|Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized|
gurun ahatva hi mahanubhavan
sreyo bhoktum bhaikshyam apiha loke
hatvartha-kamams tu gurun ihaiva
bhunjiya bhogan rudhira-pradigdhan
It would be better to live in this world by begging than to live at the cost of the lives of great souls who are my teachers. Even though desiring worldly gain, they are superiors. If they are killed, everything we enjoy will be tainted with blood.
Arjuna continues on the theme of sinful reactions. A teacher and an elder should be respected and not offered even a verbal fight, let alone physical harm. Srila Prabhupada makes the point that a person should be evaluated based on his conduct and not his position. Drona had accepted financial assistance from Duryodhana, well knowing that he is sinful – which is not the position of a teacher. Bhishma had remained quiet at the time Drupadi was being disrobed � which is not the position of a respectable elder. Therefore they had lost the privileges of their position. In a Vedic society, people acquire varnas (brahmana, ksatriya, vaishya and sudra) based on their qualities and propensities. One must act according to their respective varnas, since these implicitly reflect their qualities. The duties of a ksatriya are to rule and administer. Arjuna is a ksatriya and well aware of this. Here he once again takes the higher moral ground and is willing to relinquish his rights rather than incur the sin of killing his superiors like his grandfather (Bhishma) and his teacher (Drona).
Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.