श्रेयो भोक्तुं भैक्ष्यमपीह लोके ।
भुज्जीय भोगान्रुधिरप्रदिग्धान् ॥ ५ ॥
śreyo bhoktuṁ bhaikṣyam apīha loke
hatvārtha-kāmāṁs tu gurūn ihaiva
bhuñjīya bhogān rudhira-pradigdhān
gurūn — the superiors; ahatvā — not killing; hi — certainly; mahā-anubhāvān — great souls; śreyaḥ — it is better; bhoktum — to enjoy life; bhaikṣyam — by begging; api — even; iha — in this life; loke — in this world; hatvā — killing; artha — gain; kāmān — desiring; tu — but; gurūn — superiors; iha — in this world; eva — certainly; bhuñjīya — one has to enjoy; bhogān — enjoyable things; rudhira — blood; pradigdhān — tainted with.
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.
According to scriptural codes, a teacher who engages in an abominable action and has lost his sense of discrimination is fit to be abandoned. Bhīṣma and Droṇa were obliged to take the side of Duryodhana because of his financial assistance, although they should not have accepted such a position simply on financial considerations. Under the circumstances, they have lost the respectability of teachers. But Arjuna thinks that nevertheless they remain his superiors, and therefore to enjoy material profits after killing them would mean to enjoy spoils tainted with blood.