Gambling & Vedas

Gambling & Vedas

प्रावेषा मा बृहतो मादयंति प्रवातेजा इरिणे वर्वृताना: !

सोमस्येव मौजवतस्य भक्षो विभीदको जागृविर्मह्यमच्छान् !! ऋ10/34/1

      Rolling of dice on the board attract me like rolling of water down the desert . I get drunk like imbibing sweet wine at the sight of these rolling dice. These dice though made of विभीतक – Terminalia Belerica बहेडा – wood or seeds, are indeed alive and indeed speak to me and lead me astray.

न मा मिमेथ न जिहीळ एषा शिवा सखिभ्य उत मह्यमासीत्‌ |
अक्षस्याहमेकपरस्य हेतोरनुव्रतामप जायामरोधम्‌ || ऋ10.34.2

      Here is my wife who never treats me with disrespect, nor shows her being ashamed of my ugly behavior, has been a well wisher  and a great help to me and my family/friends. I have   even abandoned such a loving wife, for love these Dice.

द्वेष्टि श्वश्रूरप जाया रुणद्धि न नाथितो विन्दते मर्डितारम |
अश्वस्येव जरतो वस्न्यस्य नाहं विन्दामि कितवस्य भोगम || ऋ10.34.3

       Even his wife deserts a gambler. Even his mother in law  despises him.  Even as he begs for  no body lends him any help. A gambler becomes useless like an old horse, and receives neither comfort nor respect.

अन्ये जायां परि मृशन्त्यस्य यस्यागृधद्वेदने वाज्यक्षः |
पिता माता भ्रातर एनमाहुर्न जानीमो नयता बद्धमेतम || ऋ10.34.4

       When the covetous eyes of Dice corner the wealth of a gambler, the winners drag his wife by her hair, and even the close relations of the gambler stand as mute witness to the spectacle.

यदादीध्ये न दविषाण्येभिः परायद्भ्योSव हीये सखिभ्यः |
न्युप्ताश्च बभ्रवो वाचमक्रतँ  एमीदेषां निष्कृतं जारिणीव || ऋ10.34.5

      When I make a resolution to desist from gambling in future, my friends taunt me. And these rolling multicolored Dice become so irresistible that I run to them like an adulterous woman.

सभामेति कितवः पृच्छमानो जेष्यामीति तन्वाशूशुजानः |
अक्षासो अस्य वि तिरन्ति कामं परतिदीव्ने दधत आ कृतानि ||  ऋ10.34.6

       An able bodied person covets  the wealth of a rich man and enters the casino  to win attracted by the  stacked tokens plied in front of his opponent.

अक्षास इदङ्‌कुशिनो नितोदिनो निकृत्वानस्तपनास्तापयिष्णवः |
कुमारदेष्णा जयतः पुनर्हणो मध्वासम्पृक्ताः कितवस्य बर्हणा ||ऋ10.34.7

       For the loser these Dice  act like sharp weapons giving immense pain like those from physical injuries. On loss of everything even the members of his family suffer great discomfort. For the winner these Dice bring good news like the birth of his son, but the looser is completely ruined.

त्रिपञ्चाशः क्रीळति व्रात एषां देव इव सविता सत्यधर्मा |
उग्रस्य चिन्मन्यवे ना नमन्ते राजा चिदेभ्योनम इत कर्णोति || ऋ10.34.8

      The dice play their own independent game and are a law un to themselves. They bow not before wrath of the mighty . Even King pays them homage.

नीचा वर्तन्त उपरि स्फुरन्त्यहस्तासो हस्तवन्तं सहन्ते |
दिव्या अङ्‌गारा इरिणे नयुप्ताः शीताः सन्तो हर्दयं निर्दहन्ति || ऋ10.34.9

     They jump up and down , without any hands they overpower.  They are cold to touch but for the loser they are hot like burning ambers.

जाया तप्यते कितवस्य हीना माता पुत्रस्य चरतः क्व स्वित |
ऋणावा बिभ्यद धनमिच्छमानोSन्येषामस्तमुप नक्तमेति ||R10.34.10

      The gamester is abandoned by his family. In debt ever in  fear he wanders, Anxious for wealth , he enters strange households at night to plunder.

स्त्रियं दृष्ट्वाय कितवं ततापा Sन्येषां जायांसुकृतं च योनिम |
पूर्वाह्णे अश्वान युजुजे हि बभ्रून्‌ त्सो अग्नेरन्ते वृषलः पपाद || ऋ10.34.11

      He suffers pain at seeing happy households and women folk. But in the afternoon he again reverts to the game of dice, and is reduced in  penury to warm himself in the cold of night , by open fire.

यो वः सेनानीर्महतो गणस्य राजा वरातस्य परथमोबभूव |
तस्मै कृणोमि न धना रुणध्मि दशाहं  प्राचीस्तदृतं वदामि || ऋ10.34.12

      He raises his empty hands in salutation of the dice and prays to the dice for their mercy  to win in the game.

अक्षैर्मा दीव्यः कृषिमित्‌ कृषस्व वित्ते रमस्व बहुमन्यमानः |
तत्र गावः कितव तत्र जाया तन्मे विचष्टे सवितायमर्यः || ऋ10.34.13

     Vedas give the wise counsel thus: Game of Dice is not for YOU. Perform the divine work of a farmer with family your household with cows, and bounties of nature.  Rejoice in the riches of your labor. 

मित्रं कृणुध्वं खलु मृळता नो मा नो घोरेण चरताभि  धृष्णु |
नि वो नु मन्युर्विशतामरातिरन्यो बभ्रूणां प्रसितौ न्वस्तु ||ऋ10.34.14

      Gamester now wiser, tells the dice not to entice and bewitch him any more  . He tells the dice to allow him to be friends with himself and bring grace upon his own life.

      He asks  the dice to destroy his enemies by holding them under their spell. And tells  the brown seeds to instead   play useful role by their  (medicinal) properties for welfare of society.

      Here reference is made to विभीतक – Terminalia Belerica बहेडा – wood or seeds of which the dice used to be made . These brown  herb seeds areबहेड, which are used as dice are instead  put to the excellent medicinal use as essential component of Ayurvedic medicine Triphala. त्रिफला , that consists of हरड, बहेडा, आमला.

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