|Chapter 2||The Eternal Reality of the Soul's Immortality||Verse 5|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
It may be argued: That without slaying them it would not be possible for Arjuna to even maintain his own body. So Arjuna is responding that without slaying his superiors like Bhishma and Drona which bars one from the heavenly kingdoms it would be better to live in this world even on food obtained by begging without causing the death of anyone. Otherwise misery will be the result not only in the next life but even in the present Arjuna was stating he would be experiencing the miseries of hellish existence. This is verified by Arjuna saying that by slaying elders and superiors even in the present life all the spoils he would be enjoying would be tainted with their blood.
Another interpretation is that the word arthakaman may be also taken as qualifying the elders and superiors. These elders being consumed by greed of wealth are not likely to refrain from war. Therefore they will have to be slain. Bhishma for an example spoke to King Yudhisthira saying: Man is a slave to wealth but wealth is the slave of no man, this is the truth. O Emperor I am bound to the Kauravas by the acceptance of wealth.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
It may be further submitted that although Bhishma and Drona are both always to be respected, but as they are superiors and perceptors to both the Pandavas and the Kauravas they should all be looked after equally regarding aquisition and preservation. Why should Bhishma and Drona fight for the unlawful kingdom of the Kauravas on the side of the wicked Duryodhana? It appears that being devoid of discrimination of what should be done and what should not be done have gone afoul of righteousness and thus according to Vedic scriptures have the right to be slain. Bishma himself has stated that a superior who is degraded by these qualities deserves to be abandoned. To this Arjuna is replying that refraining from slaying great souls it is better to live in this world by begging alms as by this no sin will be incurred to reap in the next life. But if as Arjuna states they are great souls then how can they be degraded and if they are degraded how can they be considered great souls and hence there abandonment is proper. One who is inferior should normally never even think of abandoning a preceptor otherwise one will perish out of folly. But Bhisma's statement that a man is slave to wealth but wealth is slave to no man; therefore due to accepting wealth he was controlled by the Kauravas. So this proves that controlled by wealth and not righteousness and thus slaying them incurs no sin. But to this Arjuna states that by slaying elders we may undoubtedly enjoy some pleasures in this world but these pleasures would be tainted with blood as they are derived from the sin of slaying superiors.