Friday, January 18, 2019

Stop gambling

Buddha said one must avoid six ways of squandering wealth.

1. Heedlessness caused by intoxication.
2. Roaming the streets at inappropriate times. 
3. Habitual partying.
4. Compulsive gambling.
5. Bad companionship, and 
6. Laziness are the six ways of squandering wealth.

Among them one is Compulsive Gambling.  

As per the sacred Buddhist text known as “Sigalovada Sutta: The Layman’s Code of Discipline.”  (“Long Discourses of Buddha”) Buddha saw gambling as an unskilful activity. He said there are these six dangers of being addicted to gambling. 

1. In winning one begets hatred. 
2. In losing one mourns the loss of one's wealth.
3. One's word is not accepted in court. 
4. One is avoided by both friends and officials. 
5. One is not sought after for marriage because people say a gambler cannot support a wife.
6. Squandering wealth on dice leads to one's decline.

Gamble is to risk money on games of chance. Under extreme condition gambler put on his house, land  and even loses his wife and children. 

In general there are three types of gambling:

- recreational.
- habitual.
- addictive. 

The first type is when someone occasionally plays cards or dice for small amount or buys a lottery ticket to support a charity.

Habitual gambling is to gamble a significant but manageable percentage of one's income on a regular basis. 

Addictive gambling is the inability to resist the opportunity to gamble and thus be constantly in debt. And unfortunately many fall in this category.

From a Buddhist perspective, recreational gambling would be considered harmless and not against the Precepts. 

However, because all gambling plays on at least some element of greed, it is certainly unbecoming for Buddhist organizations to raise funds by lotteries and games of chance. 

Habitual and addictive gambling are psychologically, socially and spiritually harmful because they are motivated by and reinforce delusion, avarice (insatiable desire for wealth) and the mistaken belief in good and bad luck.

For the Buddha, it is being virtuous that makes one lucky, not having a winning streak. 

He said: `If a gambler were to win a fortune on his very first throw his luck would nonetheless be insignificant. 

It is many times more lucky to conduct oneself wisely with body, speech and mind and after death be reborn in heaven.

Even Guru Rinpoche is against gambling as he said "Gambler will die of stomach disorder". 

Gambling also brings disharmony in the house and the families. It will harm the well being of ones own children.

Gambling is illegal in Bhutan.
According to legal statute 393, citizens or visitors will be guilty of gambling in Bhutan if that person "stakes or wagers something of value" on a "contingent event" or "contest of chance" not under the person's "control or influence" in common bargain with a second party whereupon the said person will gain "something of value in the event of a certain outcome.”

The law also states that the crime of gambling is considered a petty misdemeanor. 

Think seriously and Stop this evil and unwanted game.

Cultivate Generous Thought and practice giving gifts to the Sanghas.

The Buddha once explained that it is a meritorious act even to throw away the water after washing one's plate with the generous thought:...