Hinduism is the oldest religion founded by the “Rishis” (renowned sages) since ancient times. Unlike other religions Hinduism did not originate from any single prophet or at a particular period of human history. Its uniqueness lies in that it is based on the super-conscious experiences and spiritual realizations of a gamut of saints, sages and seers who also modified the practices to suit the changing needs of the people over the years. It is more a way of life than a religion and is based on the Vedas, the world’s most ancient scriptures. Hinduism is liberal and never attempts to convert anyone.
Hinduism believes in only one “God” but allows freedom of worship of different forms of God. The Trinity, made up of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the absorber, has gained prominence in the Hindu pantheon. They are not three independent and separate Gods, but three different aspects of the same Supreme God personifying the creation, sustenance and dissolution respectively of the Universe. It is similar to the role played by the same person as the father at home, as the boss in the office and as a customer in the shop. The various deities the Hindus worship should also be considered in the same light, as different aspects of the Supreme God, manifesting in different forms for specific purposes.
The concept behind image worship is a noble one. Images are means by which we conceive a form, remember God and offer our prayers. Temple is a structure we put up with devotion for installing God. Prayer or worship is a loving offering to God. Worship performed with faith and devotion generates peace and joy in our minds. Festivals are the means by which the community as a whole worships God. Ceremonies, rituals and festivals are the integrating and uniting forces in the Hindu tradition.
Hinduism In Singapore
More than a billion people in the world practice Hinduism. There are almost 180,000 Hindus living in Singapore whose religious needs are met by 24 well-established temples. Rituals and recitation from the Vedas, always conducted by specially trained priests, are still an important part of worship at all Hindu temples.
Non Hindus Visiting Temples
There is no restriction on non-Hindus visiting Hindu temples in Singapore. Visitors are required to observe normal decorum such as proper attire, not wearing footwear, not smoking, not consuming liquor or meat and not to be a nuisance to other worshippers. Hindu temples are open daily generally from 7.00am to 12noon and 6.00pm to 8.30pm.
Hindu Endowments Board