Gambling is considered sinful and it’s one of the four regulative principles one promise not to break at the day of initiation.
But what is gambling?

Srila 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. But 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, here? There is gambling?
Monte Carlo.
Srila Prabhupada:
Monte Carlo, yes. He said that there are gamblers, and one gambler loses everything, he commits suicide immediately, and he’ll go. That’s all. Nobody cares for him. He told me. It is a fact?
(Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.2, Sept. 17, 1969 in London.)


So gambling means risking. You may win, you may loose. The state of anxiety that follows is detrimental to spiritual life, because someone in such an adrealinic state of mind can’t meditate, can’t understand philosophy, can’t chant mantras, can’t think of Krishna.

There are so many types of gambling giving an agitated state of mind. Like when people passioned about something where someone wins and the other loses. Like football games, or box matches or even political elections. One is glued to television with popcorns in the hands seeing who wins and who loses. Things like that. The win doesn’t depend on you, a not calm state of mind comes.

One could say that, “then anything can be gambling, even opening a store or any other business.” In one sense it is, but the odds are in your favor because success depends also on you. If nobody wants your merchendize you loose, but much depended on your work.

Therefore you should not do things that depend entirely on chance.


– Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
21 feb 2020


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