Greed And Gambling Go Together
Gambling is a part of traditional Diwali celebrations. There is no stigma attached to it as it is associated with fun and a loosening of inhibitions. Family and friends come together and a game of cards, for instance, becomes an opportunity to play as well as ‘earn by luck’ as a form of relaxation at the end of the day.
What exactly happens in gambling? The money leaves the hands of a person who is not smart enough to retain it and it goes to the one who has outsmarted him, who is perhaps more intelligent than the one who lost.
The joy of gaining money in initial rounds encourages an individual to play more and risk more money. At this point he may prove to be a wise player. But as he goes on winning more rounds and making more money, his wisdom gets enveloped by greed and ego. He begins to think that he is invincible. The more he wins, the more greedy and foolhardy he becomes. He begins to throw caution to the winds. The twin evils turn him into a stupid person. The moment he falls from his wisdom, the winnings start going away from his hands to the player who has higher intelligence level and a balanced mind at that juncture. Thus the money used in gambling keeps travelling hither and thither, circulating all the while.
Every man has two vrittis or instincts that are very powerful: one is fear and the other is greed. We have this deep fear of losing the things we have acquired in life – wealth, family, friends, relatives, job, prestige, position – lest any of them shall go away from us. And the other is greed, to get what has not become mine so far, to perhaps become a crorepati overnight.
May be in ancient times some wise men identified these two weaknesses of the human psyche and hence invented the game of gambling. Only the wise are able to extricate themselves from the dangerous trap, from the vicious cycle of winning and losing.
Gambling as a sport has been around for thousands of years. The Mahabharata was an outcome of the passion for gambling. In medieval times, people used to place their bets on birds or animals that they would set to fight. Today, gambling has become institutionalized; we have gambling houses where people flock for entertainment and play, and in the hope of winning hugely.
The tools and trends have changed, but that intrinsic desire remains the same. There are race courses, there are casinos. People gamble by betting on the outcome of cricket tournaments and on which party will garner maximum candidate wins during elections. The tricks of the trade and means are different for each type of ‘sattebazi’.
The desire for gambling is an addiction because you find that you cannot stop yourself. You wish to play and risk till you lose all. It’s a zero-sum game, for the one who wins is also a loser in the end. The sudden inflow of money with initial success pampers the ego and so follows other vices. They are like waves of the sea; by the time you manage to get the vices to withdraw, they have devastated you completely.
Lakshmi is portrayed as Chanchala in our ancient scriptures. She is loyal to none. If there is greed, there is gambling. The market for ‘risk and earn by luck’ games is growing. So keep your greed in check!