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Singapore Festival of Hinduism 2020
Vedanta in Daily Living Series
Unearthing the Gem within You!
Singapore Festival of Hinduism 2020
Singapore Festival of Hinduism (SFH 2020)
Hindu Centre Singapore organized the first-ever Singapore Festival of Hinduism (SFH) from 20 – 29 November 2020.
Packed with 23 events over 10 days, the online Festival aimed to inform, educate and entertain all to learn more about Hinduism. The events covered everything from the main tenets of Hinduism to important scriptures, explanations on Hindu iconography & Deities, prayers, yoga, health and fitness, the science and art of home layout, holy places in the world for Hindus, Temples in Singapore and Temple etiquette, music & dance and much more.
All 23 enriching sessions are available online now below!
Inauguration of first-ever Singapore Festival of Hinduism by Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth (MCCY) Minister Edwin Tong & in-attendance, Mr R. Jayachandran, Chairman, Hindu Endowments Board (HEB).
This will be followed by a talk titled “Hinduism – World View & Key Tenets” by Mr. S Ravenderan.
The checking of astrology in one’s life, particularly at birth and prior to marriage, is still widely practised in Singapore among Hindus. Indian Astrology, also known as Jyothisha, is the traditional Hindu System of Astrology, where Planets/Grahas and their influences on human lives are analysed. Basics on what Karma is and how it manifests itself into the system of Indian Astrology will be explained. The purpose of this science and its relevance in today’s world will also be discussed.
SFH2020 – Exploring the Significance of Hindu Deities & A Virtual Tour of Singapore Temples
A sharing by Hindu Youth Network & HEB Contrary to prevailing misconceptions that Hinduism has many Gods, Hindus believe that there is an ultimate Higher Being with many forms and names. Given that the Hindu diaspora community speak different languages and cultures, they have understood the ultimate Higher Being in their own distinct way. In this program, we look forward to sharing with you the concept of God, the significance of deities, and their iconographies. We will also take you on a short virtual tour around Temples and Deities that are commonly revered in Singapore.
SFH2020 – A Glimpse Into The Sacred Heart Of The Ramayana
Dr Chitra Sankaran (NUS) in conversation with Mr V Prabhakar Rao, Ms Vandana Aggarwal and Dr Uma Natarajan. The talk is followed by a book launch entitled “Ramayana 108”- Questions & Answers on the Great Epic & Story of Lord Rama & Sita.
SFH 2020 – Event 6: The Beauty of Music and Dance in Hinduism
SIFAS (Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society) will present a panel talk on the interlinked connections between traditional and ancient Indian Art forms and Hinduism by exploring the origins of Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam dance forms and tracing its growth and evolution. Indian classical music, Sangeetha is one such ancient art practised in India, that finds its roots in the Vedas and has been an integral part of Bharatiya cultural history, while dance was considered the highest form of worship through veneration and the invoking of divinity through performance. Drawing on references to literary, historic and religious texts, the panel of speakers will address nodes of creative expressions that have been developed and fostered by Hinduism.
SFH 2020 – Event 7: Empowering the Body and Mind through Yoga
Presented by Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir
Join us to explore the potential of Hathayoga on your wellbeing. Explore the philosophical foundations of Hathayoga, its approach to refine our very existence and its strategies to attain a joyful life. Watch Hathayoga demonstrations from the skillful instructors of Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir that cover Cleansing techniques, Asanas, Surya namaskars, Meditation and more.Understand the various dimensions of human existence as laid down by Yoga, the inter connection of those dimensions and ways to purify them.
Get inspired and take ownership of your wellbeing.
How many Gods are there in Hinduism? Why are there Shaiva, Shakta and Vaishnava denominations? Is there a truly superior God at all? This talk will answer these questions and dispel popular mis-information surrounding God in Hinduism. It shall also elucidate the form and attributes of God as revealed in the Hindu scriptures and the different forms of worship revealed therein. Finally, strategies on how we can deepen our connection with the creator and lead a more God-centered life will be shared.
SFH 2020 – Event 9: Ayurveda: Secrets to Health & Healing
A sharing by Dr CT Ratheesh Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems. It was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a balance between the mind, body, and spirit. It aims to promote good health, rather than fight disease. Dr Ratheesh’s presentation will provide knowledge and information on how to use “food as medicine” for a disease free life. Food builds, Food kills & Food heals. It is very important to understand what you eat, when you eat and how you eat. This knowledge will help change your life, charge and rejuvenate your body mind and spirit completely. We can mitigate our health issues by learning the art of “food as medicine”.
SFH 2020 – Event 10: Virtual Pilgrimage Journey to the World’s Holiest Hindu Temples
Hindu Temples are centres of positive energy, syntheses of arts & dharma and abodes of God. They also serve as places of pilgrimage for thousands who journey there to lap up the powerful spiritual energy built up over centuries. During this pandemic, as we are unable to travel to many wondrous temples, join us on a virtual tour of temples across the world to enjoy and experience some wonderful sights. We shall also share some knowledge pertaining to some of these famous Hindu temples. Pack your bags and be ready to feel the vibes! By Mr S Saravanan, Hindu Centre.
SFH 2020 – Event 11: Vaastu Shastra: Science of creating an Auspicious Living Space
A sharing by Mr HD Gupta This Session will help us to know that how Vaastu can help us to be happier in life and enhance our prosperity and health. At the end of session, one will have clarity about valuable hidden secrets of Vaastu. The presentation will cover the fundamentals of Vaastu Shastra, and how it can be applied to business, health, wealth, education and career, and some tips to take away for home improvement.
SFH 2020 – Event 12: Insights into the Significance of Hindu Rituals
The fundamental scripture of Hinduism is Vedas and the life of an Hindu is governed and guided by Vedic principles and knowledge. Thus the rituals are prescribed in Vedas and or other texts like Smritis derived from them, both for the betterment of community and individuals. The rituals for the individual human beings that are better known as Samskaras commence in Hinduism even before the birth and go beyond death also. This presentation will attempt to describe the basis and the details for some of the important major Samskaras from a long list prescribed by our scriptures. Along with the explanation of the core purpose, the procedure and variations in the observations based on regional and family customs will also be brought out to some extent. Presented by Singapore Dakshina Bharatha Brahmana Sabha (SDBBS).
SFH 2020 – Event 13: Vegetarianism: A Healthy Lifestyle Choice
The old adage “We Are What we EAT” rings as true now as ever before. Join Sonal and Renu, two women who are passionate about healthy eating habits, as they have a foodie conversation. They will share tips on a whole range of topics encompassing vegetarianism including the importance of raw food in our diet, the invaluable benefits of fermented food, and their take on ingredients that are transformational for our health and well-being. The session will also include a complimentary cooking demonstration with dishes that are wholesome, easy to make, and taste delicious, reinforcing the fact that vegetarian fare can be both healthy and tasty. Highlights of the Discussion are: – Healthy eating habits – Sources of Protein in a vegetarian diet – Vegetarian options in Superfoods A Q&A session to answer any queries will round off this culinary session.
SFH 2020 – Event 14: The Power of Hindu Chants & Worship
Chants are a mainstay of Hinduism; often vocalised during worship. What are these chants, mantras and shlokas? This talk will give a description of different categories of chants, how they originated and how we can use them to better our worship and thereby strengthen our relationship with God. The presenter will also cover some common, yet powerful chants for daily prayer, describing their efficacy for a happy life. The latter part of the talk will focus on pooja or worship and how one can perform it daily in a simple manner at home.
This fully illustrated talk will cover the origin and development of Hindu religious structures using archaeological remains. It will explain the symbolism and meaning of Vastupurusha Mandala and how the ground plan and elevation of a Temple is related to the human body. The physical experience of visiting a Temple is akin to the spiritual experience of Kundalini rising through meditation over the seven Chakras in the Hindu tradition.
SFH 2020 – Event 16: The Power of Women in Hinduism
Gender equality is no new concept to Hinduism. Women in Vedic times were accorded with equal opportunities and responsibilities, and there are renowned female sages, literature characters and Vedic scholars revered by the Hindu community worldwide. In this program, Losheini, Vinodhinee Thyagarajan and R Karthik will share with you the role & intelligence of women in Vedic times using mythologies and historical narratives as case studies.
SFH 2020 – Event 17: The Sacred Science of Numerology & our Hindu Calendar
The Hindu calendar is an integral part of the life of a practising Hindu. Naming a child, birth star, time, day. Fixing the marriage date and related attributes are very important- but quite often the lay person does not understand these details. This presentation will take the audience through the basic fundamentals of the Panchangam (Hindu almanac)- right from historical aspects to current principles of applications. There will also be a short coverage of Indian numerological principles.
SFH 2020 – Event 18: Life Lessons from the Bhagavad Gita
Supporting download (PDF) for this talk: https://sfh.sg/wp-content/uploads/202… The Bhagavad Gita is like a mirror to reflect on one’s own imperfections and provides guidelines for us to courageously overcome these shortcomings. In this talk, the important lessons one could learn from the Bhagavad Gita would be highlighted. Further, the profound impact of these lessons on an individual’s life is elaborated, as well as the potential that could have to transform and enrich one’s life within and without.
SFH 2020 – Event 19: Meditation & Mindfulness: A Sacred Path to Self-Awareness
The ancient wisdom of the Hindu scriptures has comprehensively laid out all aspects of a sacred life. Over the ages, we have been practicing the ‘dharma’ along with certain ‘rituals’ to achieve a fulfilling and wholesome life. In the modern era, we need to remind and revisit our purpose and meaning of life. We also need practical ways to achieve ‘awareness’ of self in the context of ‘oneness’ with the universe and the immense power we have – ‘Aham Bramhasmi’ (I am part of the Ocean of Consciousness).
Practicing conscious Mindfulness and meditative practices can help us to cut down the ‘noise’ and create a distance from the ‘chaos’ of the modern world while developing an attitude of ‘observance’- Sakshi bhav. In this session, we will discuss more about how these practices have become more important than ever and how we can include them in our daily life without getting overwhelmed, and become more self-aware, achieve a calm, non-judgemental attitude, filled with unconditional love, kindness, gratitude, and patience.
SFH 2020 – Event 20: Hinduism – Building a Foundation for Children
“My child has just converted to another faith?”. “He does not pray these days”. “He doesn’t believe in God”. “He is an atheist”. We have heard the above phrases on innumerable occasions in the Hindu community. Are parents of the children responsible in some way for this outcome? This talk shall address the role of Hindu parents in instilling Hindu values in children from young. It shall also discuss how a foundation of trust and belief in God can be cultivated in children from young, which will stand them in good stead to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.
A virtual quiz will be conducted for all children up to the age of 16 years. The quiz will use YouTube and the Kahoot app and children can respond to the questions online with their parents’ assistance. The topic for the quiz will be Srimath Valmiki Ramayanam.
SFH 2020 – Event 22: Story-telling Competition for Children
A storytelling competition on Bhakta Charitram for children. The storytelling is open to all participants up to 16 years old. The participants are free to recite stories of any great Bhaktas from history.
SFH 2020 – Event 23: Hindu Festivals – Bouquet of Devotion & Fun!
Hindu Festivals are colourful, joyous and offer a bewildering diversity of food, activities and celebrations. Sometimes the religious significance of a festival may be lost amidst the pomp and pageantry. This presentation will focus on the underlying values and objectives of some of the major Hindu festivals. It will also illustrate how such festivals can be celebrated joyfully and at the same time be used to strengthen one’s relationship with God to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.
SFH 2020 – Events 24, 25: Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Hinduism, Closing Address
This Ask Me Anything! session is a grand finale to this Singapore Festival of Hinduism 2020. It is meant to be an open forum for any kind of questions you may have on the religion, its tenets, its practices, its festivals, and whatever you can think of.
This session is followed by the Closing Ceremony with an address by Swami Samachittananda (Head of Sri Ramakrishna Mission Singapore) and in-attendance, H.E. Mr. P Kumaran (High Commissioner of India in Singapore)
23:10Q & A: What stays constant with the jiva after death and continues into every birth?
27:10Q & A: Does knowledge acquired, remain in every birth?
27:30Q & A: Doesn’t the level of ignorance reduce in every birth?
28:42 Comment: Ignorance of aparokshna jnana is constant
31:20Q & A: Does our punya increase and papa decrease in every birth?
34:02Q & A: Do jivas merge or do they maintain their individuality?
34:22 Comment: Pursuit of suka and duka nivrtti is also constant in every birth
35:13Q & A: Can the karma acrued in many, many births be dissolved in just really 1 birth?
38:20 There is no law to tell you can’t get it here and in this birth
39:23 Comment: Since you are already born as a human being, you are somewhere in the spiritual path
40:05 To have been able to be in this this Advaita path, you already have great Ishwara anugraha!
41:02 Clarification on aparoksha jnana- is it instaneous?
43:32Q & A: Please explain Maya as individual vs Total
47:03Q & A: Result-oriented life leads to frustration & stress normally. Isn’t the pursuit of moksha also a result oriented pursuit? Should I just let it come to me naturally? Are there other life goals that one can pursue other than moksha?
50:30 Comment: There are different levels in the pursuit for moksha
51:02 Vedanta journey must also be pleasant. If not, something is wrong.
51:40Q & A: Is somebody commiting suicide also the result of sanchita (past) karma?
52:30Q & A: People who do tapas, they may be doing it joyously. We may be incorrect to perceive their tapas as tough/ unpleasant right?
54:12Q & A: What is a trigger to cross from a good intellectual understanding to really seeing the reality?
57:52 When I remove what I am not, What I am Shines! (Using an example from ThiruManthiram)