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I can't understand why Kauravas had to bring their entire star decked warriors to attack Virata, sure they are just helping their allies Trigarta's as their commander-in-chief had been slain, so they are attacking someone who's already weaker still they brought senior warriors like Bhisma,Drona,Kripa,Ashwattama unnecessarily.

Given that Pandavas subjugated all the kingdoms by sending each brothers on each direction , and Karna too subjugated all the kingdoms by himself after the Gandharava defeat.

So I can't understand the reason behind these much warriors participating for a mere Virata attack, aren't they on different level to participate on such small tasks .

And the Virata war was completely different,there were no use of celestial weapons,it just looks like raw skirmish with ordinary arrows, until Arjuna alone uses one celestial weapon in the end to finish the war, which completely contradicts the war scenes from Kuruschestra.

Hearing these words of Susarman, Karna addressed the king, saying, 'Susarman hath spoken well; the opportunity is favourable and promises to be profitable to us. Therefore, if it pleases thee, O sinless one, let us, drawing up our forces in battle array and marshalling them in divisions, speedily set out. Or, let the expedition be managed as Saradwata's son Kripa, the preceptor Drona, and the wise and aged grandsire of the Kurus may think. Consulting with each other, let us, O lord of earth, speedily set out to attain our end. What business have we with the sons of Pandu, destitute as they are of wealth, might, and prowess? They have either disappeared for good or have gone to the abode of Yama? We will, O king, repair without anxiety to Virata's city, and plunder his cattle and other wealth of diverse kinds.'

Here it's clear Kauravas didn't plan Virata war to find the Pandavas, they just wanted to help their allies.

Source

  • There are a lot of plot holes in Mahabharata (mainly due to later interpolations) and this is one such incident. Arjuna not using the Sanmohana weapon ever again in the main Kurukshetra war raises lot of doubts about the authenticity and historicity of the Virata war. One possible reason for the invention of the Virata war is to simply show Arjuna's greatness (Arjuna-Uttara dialogue, single-handedly taking down Bhishma, Drona, Karna etc.) and also act as precursor to the main Kurukshetra war. – sv. Jun 27 '17 at 16:52
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    I agree Virata war looks like a later interpolation, but Virata has been mentioned several times just before the start of Kuruchestra war like for example Arjuna boasts of his Virata war performance to Rukmi, when he instructs Arjuna to not get scared of Kuru warriors, and also several characters humiliating Karna for his Virata war defeat is also there. – Kishy Nivas Jun 27 '17 at 19:02
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My answer is this. To clear up some misconceptions.

Why the Kauravas deployed all of their star warriors: Isn't it obvious? You said it yourself Kishy Nivas that the Kauravas were very poor warriors. They sucked when it came to archery, bow arrow fight etc. They may have been good in other weapons but when it comes to archery (which is used the most 99 percent of the fights in Mahabharata) these people are lackluster fighters at best. They knew that they could not rely solely on Karna's skills, they wanted a complete victory, and Virata was a Maharatha. Kauravas themselves were labelled as just ordinary Rathas. And they needed some warriors to protect them. Remember Duryodhana brought 8,000 Rathas, 30,000 elephants etc with him during the Ghosh-yatra:

Eight thousand cars, thirty thousand elephants, nine thousand horses, and many thousands of foot-soldiers, and shops and pavilions and traders, bards and men trained in the chase by hundreds and thousands followed the prince. http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03237.htm So with half Akshauni of army,along with Karna equipped with his Kavach Kundal the 100 sons of Dhritarashtra along with Sakuni and with number of keen warriors difficult to subjugate (as described in chapter 238) THIS WAS ALL DURING A PICNIC.

Why Arjuna thought twice before fighting in the kurukshetra war but not in Matsya war: Because in Kurukshetra war he would be forced to kill or be killed, in Matsya war he only had to worry about his own life being lost. As he was not fighting to kill others, and the Kaurava army lost cause they were only fighting against one man, they were unable to use all of their strength on him, their's only so many people who can group attack one man. He's a small target in front of the Lakhs of Kaurava armed forces.

Their were many celestial weapons used by both sides in the Matsya war IF their were no celestial weapons used then maybe Kauravas warriors like Kripa, Bhishma etc didn't use them out of fear that they would kill their own soldiers.enter image description here

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