RIG VEDA AND TAMIL VEDA ON GAMBLING (Post No.4907)

RIG VEDA AND TAMIL VEDA ON GAMBLING (Post No.4907)

 

Research Article Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 12 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  10-33 am  (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4907

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

 

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Dice is a Vice; Be Wise and slip out Nicely! –The Rig Veda (10-34)

 

It is very interesting to see both Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world, and the Tamil Veda Tirukkural, the greatest Tamil book, oppose gambling. Both point out the evils of gambling. This message is very relevant even today. Unlike the olden days now Governments themselves are encouraging gambling by conducting lotteries in almost all the countries. Only when poor people lost everything and started stealing and robbing, they put some limits for spending or gambling in casinos. All the people knew this is only an eyewash. Governments get more funds from horse races, betting shops and lotteries. In London and other western cities every bazar street has at least three to four Betting shops. It makes people to think that they can make good money without working. Even Manu, the oldest law maker in the world lists gambling as an evil.

 

The longest epic in the world with two million lines, The Mahabharata, is an epic based on the evils of gambling. In those days, even kings gambled their countries.

 

Let us compare the famous Gambling Hymn in the Rig Veda and the chapter on gambling in the Tamil Veda Tirukkural written by Tiru Valluvar.

The author of the Rig Vedic gambling hymn (10-34) is

a seer called Kavasa Ailushan.

Picture posted by Lalgudi Veda

 

It is in the last mandala of the RV (10-34). This describes the lament of a gambler and the advice he gives to the world. A very interesting poem!

 

Dice is a Vice; Be wise and slip out Nicely!

The poem has 14 stanzas or mantras; the summary of the poem is: –

Gambling gives pleasure like the Soma drink from Mujawan mountains ( no one is sure about its location; only guess work).

 

My wife was very nice to me and my friends. She never got angry; but I drove her out after losing in the gambling (What a shame!)

 

Wives don’t like it; mother and mother in law hate it. They think that the person is going wrong.

My father, mother, wife and sons say- We do not know this fellow, take him out! (like a drunkard on the roadside)

Every time I go to the casino; I think I am going to win! But the dice favours only my opponent (very much disappointing)

 

The dice go up and down and dance. They are like the coal that burns my heart.

The gambler goes to others’ houses in the night ( to steal or borrow money)

The gambler feels remorseful when he sees the status of his wife and wives of others. He started the day with good hopes and finished it miserably.

Now I open both my palms to show I have nothing on me now. (I am bankrupt)

Good Advice!

Do not play with the dice.

Better till your lands and be content (with what you harvest there)

Only when you feel content, thinking that is plenty, you will feel happy and regain your wife. This is God’s advice. Savita Devi told me this!

(To the dice coins, the gambler say)–

Don’t be angry with me; be my friend. Do not attack me. Let your anger fall on the misers. Go to my enemy and let him fall in your trap.

 

Family might have enjoyed the winning money; but they are not ready to share the sin.

The game of the dice was played in public places such as halls (compare it with modern casinos)

The sound of the rolling dice is luring; I vow not to repeat the mistake; but the sound of the rolling dice and friends pull me towards it. I run to it like a woman runs to the meeting place to see her lover.

After losing I look like an old horse ready to be sold (unwanted stuff).

Mysterious Number 53

There is one stanza which baffles every translator.

The group of the avowed gamblers plays the game, divided into three five (tri pancha in Sanskrit); or three times five or in a group of fifty three. – Sayana takes it as 53 coins in the gambling; Ludwik says 15;it shows Vedic language is very difficult to understand. Though we have detailed report about Dice Games in Nala Charita and Mahabharata, still we could not solve this mysterious Tri pancha!!!)

In the same way, ‘To the great captain of your mighty army’ is translated as the big number in Dice by some and  as Kali, the losing throw by others. Vedic language is several thousand years old; no one can translate it correctly; Griffith attempted to translate it in English and say that the meaning is obscure, the meaning is uncertain in every other page; Mischief makers like Max Muller say they followed Sayana, but use their own interpretations; Sayana of 13th century himself only guessed the meaning several thousand years after the Vedic seers recited it!

The dice are made with Vibhitaka seeds- no one knew the plant!

 

TIRUKKURAL

Now let us compare it with the Tamil Veda Tirukkural:

Tiru Valluvar described the evils of gambling in ten couplets ( Chapter 94; from 931 to 940)

 

931.Do not take to gambling even if you can win.

What can the fish gain by swallowing the baited hook?

  1. To win once, the gambler loses a hundred to foes. What good can gamblers gain in life? Nothing but loss.

933.Were a man to speak incessantly of that which he gains by rolling dice, the wealth would leave him and pass on to others.

934.Gambling increases miseries and ruins one’s fame. There is nothing that reduces one to poverty like that.

935.Many who took pleasure in gambling and gambling booths, proud of their skill in dice have been ruined.

 

(like the Rig Vedic seer, Tiru Valluvar also talks about casinos/gambling booths. Like Rig Veda, we see the miserable status of the gambler here, loosing fame and standing like on old unwanted horses, ready to be sold).

938.Gambling ruins a man’s fortune, makes him resort to falsehood.

This can be compared with the night visit of the gambler in the Veda (for stealing or borrowing).

 

  1. The five things

clothing

wealth

food

fame and

learning/education

avoid a person who takes to gambling

 

  1. Passion for gambling grows with every loss. It is craving for life which grows through all suffering.

This can be compared to a woman running to see her lover kin the Rig Veda. The more she is separated the more she longs to see him. A person who is sick wants to live longer.

In the Kural couplet 936 , Tiruvalluvar refers to Hindu goddess of Misfortune Muudevi (Mukati in Tamil). He says gambling is the ogress misfortune.

Manu also refers to the evils of gambling in at least 20 couplets.

–Subham–

 

 

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