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Gambling And Sikhi?


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Dear SPN sangat,

I was wondering what Gurbani said on gambling and what your interpretation on it was?

Thanks in advance!

singhisking101 ji

I think there is nothing specific or literally about gambling. But think of the emotional and mental dynamics of the gambler. Is gambling about attachment, obsessions, and greed? And curiously about a blind and superstitious trust in fate, luck, chance which is misplaced faith? Those are subjects about which gurbani speaks loud and clear. My thoughts only. icecreamkaur


Aug 30, 2006
It is true there is nothing specific of this kind. You will have noticed Gurbani is not like other religion's scripts. SGGS never talks about homosexuality, sex before marriage or the like. Even things like stem cells and cloning.

Waheguru have given human being the highest of intelligence to like life to the fullest and live in His Will. So there is no need to discuss or tell the human all this things.

Also as this world advances and news things are discovered and we progress.
Just like islam discribed the female reproduction organ (internals) which turns out to be wrong. Or just like the Christians discribed the earth being flat and they were wrong.

SGGS is the truly universal and is truly the one guidance meant for the modern world.
SGGS speak of no superstiuous, no believe in caste, no believe in good days/months/year. No believe in Idols. I love it when Guru Nanak said why not give the milk to the poor who needs rather than to wash the temple or statue of a god.

Lovely. Maafi, i got carried away.

Sarbjit Singh


Apr 3, 2005
I think gambling falls into the category of intoxicants which are clearly banned. Gambling affects the brain in a similar way to other drugs-causing highs/lows and addiction. As with other intoxicants, once you start the line gets blurred and its hard to know how far you can go before you get sucked in so best to stay clear!

Findingmyway ji

You do have a point but I don't think we can put gambing in the list of intoxicants.For some reason almost all people are addicted to something,Like TV ,internet,Work,Career,Making more money etc And in almost all things the logic how far you can go is there.


Aug 17, 2010
World citizen!
Kanwardeep Singh Ji,
You make an excellent point.
However, gambling has been shown scientifically to have a similar effect on the brain as cocaine:

All the other things you have mentioned can have a positive effect or be educational. The only function of gambling is to provide a short term "high". Gambling causes a number of social problems similar to those caused by drugs, eg. increase in crime, domestic violence and there are many societies around to tackle the problems. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/41277.php

I have never heard of a group called TV anonymous ;)

So, to summarise, I equate gambling to drugs on a scientific basis and the fact it has absolutely no positive or educational function that will bring one closer to Waheguru
Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
For your information & consideration:

Gurbani cautions against speculation or gambling for making money. It is best to evaluate the investment avenues based on merit. A speculator or gambler ultimately goes empty handed. Bhagat Kabir says:
ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਕਿਛੁ ਗੁਨੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ਚਲੇ ਜੁਆਰੀ ਦੁਇ ਹਥ ਝਾਰਿ ਕਬੀਰ ੧੧੫੮/੩ <O:p></O:p>
Always go by merit; the gambler leaves with both hands empty (Kabir, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p 1158 ).


Mar 24, 2005
I never thought anyone going to Gurbani to find out weather its endorses or rejects it. I guess I was wrong. Maybe soon some one will go through Bani to find out if the wife beating is OK or not:banghead:


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Thanks for finding that tuk, Soul_jyot ji!:)

And thanks to you because I was then able to find several other shabads about gambling. That was great!

The tuk is not endorsing or rejecting gambling. Sant Kabir ji is teaching us how gambling can turn our priorities into actions that are damaging. And he is teaching in contrast alternatives that have more value in the end.

ਲੰਕਾ ਗਢੁ ਸੋਨੇ ਕਾ ਭਇਆ ॥
lankaa gadt sonae kaa bhaeiaa ||
The fortress of Sri Lanka was made out of gold,

ਮੂਰਖੁ ਰਾਵਨੁ ਕਿਆ ਲੇ ਗਇਆ ॥੩॥
moorakh raavan kiaa lae gaeiaa ||3||
but what could the foolish Raawan take with him when he left? ||3||

ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਕਿਛੁ ਗੁਨੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ॥
kehi kabeer kishh gun beechaar ||
Says Kabeer, think of doing some good deeds.

ਚਲੇ ਜੁਆਰੀ ਦੁਇ ਹਥ ਝਾਰਿ ॥੪॥੨॥
chalae juaaree dhue hathh jhaar ||4||2||
In the end, the gambler shall depart empty-handed. ||4||2||
Last edited by a moderator:

Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.
Please allow me to pitch in my 2 cent worth.

Let's not take the word "gamble" in one parochial manner. It has multiple meanings depending on the context. Let's check what the word means according to the dictionary:

gam·ble <script>play_w2("G0027900")</script><object style="margin: 1px;" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,0,0" height="21" width="13">

<embed src="http://img.tfd.com/m/sound.swf" flashvars="sound_src=http://img.tfd.com/hm/mp3/G0027900.mp3" menu="false" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" height="21" width="13"></object> (g
l)v. gam·bled, gam·bling, gam·bles
v.intr.1. a. To bet on an uncertain outcome, as of a contest.
b. To play a game of chance for stakes.

2. To take a risk in the hope of gaining an advantage or a benefit.
3. To engage in reckless or hazardous behavior: You are gambling with your health by continuing to smoke.

v.tr.1. To put up as a stake in gambling; wager.
2. To expose to hazard; risk: gambled their lives in a dangerous rescue mission.

n.1. A bet, wager, or other gambling venture.
2. An act or undertaking of uncertain outcome; a risk: I took a gamble that stock prices would rise.


As one can notice its different meanings depending on what we are talking about or under what context we use this action.

For example, I forget to bring my wallet to work many a times that has my driver's license which is a big gamble, in case one is stopped by the Police.

Every breath we take is a gamble because the next one is not guaranteed.

Any business transaction is a gamble because we do not know the end result which is only measured in profit and loss or may be a wasted effort if either of them does not happen.

Walking alone at night can be also a gamble and many many more things.

Many of you may not know that I have had a pacemaker since I was 45. I get shocks at times as a last resort to stop my heart beating very fast. Sometime the device controls it and when it can not, it gives me a shock which feels like a donkey's kick for a couple of seconds. In fact it happened a couple of weeks ago when I was at my son Trimaan's doctor's with him. I am glad it did not happen when I was driving. So, every time I drive, it is a gamble but I have to, in order to make a living.

Gurbani is a beautiful tool box that teaches us where our personal boundaries are. Doing Nitnem daily or studying Gurbani is not meant to make us parrots but to discover something new about ourselves everyday that can be used in our lives to make ourselves better.

In other words, it teaches us how to live with calculated gamble in all aspects of our lives.

Now, as I live in Henderson, NV, which is on the outskirts of Las Vegas, where I moved in 1998, I used to play Black Jack every weekend because that was our family's weekend outing for dinner and chitchatting or when other family members came to visit us from other parts of the country.

After playing for half an hour, I used to get bored and go home. Luckily, I have never lost in my life. If I had played more often and longer, then the loss would have been guaranteed. If everyone won, then we would not have these sand castles called casinos which have very attractive facades made of papier mache.

I very very rarely play Black Jack now,only when someone is in town. For me this kind of gambling is like entertainment because it always has a limit, just like watching a good show which also costs money.

The best part of Sikhi is that it gives us the foundation to be good people in life and goodness is not just in black and white but how to take the best out of the grey hues that surround us in a productive manner.

Lastly, I want to thank Narayanjot ji for putting the whole salok by Bhagat Kabeer which in nutshell tells us that if we gamble our house and clothes, then we will be homeless and naked.

Tejwant Singh

Joginder Singh Foley

Jan 26, 2008
Stoke On Trent
In the words of a line from the title track from my favorite album "The Ace Of Spades" by my favorite heavy metal band
MOTORHEAD "and gamblings for fools" all of life is a risk being T-Boned by some idiot that runs a red light, being hit by a
lighting strike or asteroid, weither or not you catch some nasty illness etc etc etc is a gamble, but the form of gambling by placing mony
on the outcome of a sporting event,lottery,who's gonna be the next prime minister at the next general election is gambling
or risk taking that should be avoided by anyone who considers themselfs a Sikh of the Gurus as gambling causes simaliar social
problems to individuals,families,communities etc that alcohol/drugs/tobacco cause
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