayan, is prepared to be taken to the crematorium. After the procession reachs the crematorium grounds, they find that he still has life left in him. The priest presiding decides to favor a friend, and asks him to marry his young daughter to this ailing old man, to which the friend readily agrees. The reluctant, yet willing, young girl, Yashumati, is prepared for marriage, and taken in procession to the crematorium grounds and married to the old man, knowing fully well that he has only a few days left to live, and after his death she must burn herself alive.