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How religious is singapore?

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

Guest

Re: Buddhists

Postby Guest » Mon, 27 Jun 2005 8:17 pm

sene wrote:
Christians also seem to be well represented in the upper strata of the socio-economic groups here.


This is due to the English speaking environment here. The fact that they form a large group of people gathering to sing, pray & listen to sermon appeal to the younger generation. As younger people like to widen their social circles. And the religion comes from the west, they tend to regard it as less superstitous than the Chinese religions. Somehow, they have the delusion that things from the west are always more scientific & up-to-date. The other pasture is always greener.

Guest

Re: Buddhists

Postby Guest » Mon, 27 Jun 2005 8:18 pm

sene wrote:
Christians also seem to be well represented in the upper strata of the socio-economic groups here.


This is due to the English speaking environment here. The fact that they form a large group of people gathering to sing, pray & listen to sermon appeal to the younger generation. As younger people like to widen their social circles. And the religion comes from the west, they tend to regard it as less superstitous than the Chinese religions. Somehow, they have the delusion that things from the west are always more scientific & up-to-date. The other pasture is always greener.

Guest

10%

Postby Guest » Tue, 28 Jun 2005 3:38 pm

Anonymous wrote:I am not sure if this apply to all churches, some churches will like their members to donate 10 percent of their monthly income to them. The amount is to be put in an envelop with the person's name written on it. So, at the end of the month, those who have not given enough or not given at all, will be recognised. The people on higher orders of the church will start forming unfavourable thoughts about those who have not given enough. Instead of having a pure & non-discriminating heart towards others, they are doing just the opposite. Do anyone has any view on this?


Well, not all churches discriminate against those who fall short of their tithe. (Tithing is the practice of giving 10% of your income back to God.)
My husband fell short of his commitment a few years back and no one gave us a hard time about it.

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon, 04 Jul 2005 3:06 am

The Chinese bodhisattva (Buddhistic prophet) to whom childless women turn for help. He manifests himself in any conceivable form wherever a being needs his help, especially when someone is menaced by water, demons, fire, or sword. Kuan-yin, whose name means "Who Contemplates the [Supplicating] Sound of the World", along with Samantabhadra, Kshitigarbha (Di-cang) and Manjushri (Wen-shu), is one of the four great bodishattvas of Buddhism. Guan-yin is identified as the male bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, also known as Chenresi in Tibetan, "One Who Hears the Cries of the World".

In more recent representation, Guan-yin is often depicted with distinct feminine features, an effect of Taoistic and Tantric influences from the 8th to 10th century. She is often depicted as the Thousand Armed, Thousand Eyed bodhisattva, and later in a form inspired by the Virgin Mary figures from the West. In many representations, Guan-yin has a child on one arm or appears in the company of a maiden who holds a fish basked or is shown together with Wei-tuo. In other depictions Kuan-yin is shown standing on clouds or riding a dragon in front of a waterfall. As Guan-yin of the Southern Sea, he stands on a cliff in the midst of flaming waves and rescues shipwrecked persons from the sea (which symbolizes samsara, the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth). He usually holds a lotus blossom or a willow twig and a vase containing heavenly dew or the nectar of immortality.
Guan-yin is also worshipped in Japan as the goddess Kannon by both Buddhist and Shinto groups.


A personal essay from a freind
Kuan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of compassion & mercy has been my patroness and mother since 1993.

Kuan Yin is perhaps one of the best loved Goddesses of China and the Chinese. She is most often seen sitting on a lotus, the flower of enlightenment, holding a vase of the dew of compassion. She is sometimes seen with a lion or children in her lap or her arms. Kuan Yin is also know as the Goddess of fertility, healing, love and "She who hears the cries of the world". Images of her can be found in homes, temples, and within 1,000s of shrines, grottoes besides roads and shaded pools. People of all ages bring her gifts of fruit and flowers, but not in supplication for there is no need. Kuan Yin, the merciful and gentle mother, knows and does what is best so quietly and gently, she guides without the need to punish or coerce.

She is derived from the Buddhist god Avalokitesvara
and was introduced into China around 600ad as a male deity, but the Chinese consider compassion, mercy and love to feminine characteristics as so transformed Kuan Yin into a goddess. In rural China, a man normally approaches her through a female intermediary, if none is available then he appeals to her himself but apologizes for the omission first. To the humble, she is goddess, mother, friend, guide, and protector.
Her name in invoked if in danger. I have recently
found myself calling Kuan Yin during nightmares.
Devotees say they often feel her nearness, or see her
in person. Like her, devotees seek to help others by
giving of themselves and whatever they have.

One story tells that before she was a goddess, Kuan
Yin was the youngest daughter of a cruel father. When she saw her father force her sisters to marry unkind but wealthy men, Kuan Yin asked to enter the temple instead. Her father agreed, but secretly ordered the temple residents to give her the hardest chores to discourage her. The animals nearby the temple saw her hardships and decided to help her. The tigers gathered wood for the fire, the snakes brought water to the temple, the birds collected the vegetables from the garden, while the spirit of fire cooked the meals for everyone. When news of these miracles reached her father, he set fire to the temple. But Kuan Yin put out the fire with her hands alone, without suffering a burn. Finally, her father gave orders for her to be killed for disobedience. After her death, Kuan Yin was brought to heaven, where her pure heart and mercy
toward others transformed her into a goddess.
But just as she was about to cross heaven's threshold, she heard a cry. It was someone suffering down on earth. Moved by pity, she asked to be returned to earth to help anyone in need. She vowed never to leave until the last human being was free from pain.
Many people believe she is still with us today.

Kuan Yin has been a loving and gentle mother, granting me love and happiness and prosperity, guiding me and showing me my choices and giving me the tools to make my decisions, allowing me to make mistakes and then seeing me thru them. She has taught me to be compassionate, merciful, and forgiving of others especially those who wish me no good. I am grateful for the love and light she has shown me in the last five years.
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Guest

Postby Guest » Mon, 04 Jul 2005 12:51 pm

There is a christian mafia here and as pointed out previously, it is predominant in the middle-upper socio economic demographic.

The company I work for is run by the christian mafia and it employs about 30000 people in Singapore alone. For non christians there seems to be a glass ceiling that cannot be broken through without keeping your private life completely invisible and demonstrating some christian like behaviours. I was promoted not long after I did some work, quite coincidentally, for a christian charity as a musician.

You will often here people in the business world here exclaim "oh I know such and such, they go to my church" and sometimes I question the motives of the god squad in going to church here. It's all about networking and finding the right church to go to that can help you expand your business/career.

It's also a cloak to hide under when abusing maids....

Sorry but I find Singaporean christians quite disturbing!

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon, 11 Jul 2005 1:51 am

Guan Shih Yin (Avalokiteshvara) Bodhisattva has a great affinity with living beings in the Saha world. There is a saying in China, "Guan Shih Yin in every household, Amitabha in every place." This shows that everyone knows Guan Shih Yin Bodhisattva and Amitabha (the name means "Limitless Light" and "Limitless Life") Buddha, that their compassion has deeply entered people's hearts. Guan means "Contemplate"; shi means "world"; yin means "sounds." Thus the name means "Contemplating the World's Sounds."
Within Buddhism, Guan Shih Yin Bodhisattva holds a very important position. Some people say that Guan Shih Yin Bodhisattva is Chinese and some say he is a Westerner; some say the Bodhisattva is male and some say female. But now I am informing all of you that Guan Shih Yin Bodhisattva is neither Chinese nor Western, neither male nor female. Well, then, where does he come from? He fills empty space and pervades the Dharma Realm; he is in every place and yet not in any place. He appears according to what kind of body is needed to save each particular category of beings. He manifests in whatever physical form is appropriate to speak Dharma for beings; thus his identity is flexible. Guan Shih Yin Bodhisattva appears in the form of a Buddha to save those who are ready to become Buddhas. He appears as a Bodhisattva to save those who should become Bodhisattvas. He appears as a heavenly king to speak Dharma for beings in the heavens.

Within Buddhism, Guan Shih Yin Bodhisattva is one who goes about everywhere teaching and transforming living beings, inspiring them to bring forth the Bodhi mind. He first sees what a particular being likes and then makes them happy with what they like. Once they are happy, they will like to listen to the Dharma he speaks and gradually he will be able to rescue them. That's why I say that Guan Shih Yin Bodhisattva is not necessarily male or female; he could be male or he could be female. In any case those are just transformations. As to Guan Shih Yin Bodhisattva's own body, he is in a state of unmoving Suchness. He is just like the Buddhas. Anyway, Guan Shih Yin Bodhisattva already became a Buddha a long time ago, by the name of Right Dharma Brightness. He simply appears as a Bodhisattva in order to teach and transform living beings.

Guan Shih Yin Bodhisattva uses kindness, compassion, joy, and giving to save all living beings. He saves beings from the seven difficulties, responds to two kinds of seeking, has fourteen kinds of fearlessness, speaks Dharma in nineteen ways, and has thirty-two response bodies. If childless people seek sons or daughters, their wishes will be granted. These are the two kinds of seeking.

Therefore, in a Guan Yin recitation session, any vow can be fulfilled and any result can be obtained, because Guan Yin Bodhisattva responds to all requests. You may seek to leave the home-life, to remain a layperson, or to become a Buddha. Guan Shih Yin Bodhisattva has great kindness and compassion, and will not disappoint you no matter what you ask for. He'll definitely fulfill your wishes. Therefore, during the Guan Yin session, you may seek whatever you like. Whether you seek a son, a daughter, wealth, or long life, you will be able to obtain them. But these are forms of happiness subject to "outflows"; you ought to seek the nonoutflow happiness of Buddhahood. Worldly riches, honor, and glory all come to an end, but nonoutflow happiness is endless and infinite. Let's recite Guan Shih Yin Bodhisattva's name more in order to realize an everlasting fruition.

Celebration of Guan Yin Boddhisattva's Enlightenment at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Jul. 23 - 30, 2005

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon, 11 Jul 2005 6:44 pm

Anonymous wrote:There is a christian mafia here and as pointed out previously, it is predominant in the middle-upper socio economic demographic.

The company I work for is run by the christian mafia and it employs about 30000 people in Singapore alone. For non christians there seems to be a glass ceiling that cannot be broken through without keeping your private life completely invisible and demonstrating some christian like behaviours. I was promoted not long after I did some work, quite coincidentally, for a christian charity as a musician.

You will often here people in the business world here exclaim "oh I know such and such, they go to my church" and sometimes I question the motives of the god squad in going to church here. It's all about networking and finding the right church to go to that can help you expand your business/career.

It's also a cloak to hide under when abusing maids....

Sorry but I find Singaporean christians quite disturbing!



Hear! Hear! So do I!!! I went to a catholic school as a child, but i was from a hindu family. My parents took me to buddhist temples, mother taught me to pay respects to the chinese shrine at the tree, and never once told me an unkind word about another religion. I come to singapore and over the years this is what ive discovered:

Id be talking about "god' in general terms and if a christian was within hearing distance or the person i was talking to, he/she would immediately say to me "Oh you MUST be Christian" OR "Oh which Church do you worship at". This went on for a while and slow me, didnt quite catch on and then when it did, I didnt want to offend them so i would ignore it. But these days I ask "Where is it written that the word GOD applies only to christians?

The other thing I am asked if i mention "thank God" or "god has been kind" - inevitably i'll be asked "Oh but WHICH god did you pray to?"

Then i got dragged to some services- out of politeness, i attended a few:
they use this jargon which would otherwise be called pagan or withcraft

for eg they use words like prophecy- which really is someone being psychic or having a sixth sense, or getting the 'word' which is channelling..

then at their meetings- they actually would talk about how they need to save the souls of the buddhists and hindus and other non christians and how they need to go after these people to show them how these souls can have salvation!!

Give me a break!!!


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