Archive for January 14th, 2013

Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2013 22:29:21
From: “Gautam”
Subject: Baba Story: Never Think of Participating in Lottery, Gambling Etc




The below story was recounted by a margii from Varanasi, Shrii Narendra Vikram. Hence the “I” refers to Shrii Vikramji:

In the 1960’s, Baba was placing a big emphasis on social service work. There was tremendous pressure to increase the number and quality of social service projects. But, as an organisation, we lacked the requisite money to finance all these works. The projects were many and the number of margiis was less. Plus our economic means was quite limited. A distinct lack of money limited what we could do.


Around the time, the Indian government started a lottery.

I thought this was a very good way for us to increase our capital. My plan was: We should purchase lottery tickets in the name of Ananda Marga and Baba will shower His grace. By that way we will possess the winning ticket and gain huge money. Then we will be able to perform a lot of social service projects. It seemed like the perfect plan.

I told everyone that this was the perfect opportunity and that I would raise the matter with Baba as soon as possible to gain His approval, i.e. grace.



Soon thereafter, I was in Baba’s presence and He gave me opportunity to ask a question.

I said, “Baba, the government of India has started a new lottery game, so I thought we should participate and purchase tickets. With the winnings, we could then do maximum social service.”

Baba’s immediate reply was, “No, this is very bad. Margiis will never win. It is just a waste of money. There will not be any gain. The only outcome is that people’s greed will increase. This is a bad idea – never think of participating in the lottery, or indulge in gambling etc.”

So Baba shot down the idea of playing the lottery. I told everyone of Baba’s decision – some were disappointed, but we were all strict in following Baba’s mandate.

True margiis will not win anything if they buy a lottery ticket.

That concludes the story of Shrii Narendra Vikram. Here are further thoughts on this important topic.


1. By playing the lottery, he mind becomes stained – degraded. And one’s penchant for greed goes on increasing.

2. Lotteries enable the powerful politicians and wealthy shareholders to further exploit the masses because instead of demanding an end to socio-economic exploitation etc, the common people just bask in the false hope of winning the lottery and joining the ultra-rich. Instead of pushing for social change and justice, the sedated masses avoid revolutionary approaches and sit back and play the lottery. By this maneuver of creating lotteries, political leaders maintain the status quo – they are not pressured to respond to social ills.

3. Some lotteries are worth huge sums of money. This gives the notion that societal systems are not founded on rewarding those who work hard and gain success, i.e. meritocracy, rather it is all just due to luck. People rely on the luck of the lottery to enhance their lot in life. A distinct portion of society operates in this way. When people think chance and not hard work and ingenuity are the case of one’s success or lack thereof, they have fallen into a very dangerous and harmful outlook.

4. Where there is the so-called opportunity to become rich based on “chance” or “luck”, there will be rampant corruption. This happens wherever lotteries are in vogue.

5. With lotteries come internet scams telling users that they won the lottery but first they must pay a particular fee or charge in order to collect their winnings. Dominated by greed, people fall prey to the scam.

6. Another scam related with lotteries is that there are agencies that proclaim to have a system to pick the winning number for you. Here again, due to greed, people fall prey to this.

7. Those who are struggling economically often gamble away money that should have been used to buy food and clothing for the family, or pay rent etc. So state-supported gambling and lotteries often increase the financial woes of economically-poor families.

8. Studies show that gambling also gives way to alcohol and drug abuse.

9. In societies where gambling is legal and lotteries are in vogue, people tend to indulge in get-rich-quick scams and rely less on working hard and proper money management.

10. Studies show that the dollar amount spent by the government to help poor families who lost money in lotteries and gambling is more than the income the state received from gaming (gambling and lotteries).

11. All in all, there are many social woes associated with gambling: Drugs, prostitution, poverty, alcoholism, financial debt, etc. There are two addendums to this posting that highlight the social ills related with lotteries and gambling.

The overall idea is that when people look for material gain but do not achieve and instead lose what they have – as happens with those who gamble – then they become mentally disturbed: Frustrated, angry and depressed. In that imbalanced state of mind, they turn to all kinds of vices (tobacco, alcohol, drug, crime, sexual violence etc) as a means of coping with their gambling problem.


Greed is part of avida maya, which is in the mind.

“A temptation such as lobha (avarice) is a principle of avidyámáyá. It can only be overcome by reducing the influence of avidyámáyá through intuitional practice (sádhaná). One will never be able to keep away from temptation without overcoming the influence of avidyámáyá. This is possible only through progress in intuitional practice.” (1)


As Baba has discussed in numerous discourses, when one gives way or indulges in a particular propensity, like greed etc, then that propensity increases. That is the theorem: A propensity gets stronger as it is activated. So if a person indulges in greed or anger, than that propensity or vrtti will gain a greater hold over that person. That is the way it works.

Baba says, “The peculiar nature of these propensities is this: if they are given indulgence, they increase. And they easily come under control with a slight effort; only in the initial stage, one must struggle a little to control them.” (2)

With regards to playing the lottery or gambling, as one thinks about winning money, then their desire increases and their greed multiplies. In turn, one will gamble more or buy more lottery tickets. One’s psychic pabulum focuses more on money and in so doing the mind becomes stained – degraded. And one’s penchant for greed goes on increasing.

So from beginning to end this is not good for sadhakas.


“A person who is greedy for money becomes totally preoccupied with the thought of making money; a person who hankers after name and fame continuously harbours thoughts about becoming famous.” (3)

“The mind becomes so infatuated with its crude objects that ultimately it becomes converted into matter. It follows the path of negative pratisaincara.” (4)

“When the tendency towards acquisition in the physical world is extremely strong, people’s tendency to assimilate spiritual or intellectual things is usually noticeably weaker. In that condition, their thirst for the material world becomes very intense.” (5)


“The present-day materialism has brought humanity to this predicament. Its consequences are dreadful. The irrational thirst for acquisition of material things is termed “greed”; whereas the endeavour to assimilate things in the spiritual world is harmless and blameless. And the attempt to assimilate something in the psychic world, if it is directed towards the welfare of humanity, is also harmless. Otherwise, it pollutes the minds of people and makes them intolerant: it leads to conflicts between dogmas and theories and degrades people to the level of animality.”
“In the past, the world has witnessed many struggles between dogmas, which have caused much bloodshed; this was a regular occurrence in the Medieval Age. And in the present day also, we witness clashes between one theory and another, which cause no less bloodshed; rather the bloodshed is greater than before. The degree of intolerance has increased immeasurably. People have lost faith in their fellow human beings; one state has lost faith in other states. In all spheres of life these days, people think one thing, say another thing, and do something entirely different. That is, hypocrisy is now at its peak.”
“Now the question is: What is the motivation behind this? It is the tendency to assimilate ideas without the spirit of welfare – and, still more than this, the tendency to acquire the objects of material enjoyment in ever-increasing quantities.”
“So whether in the material world or in the intellectual world, the predominant tendency that makes today’s people, both individually and collectively, rush headlong without control, is the instinct of greed. The propensity of greed, if not controlled by rationality, or benevolent intellect, or spiritual practices, will lead to premature death. Nothing can save human beings from this. This instinct of greed has brought the present humanity to such a state that people no longer consider anything as sinful. Rather, they consider the “sin psychology” as a mental weakness, and the worst of sins are being glorified as the height of intellect, not only indirectly, but also openly…Lobhah pápasya hetubhútah [“Greed is the root cause of all sins”].” (6)



As Baba explains, within the human mind there is avidya maya which is composed of two aspects: sadripus (6 internal enemies) , and astapashas (8 external fetters). The sadripus come from within and the astapashas are imposed by society.

For instance, hatred is one of the astapahas, i.e. it comes from society. A young baby has not hatred. It will touch urine and feces and not feel badly. A baby does not hate anything. As it grows however, that child will learn hatred from society. In contrast, anger is one of the sadripus, which come from within. A baby does have anger as that is an in-born quality. This shows how the astapashas are imposed by society, whereas the sadripus are part of one’s inherent mental make-up.

In total there are six internal enemies or sadripus: (1) kama (worldly lust); (2) krodha (anger); (3) lobha (avarice / greed); (4) mada (vanity; (5) moha (blind attachment); (6) matsarya (envy).

So greed / avarice is one of the six internal enemies and part and parcel of avidya maya.

Thus the disease behind the lottery and gambling is found in the sadripus because greed for material wealth is one of the six internal enemies. So this penchant for lottery and gambling is embedded deep within the human psyche. If this tendency or enemy of greed is encouraged it will grow and grow. It can swallow one’s entire existence where a person even destroys their family and commits suicide – all due to greed.

Encouraging people to participate in lotteries and gambling is extremely dangerous – it can easily ruin their entire existence.

Now that we have uncovered the root cause of the problem, we should investigate the treatment as well.


Here is the way overcome the negative tendencies of mind related with the sadripus, or six internal enemies, like greed:

(1) Do not encourage avarice; do not let the mind indulge in that way. About this one must be strict – do not loosen the reins. These six enemies like greed should be controlled, harnessed, and not allowed to run free.

(2) One cannot treat is by external pressure or by force, otherwise the person will react negatively. For instance, if laws are put in place that do not allow people to have money, then one of two things will result. Those greedy for money will either get it secretly, or if they are truly suppressed by that law then some other negative tendency of mind will crop up, like sexual indulgence, anger etc. So this problem of greed must be addressed from within.

(3) One should channelise or goad the mind in a positive direction. That greedy attraction for money should be directed toward artistic endeavours, scientific studies, literature review, or social service projects etc. By goading the mind away from greed and toward a productive engagement, then little by little one will gain control over that propensity of greed. One will never be able to eliminate the tendency toward greed entirely. So long as one has a physical body, the potential for greed will be present. But by goading the mind in a sentient direction one will gain control over that propensity.

(4) Sadhana and related psycho-spiritual practices are the excellent ways to free the mind from greed.


Ananda Marga Philosophy says, “Those who are fascinated or tempted by an object can gradually rid themselves of the mental pollution arising from their selfish motives by adopting just the reverse course. Those who are very greedy for money should form the habit of charity and serve humanity through that practice.” (7)


Baba has given us all the tool – do’s and don’ts – building a great human society. When He Himself has told us not to engage in lotteries then we should pay heed to His order.

Baba says, “The habit of making wagers is extremely undesirable. You must avoid lotteries and gambling.” (8)

at His lotus feet,






Here is one interesting side point as this is also related with the sadripus. One of the ripus is mada, meaning pride. In the eastern traditions, pride is not encouraged because how can one think about Parama Purusa if one has pride about oneself. Yet in the west, pride is looked upon as a very positive attribution. People are encouraged to be proud of what they have done. This runs directly contrary to the spiritual approach of tantra.


Some think that those who win the jackpot got that money out of nowhere. But that is not the case. There is no such thing as luck in this universe – everything is an incident. If anyone wins money by gambling or in the lottery, it is not due to luck but rather they are reaping their old samskaras. If they did not win the lottery, they would have received that same amount of money some other ways, perhaps in smaller amounts over time. So those who think that they got this money by luck or out of nowhere are incorrect. Past samskaras are the cause. That is Baba’s teaching and this is how this works. That is why Ananda Marga discourages lotteries.

“Some persons wear different stones such as blue sapphires which change the mode of their experiencing the reactions. It is possible that by this one may get a fortune by winning a prize in a lottery or may get a promotion in one’s employment. This makes people believe that all this has happened due to grahashánti, but it is actually not so. Fate, or the quantum of experiencing the consequences of one’s actions, can neither be changed nor evaded. It was explained earlier that one’s actions that give happiness to others will beget happiness to oneself to the same extent in mental measure. This quantum of experiencing happiness and pleasure cannot be changed. Only the time required for experiencing it can be increased or decreased. Taking again the example of the deposit of 150 rupees, we see that the money intended to be spent in a month at the rate of five rupees a day, can be spent in one day by shortening the period of expenditure and leaving nothing for the remaining twenty-nine days of the month. The change in fate brought about by grahashánti is similar to this. For instance, the one thousand rupees that one gets as a prize in a lottery due to the influence of the blue sapphire, is the person’s own money scheduled to be received by him or her in small instalments over a long period of time. This money is received in one instalment, leaving no balance for the rest of the instalments. Yet getting a huge amount at once makes one believe that grahashánti, or the wearing of a blue sapphire, has changed one’s fate.” (Ananda Marga Elementary Philosophy, How Should Human Beings Live In This World?) (9)

1. Ananda Marga Elementary Philosophy, Why Are People Afraid of Intuitional Practice?
2. Namah Shivaya Shantaya, Shiva’s Teachings – 2 (continued) (Discourse 16)
3. Ananda Marga Ideology & Way of Life – 9, Cognitive Force and Psychic Practice
4. Ananda Marga Ideology & Way of Life – 9, Cognitive Force and Psychic Practice
5. Namah Shivaya Shantaya, Shivas Teachings – 1 (continued) (Discourse 10)
6. Namah Shivaya Shantaya, Shivas Teachings – 1 (continued) (Discourse 10)
7. A Guide to Niyama Sadhana, Shaoca
8. Caryacarya part 2, Society, pt #38
9. Ananda Marga Elementary Philosophy, How Should Human Beings Live In This World?

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