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Is running a business a form of gambling ??

Hello All,

I am self employed Landscape gardener in the UK , It is very consuming in terms of energy both physical and mental and to some degree emotional.

It can raise quite a lot of anxiety in my mind for example if i might or might not win a contract or whether we are building our garden correctly , whether i have priced correctly and so on.

Recently i started to wonder if intact business is a form of gambling ..certainly i feel i am not always "truthful " which that regulation is supposed to encourage

Thanks for your thoughts

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  • Is there any presiding diety of gambling?
  • Sevak

    Hare Krsna 

    Is stock, commodity & currency market trading a gambling?


    Name is irrelevant. We have to understand the activity, how it works and principles of Krsna consciousness. 

    Trading can happen with 3 objectives 1. Arbitraging 2. Hedging 3. Speculation

    Arbitraging is to make make very marginal profit with almost no risk.

    Hedging is actual risk management for purpose of an ongoing business using the markets

    Speculation is pure gambling. 

    Majority of trading that happens on exchanges is speculation(at least 85%). Arbitration is prominent in bond markets and currency. Hedging is a legitimate purpose, but it doesn't happen on exchanges. It mostly happens in OTC. 

    There is also investment in stocks which is long term(Min 3 years) ownership of business for dividends or even appreciation. Investment is not gambling. 

    Irrespective of whatever is the purpose if it involves deception, cheating, promotion by propaganda etc which are very common the it is gambling. 

    Thus trading on exchange is not gambling only if one takes delivery of underlying asset for business purpose or for long term investment without making any effort to deceive anyone. 

    Almost 99% of the time this is not the case. There is lot of deception , cheating all the time. 

    YS Bharat

  • Sevak

    Hare Krsna 

    1. Is running a business a form of gambling ??

    Gambling involves 3 things - 1. Exposure of capital/wealth/property  2. Risk  3. Profit or loss based only on chance (without hard work or effort)

    In most regular businesses only first 2 are involved. Even farming has risk of crop failure due to unpredictable weather, fire etc. These 2 are inherent in any business. But gambling is characterized by chance to profit by risking the safety of capital without efforts. It also is characterized by anxiety & greed of the persons involved. 

    Vaishya or mercantile activities (including farming, dairy etc) traditionally do not have so much anxiety. Because they know their business and they understand that profit and loss are part of trade. 

    On the other had gambling like in Mahabharata dice game is an attempt to gain more(exponential) wealth by staking existing wealth. there is no effort/ hard work involved. Whereas business involves a lot of effort. 

    Much of financial trading on stocks, etc can be considered gambling because the attempt is to make money from money without effort.

    2. Certainly i feel i am not always "truthful " in business

    śreyān sva-dharmo viguṇaḥ
    para-dharmāt sv-anuṣṭhitāt
    svabhāva-niyataṁ karma
    kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam

    It is better to engage in one’s own occupation, even though one may perform it imperfectly, than to accept another’s occupation and perform it perfectly. Duties prescribed according to one’s nature are never affected by sinful reactions. (BG 18.47)

    In the business field also, sometimes a merchant has to tell so many lies to make a profit. If he does not do so, there can be no profit. Sometimes a merchant says, “Oh, my dear customer, for you I am making no profit,” but one should know that without profit the merchant cannot exist. Therefore it should be taken as a simple lie if a merchant says that he is not making a profit. But the merchant should not think that because he is engaged in an occupation in which the telling of lies is compulsory, he should give up his profession and pursue the profession of a brāhmaṇa. That is not recommended.(Purport, BG 18.47)

    3. Business can raise quite a lot of anxiety 

    It is normal in any occupation to have some level of anxiety. Even a mother taking care of a baby will have anxiety 24 X 7 that baby might hurt itself while she is not attending the baby. 

    But anxiety will generally reduce over a period of time in any business because we learn from experience. Also we start depending on Krsna. Landscape gardening is unlikely to be gambling in most circumstances.

    Hare Krsna 

    YS Bharat

    • sound advice thank you

  • E-Counselor

    Hare Krsna Prabhuji,


    Your profession is wonderful. Everyone is in business to earn money. To earn money, one cannot reveal one's profit element in any quote, it has to be added to the cost of the materials and labour used. It is not gambling by any stretch of imagination.

    Work related tension and pressures are there in all jobs, business and profession. To combat that, it is recommended that one does power japa every morning, connect with the lord, 16 straight rounds of attentive chanting, then one is ready to face the world. To add a rider here, I am not able to follow it myself. My japa happens throughout the day, as and when I get time. Still this is what is recommended - attentive chanting and then get to work. 

    Maybe one day you could use your skills to prepare a garden for Krsna, in one of the eco villages or farms coming across the globe. 


    Your servant,

    Radha Rasamayi DD

    • If someone asked me to start, run, manage a garden id definitely be interested 

    • Im seeing more and more how i need to get up early, like before sunrise because my brain/mind and anxiety  starts "ticking " and thinking about work very as soon as i get up, 

      I woke at 4.30am this morn but couldn't get up , hopefully more luck tomorrow ! 

      • E-Counselor

        Hare Krsna Prabhuji,


        What I have seen is - if you are serious about getting up early on a sustained basis, then it would be a good idea to train yourself in this. Whatever is your normal waking up time now, for the next 2-3 days, max a week, put the alarm for 15 minutes before that time. Accordingly, try to sleep 15 min earlier than normal sleeping time. Suppose you wake up at 8.00 am now, then you put alarm for 7.45 am till you are comfortable. Next week, put alarm for 7.30 am and so on, till you reach the magical 4.00 am waking up time. All the while one has to be practical, what is the routine one has - we have to practise long term, therefore we have to ensure we get adequate sleep also. Waking up early should not result in other health issues related to sleeplessness. The basic idea is - the simpler one's life is, the easier it is to maintain the standards.

        Regarding your willingness to prepare and/or maintain a garden for Krsna, my humble suggestion is to please contact your local temple president and offer your services. In all probability, it will be without remuneration, so offer only when you are prepared to do as a service. Else, upfront mention your expectation so that there is no confusion later. 

        Thank you. Nice connecting with you prabhu. Its so nice to note that Krsna can be served in so many ways.


        Your servant,

        Radha Rasamayi DD

  • Volunteer

    Hare krsna prabhuji,

    All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!!

    I can relate to your situation as I (sort of) run a business of my own. I dont think running a business is a form of gambling. You are still earning your livelihood by honest means. Gambling falls in a different category.

    I do understand the anxiety of sourcing the clients/work and constantly trying to find new avenues of income. This is where it becomes harder for one (krsna devotee) to concentrate while chanting as the mind always tricks you to think about business, hours, more money etc etc.

    I would suggest, go about doing the business like you are doing but with a humble and honest prayer that you have to do this for your living and leave the rest to Krsna. Alternatively, if possible (depending on your situation and circumstances) look out for a stress free job like admin etc. Sometimes it is much better to be a salaried employee than self employed.

    Hope that helps prabhuji.

    Srila Prabhupad ki jai!!!

    Hare krsna

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