by Swami Sivananda
Gambling is another dreadful curse. It is a great friend of Satan or anti-God. It is Maya's great weapon. It has broken the hearts of many. It tantalises, tempts and deludes. A little gain in the first betting itches the nerves of the gamblers and forces them to bet a large sum. Eventually they lose everything and return home with black or weeping faces. Man becomes bankrupt by gambling. He weeps bitterly. Yet he will not leave it. Maya havocs through wrong habits, wrong thinking, wrong Samskaras and through bad company, gambling, cinema, drinking, smoking and meat-eating. The intellect becomes clouded and blunt. Reason and discrimination fail. The intellect becomes perverted. An enormous amount of money is wasted uselessly in gambling and drinking. No virtue will dwell in the heart of a man who gambles. Gambling is a net spread by Maya to entrap the bewildered souls. There is no evil greater than gambling. All vices cling to a gambler. No real gain will come to a gambler. He is always drowned in sorrow. He drags a cheerless life from day to day. Card-play and horse-racing are modifications of gambling only.
O man! It is very difficult to get a human birth. Life is meant for God-realisation. Perennial joy and eternal bliss are in God. Do not waste this precious life in drinking, gambling, smoking and meat-eating. What will you say to the God of Death at the time of your death? No one will help you. You will carry your own thoughts and actions. Give up gambling, meat-eating, drinking, cinema and smoking from this very second. Give me a definite promise now. I am your friend and well-wisher. Wake up now. Open your eyes. Become a virtuous man. Do good actions. Sing Hari's Name. God's Name is a potent antidote for all evil habits. Study religious books. Seek the company of sages and devotees. All evil habits will be eradicated. Serve. Love. Give. Purify. Concentrate. Meditate. Realise this very second. Time is the most precious thing in the world. Ignorant people waste their whole time in playing cards and in gambling. What a horrible state of affairs! Highly deplorable! How powerful is Avidya or ignorance! People are lamentably sunk in the mire of darkness! Pitiable specimens of humanity! Slayers of Atman! May Lord Krishnaswami, Antaryami, the Indweller of your heart, give you strength to overcome all these evil habits! May His blessing be upon you all!