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We all know that Arjuna dropped weapons in Kurukshetra war because he couldn't fight against Bhishma and Drona and needed Gita gyan.

Bhagwad Gita 1:34-35:-Teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, grandsons, fathers-in-law, grand-nephews, brothers-in-law, and other kinsmen are present here, staking their lives and riches. O Madhusudan, I do not wish to slay them, even if they attack me. If we kill the sons of Dhritarashtra, what satisfaction will we derive from the dominion over the three worlds, what to speak of this Earth?

But in Virat war Arjuna fought against these warriors without hesitation. How?

  • Good question. In my opinion, Arjuna fought with them, just to defeat them and get back the stolen herd of cows. There was no necessity of slaying them. In this war, he has to necessarily fight with them and eliminate them for getting victory. @SanatanDarshan – srimannarayana k v Mar 26 at 6:48
  • According to some scholars, the entire Virata parva is a later day interpolation. – yAdRcchika Mar 26 at 6:51
  • @yAdRcchika yes. Even I think this. – Sanatan Darshan Mar 26 at 13:36
  • This may be of interest to you - en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spitzer_Manuscript //This list does not include Anusasanaparvan and Virataparvan.// So both these parvas seem to be interpolations. – yAdRcchika Mar 26 at 14:22
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After fighting with the warriors of Kaurava side, Arjuna issued a divine astra Sanmohana, which stupefied everyone on Kaurava side, except Bhishma.

And with celestial weapons in their hands, they completely surrounded the son of Pritha and rained on him from all sides a perfect shower of shafts, like clouds showering on the mountain breast a heavy downpour of rain, And warding off with weapons, all the weapons of those bulls among the Kurus, the wielder of the Gandiva who was capable of enduring all foes, evolved another irresistible weapon obtained from Indra, called Sanmohana.

And entirely covering the cardinal and other directions with sharp and keen-edged arrows furnished with beautiful feathers, that mighty hero stupefied their senses with the twang of the Gandiva. And once more, taking up with both his hands that large conch of loud blare, Partha, that slayer of foes, blew it with force and filled the cardinal and other points, the whole earth, and sky, with that noise. And those foremost of the Kuru heroes were all deprived of their senses

Arjuna fought with them, just to defeat them and get back the stolen herd of cows. There was no necessity of slaying them. In Mahabharata war, he has to necessarily fight with them and eliminate them for getting victory.

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