As far occupation was concerned under the new structure of republics and monarchies, cattle rearing was no longer the primary occupation, agriculture having taken its place in many areas. Land was either owned in common by the village or by a tribal chief who hired laborers to work it. Doubtless much of the income of the chiefs came from the land. Towns had come into existence as centers if industry and trade. Some, such as Shravasti, Champa, Rajagriha, Ayodhya, Kaushambi, and Kashi were of substantial importance to the economy of the Ganges plain. Others such as Vaishali, Ujjain, Taxila, or the port of Bharukachchha (Broach) had a wider economic reach. Towns grew around what had been villages - those which had specialized in particular crafts such as pottery, carpentry, cloth weaving - and trading centers. Specialized craftsmen tended to congregate, because this facilitated carriage of raw materials and the distribution of the finished article.
There were four main rival states wielding the maximum power and clout, they were the three kingdoms of Kashi, Kosala (adjoining Kashi on the east), Magadha (modern Bihar) and the adjoining republic of the Vrijis (Janakpur in Nepal and the Muzzafarpur district of Bihar).
Rajasuya & Ashvamedha yajnas
After the coronation of a king, he began the year long royal consecration (rajasuya) which invested him with divinity brought from the Gods by the magic power of the priests. The ritual was highly symbolic, the king undergoing purification and mystical rebirth as a divine king. Towards the end of the year, the king was required to make an offering to the twelve 'jewels' (ratnins), i.e. his ministers, members of his household, and certain sections of the population - in return for their loyalty.
The most popular of the major sacrifices made by the king was the Ashvamedha or horse-sacrifice, where a special horse was permitted to wander at will, the king claiming all the territory over which it wandered. This was practically possible for those kings who were very powerful and could support such claims. The sacrifices were conducted on a vast scale, involving many hundreds of priests and large herds of animals, not to mention the various objects used in the ceremony.
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