Is this gambling?

Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Devotees in my country are organizing a raffle of a painting of Radha and Krishna. If I deposit 8 dollars in their bank account, then maybe I will get the aforementioned painting, but only if I win the raffle.

All the collected money will be used to help in the construction of a new ISKCON temple.

When they asked me if I could help them, I immediately thought, "This is gambling", but I didn't want to directly confront them. Then I asked "Did your gurudeva authorize this?" and they answered "Yes, since the beginning". Then I silently stepped away.

Now I'm very confused. My question is, is this gambling or not? Are they breaking the regulative principles? What should be done, what should I do?

I'll be very grateful for your answer. Hare Krishna.

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  • there was exploitation of peoples money there. they would sell relics (calling these (straw ,feathers etc.)were things belonging to jesus when he was on earth) people would buy them thinking it would please god.
    they used to make money by selling forgiveness letters.people would sin all the weak & could buy them and be forgiven of their sins by god.
    the pilgrims were also cheated of money by selling them badges, holy water, certificates to prove you had been etc. and completed your journey.

    -----then what about all the money they collected thus far. where was it used ,how was it used. who enjoyed ?---------

    this is also same in india today, people are exploiting innocent & ignorant ones in the name of god. asking to do this puja ,that puja ,so many process, also ive seen ganesha collection etc... thus getting donations from them and they enjoy it themselves.
    but how the money is being used in krsna consious movement - for printing & distributing scriptures,distributing prasadam, organizing festivals like janmastami etc, building temple where there is disemination of spiritual knowledge from bhagvad gita & bhagavatam,there is congregational kirtans , bhakti sastri courses, bhakti vriksas, preaching etc. and so many more. everything is utilised for benefitting humanity and bringing people closer to krsna.

    but we dont see all this in churches - are their followers given up meat eating ,gambling,intoxication & illicit affairs. how can they be saved from hell without following regulative principles,without chanting gods name daily etc.. is there transformation of the heart in the followers of church. are they teaching how to achieve love of godhead there?. what are they doing with all that money. how is that benefitting people.

    this is gambling - tricking others in so many ways to aquire money from them for personal enjoyment.

    if churches are using such money for the welfare of people & god's service with genuine intension then that also is not gambling.
  • actually if the money is being used for temple construction (krsna seva) u certainly must support it.
    gambling means that u play certain game,or buy or sell wherein the loser of the game will have to give money to the winner or so ...lik that... this is simply that one tricks or cheats others to gain money and enjoys sense gratification with it. he is exploiting others in such ways to enjoy himself.

    but here devotees are not doing all this so that they can exploit people and enjoy that money themselves. on the contrary they are using them for krsna's temple.this also benefits the money giver - they will get bhakti.
    maybe because u saw that only the winner of the raffle will get the painting ,this has appeared like gambling. but it is not so. they have conducted such contests so they people in general (those who dont understand the significance of bhakti seva) can take part,deposit & benefit spiritually.
    whatever is helpful for krsna's service we can adopt that. but for our sense gratification we shouldnt adopt- this is gambling.

    everything ,all money people are using is ultimately the sole property of krsna. no one else is its owner, we are only meant to use it in krsna's service & something for our bodily maintenence. so by giving something to krsna ,we are not losers but we are gainers.
    • "Prabhupada: Yes, gambling means betting. That is gambling. People are betting. You put one dollar, and if you gain, you get ten dollars. Otherwise, you lose this one dollar. This is gambling. They're gambling in Christian churches also, in the Western countries. So gambling is considered sinful activity. I do not know... One Mr. Bhattacarya, a barrister, he was educated in England. So he told there is some island, Monte Christo? There is gambling?
      Devotee: Monte Carlo.
      Prabhupada: Monte Carlo, yes. He said that there are gamblers, and one gambler loses everything, he commits suicide, immediately, and he'll go on. That's all. Nobody cares for him. He told me. It is a fact? So just see the gambling. They bring all their fortunes to stake and they lose everything. And then, out of frustration, takes revolver and shots himself, dies, and it is thrown on the street or in somewhere. Nobody cares. Just like cats and dogs. So there is free gambling in Monte Carlo?
      Devotee: Very, very wealthy people, they (indistinct) there.

      What Prabhupada is talking about when he says "They're gambling in Christian churches also, in the Western countries"?

  • If you give the money for possible wining the paintings on raffle, that's gambling, because you can lose your money.

     But if you give it as donation, without expecting anything in return, then its not gambling.  

    If you give the money as donation, but expecting something in return, then you are no better then the merchant.

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