A Rajput prince of Kanauj—a very ancient city—had a daughter [Samyukta]. She had heard of the military fame of Prithvi Rai [King of Ajmere and Delhi] and all his glory, and she was in love with him. Now her father wanted to hold a Rajasuya sacrifice, so he invited all the kings in the country. And in that sacrifice, they all had to render menial service to him because he was superior over all; and with that sacrifice he declared there would be a choice by his daughter.
But the daughter was already in love with Prithvi Rai. He was very mighty and was not going to acknowledge loyalty to the king, her father, so he refused the invitation. Then the king made a golden statue of Prithvi Rai and put it near the door. He said that that was the duty he had given him to perform—that of a porter.
The upshot of the whole affair was that Prithvi Rai, like a true knight, came and took the lady behind him on his horse, and they both fled. When the news came to her father, he gave chase with his army, and there was a great battle in which the majority of both armies was killed. And [thus the Rajputs were so weakened that] the Mohammedan empire in India began.
When the Mohammedan empire was being established in northern India, the Queen of Chitore [Rani Padmini] was famed for her beauty. And the report of her beauty reached the sultan, and he wrote a letter for the queen to be sent to his harem. The result was a terrible war between the King of Chitore and the sultan. The Mohammedans invaded Chitore. And when the Rajputs found they could not defend themselves any more, the men all took sword in hand and killed and were killed, and the women perished in the flames.
After the men had all perished, the conqueror entered the city. There in the street was rising a horrible flame. He saw circles of women going around it, led by the queen herself. When he approached near and asked the queen to refrain from jumping into the flames, she said, ‘This is how the Rajput woman treats you’, and threw herself into the fire.
It is said that 74,500 women perished in the flames that day to save their honour from the hands of the Mohammedans. Even today when we write a letter, after sealing it we write ‘74½’ upon it, meaning that if one dares to open this letter, that sin of killing 74,500 women will be upon his head.