I think that Ashwamedha was the ultimate yagna that one did, and Rajasuya was lower in the hierarchy. I don't think that in Rama's yagna, the various kings were taxed or anything - that would have happened had it been a Rajasuya yagna. But in the Dwapar yuga, looks like it was required to tax the other rulers, and in that case, the Pandavas didn't hesitate to do either. They did the Rajasuya earlier, when they were rulers of Indraprastha and wanted to assert their supremacy, and the Ashwamedha later, when they wanted to atone for the sins Varaali mentioned.
Duryodhana, selecting from among them brave and intelligent warriors, made them the leaders of his troops. And placing an Akshauhini of troops under each of those best of men, viz., Kripa, Drona, Salya, Jayadratha, the king of the Sindhus, Sudakshina the ruler of the Kamvojas, Kritavarman, Drona's son (Aswatthaman), Karna, Bhurisravas, Sakuni, the son of Suvala, and the mighty Vahlika
Given that during the first 10 days, Karna was not a participant in the war, how was he listed as one of the commanders? Or did Bheeshma command Karna's akshauni, just like Dhrishtadyumna was both the pradhan senapati as well as the commander of an akshauni? Also, while Karna wasn't fighting, how come Bheeshma had no problems w/ his sons - Vrishasena, Chitrasena and others, as well as Karna's brothers - fighting under him?
I also thought it strange that a mediocre warrior like Shakuni was one of the akshauni commanders, rather than Bhagadatta, who gave Arjun a tough time on day 12, or Srutayudha
, who on day 14, hurled a destructive mace @ Krishna which recoiled on him.
Exit question: When Shalya became Karna's charioteer, who commanded his akshauni? Or was it one of the 8 akshaunis that was wiped out on day 14 by Arjun, Satyaki & Bhima?
Edited by .Vrish. - 16 February 2012 at 3:36am