Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna


  • Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_633-1


The earliest record of gambling is found in the Rig Veda. In the tenth book of the Rig Veda, there is a reference of gambling in the Dyuta Sukta “ode to the dice,” where a gambler addresses the dice which has destroyed his life and begs him to spare him [1]. Vatsyayana listed 64 Kalas as bahya Kalas “external arts,” out of which Dyuta Visesha “art of knowing specific gambling” is an art of gambling which is to be learned formally. Etymologically, the Sanskrit lexicon Kala means performance of art. The Hindu Scriptures describes 64 Kalas “arts” and 14 Vidyas “sciences.” It is said that Lord Balaram and Krishna learned 64 Kalas in just 64 days under the tutelage of Guru Sandipani Muni. The history of gambling is linked with the history of religion. In the Mahabharata, Yudhishthira gambles away his entire kingdom, his freedom, and his wife’s freedom, indicating Yudhishthira had a severe gambling addiction [1].


Gambling in ancient India is known as Dyuta Krida, and...

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  1. 1.
    India Bet (2012) History of Gambling in India, 2012, February 9. Retrieved from https://www.indiabet.com/gambling-in-india/495185/history-of-gambling-in-india

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Languages and LiteratureShri Mata Vaishno Devi UniversityKatraIndia