Sri Ram Janam Bhoomi Prana Pratishta competition logo.jpg

Sri Ram Janam Bhoomi Prana Pratisha Article Competition winners

Rāmāyaṇa where ideology and arts meet narrative and historical context by Prof. Nalini Rao

Rāmāyaṇa tradition in northeast Bhārat by Virag Pachpore


From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Dyuta means ‘gambling’.

Gambling with dice play, was an ancient pastime especially for kings.

Dyuta in Ṛgveda[edit]

The Ṛgveda[1] contains the piteous laments of a gambler.

Dyuta in Mahābhārata[edit]

The notorious game of dice between Yudhiṣṭhira and Śakuni on behalf of Duryodhana, described in the Mahābhārata, is now history. It was the root-cause of the Kurukṣetra war.

Dyuta in Purāṇas and the Dharmaśāstras[edit]

In the purāṇas and the dharmaśāstras there are statements of condemnation of the gambling with dice-play. At the same time, rules to regulate it also have been described. It was perhaps necessary to control it since it existed as an unavoidable evil.

Regulation of Dyuta[edit]

  • The dice pieces are made of vibhītaka wood.[2]
  • The game has to be conducted in a public place supervised by a sabhika[3] and some expert gamblers, who will act as umpires.
  • The defeated person has to pay a part of his loss to the king as tax which may be 5 to 10 per cent.
  • It is the duty of the sabhika or the agents of the king to see that the stake money is paid by the losing party to the victor.
  • In circumstances where the loser loses everything, becoming a beggar, the king prevents it by providing for the bare maintenance of the loser.
  • The kings used to permit gambling centers as one of the methods for finding out thieves and criminals. An arranged dice-play is a ritual part of the Rājasuya sacrifice.


  1. Ṛgveda 10.34
  2. Vibhītaka wood is a kind of myrobalan.
  3. Sabhika is the one who gives the place and collects some rent for it.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

Contributors to this article

Explore Other Articles