What Does Sikhism Say About Gambling?

Are you a Sikh wondering how your faith views gambling? In the world of Sikhism, ethical conduct is considered highly important and this includes opinions on practices such as gambling.

Our article will guide you through the philosophy of Sikhism towards gambling, from its historical context to its current stance. Let’s delve deeper into understanding how this ancient religion perceives one of humanity’s oldest pastimes!

History of Sikhism and Gambling

Sikhism, as a religion that emerged in the 15th-century Punjab region of India, immediately distinguished itself through its principles. Ethics and honesty governed every aspect of life for Sikhs, including wealth acquisition.

From that time till now, Sikh teachings advocate for earning a livelihood through honest means rather than risky ventures like gambling.

Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the holy book of Sikhism received utmost respect from the community. Its scriptures guide Sikhs towards righteous living which inherently condemns any form of unethical behaviour such as theft or gambling.

The principle is simple – no individual should gain unjust benefit at another person’s expense. Henceforth, money earned by questionable methods such as odds gaming contravenes this core belief.

Prohibited Behavior in Sikhism

Sikhism prohibits non-logical behavior, behavior under the influence of Maya, sacrifice of creatures, non-family oriented living, and the existence of a priestly class.

Non-logical behavior

Sikhism discourages non-logical behavior, which includes engaging in activities like gambling. Non-logical behavior refers to actions that lack reasoning or sound judgment. Sikh teachings emphasize the importance of making decisions based on wisdom and rationality rather than relying on chance or luck.

Gambling, by its nature, involves unpredictable outcomes and taking risks without considering the logical consequences. This contradicts the principles of Sikhism, which encourages individuals to make choices that are morally upright and beneficial for oneself and others.

In Sikh philosophy, it is believed that one should use their intellect to make informed decisions rather than relying on chance or luck through gambling.

Behavior under the influence of Maya

Under the influence of Maya, individuals may engage in non-logical behaviors that go against the teachings of Sikhism. Maya is the illusionary power that can cloud one’s judgment and lead them astray from righteous actions.

It is believed that gambling falls under this category as it involves risking money or possessions for uncertain outcomes. This behavior contradicts Sikh values of living a truthful and honest life, as well as practicing selfless service and avoiding greed.

Gambling can be seen as a selfish act that harms both oneself and others, which is why it is considered prohibited in Sikhism.

Sacrifice of creatures

Sikhism strongly advocates for the protection and respect of all creatures, which includes animals. One aspect that goes against this principle is gambling. When people gamble, they often bet money that could be used to support themselves or their families.

This act takes away resources from others and can lead to financial hardship. Sikh teachings emphasize the importance of selfless service and honest livelihood, both of which are undermined by the negative impact of gambling on individuals and society as a whole.

Non-family oriented living

Sikhism emphasizes the importance of family and community, promoting a lifestyle that is centered around strong familial relationships. Non-family oriented living goes against Sikh values as it places individual desires above the well-being of the family unit.

In Sikhism, family serves as a support system where love, care, and responsibility are shared. Engaging in non-family oriented living can harm not only the individual but also disrupt the harmony within the family and community.

By prioritizing selfless service to others and maintaining close-knit bonds with loved ones, Sikhs strive for a life that is grounded in unity and mutual support.

No priestly class

Sikhism differs from many other religions in that it does not have a hereditary priestly class or priests. In Sikhism, everyone has the ability to connect directly with God without the need for intermediaries.

This means that there is no specific group of individuals who are considered more spiritual or holier than others. Instead, Sikhism encourages every individual to develop their own personal relationship with God through meditation and self-reflection.

This principle promotes equality among all followers of Sikhism, regardless of their social status or background.

Sikhism’s Stance on Gambling

Sikhism prohibits gambling as a sin and teaches followers to avoid greed, instead encouraging selfless service and honest livelihood.

Prohibits gambling as a sin

Sikhism unequivocally condemns gambling as a sinful act. Within Sikh teachings, gambling is viewed as an activity that goes against the principles of honesty and integrity. The religion places a strong emphasis on living a righteous life and engaging in actions that benefit others rather than pursuing personal gain through chance or luck.

Sikhism teaches its followers to avoid greed and instead focus on earning merit through hard work, selfless service, and honest livelihoods. By prohibiting gambling, Sikhism encourages individuals to make ethical choices that contribute positively to society and promote fairness for all.

Teaches to avoid greed and take merit-based actions

Sikhism teaches its followers to avoid greed and instead focus on taking merit-based actions. In gambling, the desire for monetary gain often stems from a greedy mindset. Sikhism emphasizes the importance of selfless service and honest livelihood, where one’s actions are driven by merit rather than personal gain.

By engaging in gambling, individuals can be swayed by their own desires and become consumed by greed, which goes against the teachings of Sikhism. Instead, Sikhs are encouraged to prioritize ethical conduct and make choices that benefit themselves and others based on their merits and abilities.

Encourages selfless service and honest livelihood

Sikhism teaches the importance of selflessness and honest living. It encourages individuals to serve others without expecting anything in return and to earn a livelihood through ethical means.

This means that gambling, which involves taking money from others without providing any valuable service, goes against Sikh teachings. Sikhism emphasizes the principle of giving back to society and promoting the welfare of others, rather than engaging in activities that solely benefit oneself.

Additionally, Sikhs are encouraged to earn their living honestly by working hard and practicing good values such as integrity, fairness, and compassion towards others. By embracing selfless service and honest livelihood, Sikhs strive to lead a meaningful life based on principles of morality and social responsibility.

Overall, Sikhism promotes values that discourage indulgence in activities like gambling which can harm others or oneself. Instead, it emphasizes the significance of contributing positively to society through acts of selflessness and earning an honest living.


Sikhism categorizes gambling as a forbidden act, alongside stealing and forming dubious associations. Sikh teachings promote ethical behavior and discourage actions that harm others or oneself.

While the scriptures may not explicitly mention gambling, it is generally believed to be incompatible with Sikh values and principles of honesty, selflessness, and merit-based actions.

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