What Includes Akshauhini Army or Akshauhini Sena?
There are so many soldiers, horses, chariots, and elephants in an Akshauhini army!
Akshauhini used to be a measure of army in ancient India. A total of 18 Akshauhini army fought in the war of Mahabharata. Out of which Kauravas had 11 Akshauhini army and Pandavas had 7 Akshauhini army. But exactly how much is an Akshohini army? For this, we will try to know from the evidences of Mahabharata that there are total footmen, horsemen, chariot riders and elephants in an Akshauhini army?
In ancient India, an Akshauhini army had four limbs. The army which had these four parts was called Chaturangini Sena. It had the following four parts
1. Soldier (foot soldier)
2. Cavalry (Horseman or Horse Rider)
3. Gaja (Elephant Rider)
4. Rath (chariot rider)
Now if we talk about the horse, then a rider was sitting on a horse. Similarly, it is necessary to have at least two people on an elephant, one is the pilwan (elephant driver) and the other is the fighting warrior. Similarly, there must have been two men in a chariot and three or four horses for work. All this together is called a Chaturangini Sena.
Parts of Akshauhini Sena or Akshauhini Army
In the Adiparva Adhyay 2 of Mahabharata, in verses 17 to 22, the part of the Akshauhini army has been explained in detail. Therefore, according to those verses, an Akshauhini army is divided into nine parts. Their names are respectively as follows – Patti, Senamukha, Gulm, Gana, Vahini, Pritna, Chamu, Anikini and Akshauhini.
सौतिरुवाच एकोरथो गजश्चैको नराः पञ्चपदातयः ।
त्रयश्च तुरगास्तज्ज्ञैः पत्तिरित्यभिधीयते॥१९॥
पत्तिं तु त्रिगुणामेतामाहुः सेनामुखं बुधाः।
त्रीणि सेनामुखान्येको गुल्म इत्यभिधीयते ॥ २० ॥
त्रयो गुल्मागणो नामवाहिनी तु गणास्त्रयः ।
स्मृतास्तिस्रस्तु वाहिन्यः पृतनेति विचक्षणैः॥२१॥
चमूस्तु पृतनास्तिस्रस्तिस्रश्चम्वस्त्वनीकिनी ।
अनीकिनी दशगुणां प्राहुरक्षौहिणी बुधाः ॥ २२ ॥
– महाभारत आदिपर्व अध्याय २.१९-२२
Sautiruvaach- Eko Ratho Gajashchaiko Naraah Panch Padaatayah .
Trayashch Turagaastajgyaih Pattirityabhidheeyate.19.
Pattin Tu Trigunaametaamaahuh Senaamukhan Budhaah.
Treeni Senaamukhaanyeko Gulm Ityabhidheeyate . 20 .
Trayo Gulma Gano Naam Vaahinee Tu Ganaastrayah .
Smrtaastisrastu Vaahinyah Prtaneti Vichakshanaih.21.
Chamoostu Prtanaastisrastisrashchamvastvaneekinee .
Aneekinee Dashagunaan Praahurakshauhinee Budhaah . 22 .
– Mahaabhaarat Aadiparv Adhyaay 2.19-22
Meaning:- Ugrashrava ji said – One chariot, one elephant, five foot soldiers and three horses – these are called ‘Pati’ by the learned scholars of the army. The threefold number of this leaf is called ‘Senamukh’ by learned men. Three ‘senamukhs’ are called a ‘gulma’. Three gulms have one ‘Gana’, three Gana’s have one ‘Vahini’ and the scholars who know the secret of the army have called the three vessels as ‘Pritna’. One ‘chamu’ of three pritna is one ‘anikini’ of three chamu and one ‘akshauhini’ of ten anikini. This is the statement of scholars.
1. Patti – 1 Gaj (Elephant) + 1 Chariot + 3 Cavalry (Horsemen) 5 Foot Soldiers
2. Senamukh – 3 Patti = 3 Gaj (Elephant) + 3 Chariots + 9 Cavalry (Horsemen) + 15 Foot Soldiers
3. Gulm – 3 Senamukhs = 9 Gaj (Elephant) + 9 Chariots 27 Cavalry (Horsemen) 45 Foot Soldiers
4. Gana – 3 Gulms = 27 Gaj (Elephant) + 27 Chariots + 81 Cavalry (Horsemen) + 135 Foot Soldiers
5. Vahini – 3 Ganas = 81 Gaj (Elephant) + 81 Chariots + 243 Cavalry (Horsemen) + 405 Foot Soldiers
6. Pritna – 3 Vahini = 243 Gaj (Elephant) 243 Chariots + 729 Cavalry (Horsemen) + 1215 Foot Soldiers
7. Chamu – 3 Pritna = 729 Gaj (Elephant) + 729 Chariots + 2187 Cavalry (Horsemen) + 3645 Foot Soldiers
8. Anikini – 3 Chamu = 2187 Gaj (Elephant) + 2187 Chariots 6561 Cavalry (Horsemen) 10935 Foot Soldiers
9. Akshauhini – 10 Anikini = 21870 Gaj (Elephant) + 21870 Chariots + 65610 Cavalry (Horsemen) 109350 Foot Soldiers
An Akshauhini Army According To the Mahabharata
According to the above mentioned Mahabharata evidence, an Akshauhini army consists of a Gaj (Elephant), Chariots, Cavalry (Horsemen) and an Army of Sepoys.
An Akshauhini Army includes following:-
1. Gaj (Elephant) – 21870 (Twenty One Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy)
2. Chariot – 21870 (Twenty One Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy)
3. Cavalry (Horseman) 65610 (Sixty Five Thousand Six Hundred And Ten)
4. Foot Soldiers 109350 (One Lakh Nine Thousand Three Hundred Fifty)
The above mentioned gaj (elephant), chariot, horseman and soldier have been counted from Adiparva Adhyay 2 Shloka 23-26 of Mahabharata. Those verses are as follows-
अक्षौहिण्याः प्रसङ्ख्यानं रथानां द्विजसत्तमाः।
शतान्युपरि चैवाष्टौ तथा भूयश्च सप्ततिः।
गजानां तु परीमाणमेतदेवात्र निर्दिशेत्॥२४।।
ज्ञेयं शतसहस्रं तु सहस्राणि तथा नव।
नराणामपि पञ्चाशच्छतानि त्रीणि चानघाः॥२५॥
पञ्चषष्टिसहस्राणि तथाश्वानां शतानि च।
दशोत्तराणि षट्प्राहुर्यथावदिह सङ्ख्यया।।२६।।
महाभारत आदिपर्व अध्याय २.२३-२६
Akshauhinyaah Prasankhyaanan Rathaanaan Dvijasattamaah.
Shataanyupari Chaivaashtau Tatha Bhooyashch Saptatih.
Gajaanaan Tu Pareemaanametadevaatr Nirdishet.24..
Gyeyan Shatasahasran Tu Sahasraani Tatha Nav.
Naraanaamapi Panchaashachchhataani Treeni Chaanaghaah.25.
Panchashashtisahasraani Tathaashvaanaan Shataani Ch.
Dashottaraani Shatpraahuryathaavadih Sankhyaya..26..
Mahaabhaarat Aadiparv Adhyaay 2.23-26
Meaning:- (Ugrashrav ji said) Best brahmins! Philosophical scholars of mathematics have given the number of chariots in an Akshauhini army as twenty one thousand eight to seventy (21870). The number of elephants should also remain the same. Qualified Brahmins: One lakh nine thousand three hundred and fifty (109350) should know the number of human beings on foot in an Akshauhini. The exact number of horses in an Akshihini army is said to be sixty-five thousand six hundred and ten (65610).
Also Watch: Life Changing Lessons From Mahabharata
Humans in Akshohini Army or Akshohini Sena
In the Mahabharata, only the total number of gaj, chariot and horse has been given, the number of those who walk and fight on them has not been told. So if it is to be estimated, then there will be a horseman on the horse, similarly it is necessary to have at least two persons on the elephant, one is the pilwan (elephant driver) and the other is the fighting warrior. Similarly, there must have been two men in a chariot. So there will be 1 horse rider, 2 elephant rider and 2 chariot rider.
Therefore multiplying the number of gaj (21870), chariot (21870) and horseman (65610) mentioned in the Mahabharata by the people riding on them, then the gaj will get 43740, the chariot 43740 and the horseman 65610. Which is a total of 153090 (one lakh fifty three thousand ninety). And by adding these numbers with the infantry (109350), then a total of 262440 (two lakh sixty two thousand four hundred and forty) human beings are in an Akshouhini army.