Engraving published by R Ackermann – London, 1822
“And no gambling or unnecessary sporting. People are wasting time. So many sportings they have invented–sporting balls, this ball, that ball. You see? Human life is very short. We do not know when we shall die. Before that, we must prepare ourself for the next life. Next life means directly going back to Krsna, highest perfection.”
Srila Prabhupada Interview, 12-19-68, Los Angeles
“Sometimes the living entity is interested in the yellow stool known as gold and runs after it. That gold is the source of material opulence and envy, and it can enable one to afford illicit sex, gambling, meat-eating and intoxication. Those whose minds are overcome by the mode of passion are attracted by the color of gold, just as a man suffering from cold in the forest runs after a phosphorescent light in a marshy land, considering it to be fire.
Purport: Pariksit Maharaja told Kali-yuga to leave his kingdom immediately and reside in four places: brothels, liquor shops, slaughterhouses and gambling casinos. However, Kali-yuga requested him to give him only one place where these four places are included, and Pariksit Maharaja gave him the place where gold is stored. Gold encompasses the four principles of sin, and therefore, according to spiritual life, gold should be avoided as far as possible. If there is gold, there is certainly illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication. Because people in the Western world have a great deal of gold, they are victims of these four sins. The color of gold is very glittering, and a materialistic person becomes very much attracted by its yellow color. However, this gold is actually a type of stool. A person with a bad liver generally passes yellow stool. The color of this stool attracts a materialistic person, just as the will-o’-the-wisp attracts one who needs heat.”
Srimad-Bhagavatam 5:14:7 Purport
“I am also the gambling of cheats, and of the splendid I am the splendor. I am victory, I am adventure, and I am the strength of the strong.
Purport: There are many kinds of cheaters all over the universe. Of all cheating processes, gambling stands supreme and therefore represents Krsna. As the Supreme, Krsna can be more deceitful than any mere man. If Krsna chooses to deceive a person, no one can surpass Him in His deceit. His greatness is not simply one-sided–it is all-sided.”
“Krsna says that “Amongst all kinds of cheating business, I am gambling.” Gambling… There is in gambling… It requires some expert brain, how to play gamble. So that expertness, that part of expert endeavor, is Krsna. So we should not think, “Oh, because Krsna is gambling also, so let us engage and devote in gambling.” No. Krsna is everything. Krsna is everything, but we have to select favorably, not unfavorably.”
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Caitanya-caritamrta, 01-05-67, New York
“…Gambling of all description, even speculative business enterprise, is considered to be degrading, and when gambling is encouraged in the state, there is a complete disappearance of truthfulness.”
“If one accepts a poverty-stricken position because of losing money in business, gambling, prostitution or intoxication, no one will praise him, but if one becomes poverty-stricken by giving all of his possessions in charity, he becomes adored all over the world. Aside from this, if a benevolent and merciful person exhibits his pride in becoming poverty-stricken by giving his possessions in charity for good causes, his poverty is a welcome and auspicious sign of a great personality.”
Srimad-Bhagavatam 8:20:10 Purport
“Every educational or progressive method has got do’s and do not’s. So the asuras, they do not know what they should do and what they should not do. That is asura. And a devotee, he knows what to do and what not to do. There is no illicit sex. That is “do not.” But there is “do” also, that “If you want sex life, then get yourself married according to religious principle and get a wife and beget nice children.” That is “do.” And “No illicit sex,” that is “do not.” Side by side. “You do not take intoxicants”–that is “do not.” But “You take Krsna prasadam and be intoxicated with Krsna’s love”–that is “do.” Similarly, “You do not indulge in gambling, but you indulge in gambling.” What is that gambling? That gambling is “Dedicate your life to Krsna and see the result.” That is also gambling. That is also gambling, because everyone is engaged in his own business, but if he’s advised, “You give up this business. You take to this Krsna business,” that is also gambling because he does not know what will happen.”
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Bhagavad-Gita, 09-12-73, London
“Just like money. Money you can utilize for duskrtina and for sukrtina. You can utilize your money for drinking wine, illicit sex, meat-eating and gambling. And you can utilize your money for Krsna’s service, for offering yajnas, for constructing temple, sacrifices, push on the sankirtana movement, Krsna consciousness movement. So money is not good or bad. As you utilize it… Similarly, merit, merit also, there. You have got already merit better than the animals, but you have to utilize it for proper service. That is called Krsna consciousness. Consciousness we have got, merit we have got. Simply we have to utilize.”
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Bhagavad-Gita, 10-10-73, Bombay
“Four kinds of sinful activities–associating with woman for illicit sex, eating meat, intoxication and gambling–are allowed for the ksatriyas. For political reasons, sometimes they have to take to these sinful activities. Ksatriyas do not refrain from gambling. One vivid example is the Pandavas. When the Pandavas were challenged by the opposite party, Duryodhana, to gamble and risk their kingdom, they could not refrain, and by that gambling they lost their kingdom, and their wife was insulted. Similarly, the ksatriyas cannot refrain from fighting if challenged by the opposite party. Therefore Prthu Maharaja, taking consideration of all these facts, inquired whether there is any auspicious path. Grhastha life is inauspicious because grhastha means consciousness for sense gratification, and as soon as there is sense gratification, one’s position is always full of dangers. This material world is said to be padam padam yad vipadam na tesam, dangerous in every step (Bhag. 10.14.58).”
Srimad-Bhagavatam 4:22:13 Purport
“Gambling is also an art. Ksatriyas are allowed to exhibit talent in this art of gambling. By the grace of Krsna, the Pandavas lost everything by gambling and were deprived of their kingdom, wife, family and home because they were not expert in the gambling art. In other words, a devotee may not be expert in materialistic activities. It is therefore advised in the sastra that materialistic activities are not at all suitable for the living entities, especially the devotees. A devotee should therefore be satisfied to eat whatever is sent as prasada by the Supreme Lord. A devotee remains pure because he does not take to sinful activities such as gambling, intoxication, meat-eating and illicit sex.”
“Prabhupada: Yes, gambling means betting. That is gambling. People are betting. You put one dollar, and if you gain, you get ten dollars. Otherwise, you lose this one dollar. This is gambling. They’re gambling in Christian churches also, in the Western countries. So gambling is considered sinful activity. I do not know… One Mr. Bhattacarya, a barrister, he was educated in England. So he told there is some island, Monte Christo? There is gambling?
Devotee: Monte Carlo.
Prabhupada: Monte Carlo, yes. He said that there are gamblers, and one gambler loses everything, he commits suicide, immediately, and he’ll go on. That’s all. Nobody cares for him. He told me. It is a fact? So just see the gambling. They bring all their fortunes to stake and they lose everything. And then, out of frustration, takes revolver and shots himself, dies, and it is thrown on the street or in somewhere. Nobody cares. Just like cats and dogs. So there is free gambling in Monte Carlo?
Devotee: Very, very wealthy people, they (indistinct) there.
Devotee: There is free gambling in London.
Prabhupada: Oh, everywhere. Any big city. In Calcutta, Bombay, everyone gambling. When you get money, then gambling. The horse race is also gambling. Horse race. This gambling, drinking, meat-eating, these things were all unknown in India. They did not know how to drink. These Britishers introduced. There is still a lane, a street, Porterly Street. There was a woman of suspicious character. She was supplied big bottles of wine, and she used to canvass rich men’s son to take wine, and it was distributed free. In this way wine was distributed, and people began to drink, gradually. And I have seen a tea set committee. They… Advertising tea, preparing tea nicely. “You take this tea, you’ll not feel hungry, you’ll be cured from malaria…,” and so many things. And people come and take tea in this way. Now any man is taking tea. In the morning they’ll gather in the tea stall. You see. So people, they did not know what is gambling, what is drinking, what is meat-eating. So these things were introduced gradually. Still, no rigid Hindu house will allow meat cooking in the house, still. No. If you want to if you want to eat meat, you can go to hotel, but at home you cannot cook, meat-eating.
Yamuna: Guru Maharaja, in our missionary work, if we’re forced to live with (indistinct), should we just talk about that same topic or should we avoid the (indistinct) at all?
Prabhupada: No. If we can find out a suitable place; but it is difficult nowadays. That we have to tolerate. What can be done? Let others do whatever they like. We can preach that “Do not do it,” but you cannot force, because the whole world has gone in these four principles of life, this eating, meat-eating, drinking, gambling. And so our regulation is very strict. You see? If we say that “You do whatever you like,” then many people may come and join. (laughter) But we are not going to say that. We… Our principle is that better not to have any cow than to have a cow, disturb him. You see? Ekas candras tamo hanti. If one person can understand this Krsna consciousness science, in future there is hope that he can make many other persons to this knowledge of Krsna consciousness. Although it is very difficult. In Bhagavad-gita it is said, manusyanam sahasresu. But if you can deliver even one man in your life, then you’ll be doing a great service for Krsna. It is not required that you have to deliver hundreds and hundreds of men, so-called. No. If you can train only one man, that’s a great service to Krsna. You saved one man from the clutches of maya. It is so nice thing. So do it peacefully, and as far as possible. People may accept or not accept, but we shall do our duty. That’s all. But why will not accept? You have accepted it. You were also addicted to these habits, but you have accepted it. Similarly others may accept. We have to do it.”
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam, 09-17-69, London
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.