Buddhist Fables

Buddhist Classics

Life and Legends of Buddha

The Illustrated Jataka & Other Stories of the Buddha by C. B. Varma Introduction | Glossary | Bibliography

057 – The Great Gambler

Litta-Jataka, Bharhut

Game of dice, the Thai version

Once, there lived a rich businessman, who was smart and young. He was fond of gambling.

One day, when he was on a business tour, he stayed in an inn. There, he was invited for a game of gambling by a veteran gambler who was reputed as ‘invincible’ in the game. When the game was on, he noticed that his opponent had resorted to foul play by stealthily gobbling up the dice and pretending it to be lost. This made the young man lose the game.

The young man, however, did not accept his defeat. He thought of teaching a lesson to the other gambler. So, when he returned home he smeared the dice with poison and dried them carefully. Next day, he went to his opponent and challenged him for a fresh round of game. The other gambler again stealthily put the dice into his mouth. But once again, he was detected by the young gambler, who yelled, “Swallow. Swallow. O my dear! Now, You will know what have you swallowed is but poison and not the dice.”

The poison was soon at work. The cheat writhed in pain. His eyes rolled and he fainted. As the young man did not have any intention to kill the fellow gambler, he took out some emetic from his BAG AND made him drink, which induced vomiting.

This cured the other fellow. He came back to his senses and never dared to deceive others in the game of dice.

See Litta Jataka Jataka Pali No.91.