The ancestor tablet is also known as the god tablet or spirit tablet. The Chinese call it the “Gong Ma” tablet in the Minnan region of the Fujian province. Buddhism refers to it as the “lotus seat.” The names of gods or ancestors are etched on the tablets.
The ancestral tablets, which stand in for the spirits of the ancestors, are revered by the descendants. The ancestral tablets, which also stand for the continuation of one’s family bloodline, are claimed to protect the descendants of the original owners from injury and peril.
Ancestor tablets are frequently retained at Buddhist temples due to contemporary social arrangements. For more info like this, keep on checking the Nirvana Singapore Promotion.
Worship of Ancestors and Veneration:
Dynasty of Shang (1600-1046 BC). The inhabitants of this period worshiped several deities, including natural forces and elements such as rain, clouds, rivers, mountains, the sun, the moon, and the soil. Shang Di, their most revered deity, is still a significant god in Chinese mythology.
The Zhou Dynasty is where the tradition of ancestor worship first began (1122- 256 BC). There were substantial developments in religion throughout the Zhou period. Although people continued to worship the ancient deities, ancestor worship gained popularity. Around the conclusion of the Zhou dynasty, Confucianism and Taoism emerged. These two religious systems had a great impact on the creation of the most basic and durable elements of Chinese civilization.
Confucianism’s fundamental goal is to live following the “Way (Tao/Dao) of Heaven” by fulfilling the obligations related to one’s place in society. Fundamental tenets of Confucianism include regard for family and ancestor worship. Ancestral rituals are incredibly significant and need careful execution.
During the same time as Confucianism, Taoism usually referred to as Daoism emerged. The ancient Chinese practice of nature worship formed the foundation of the religion. Taoist beliefs are founded on the notion that there is a natural order or a “way of heaven” that one might discover through living in harmony with nature. The name tao/dao means “way.”
Buddhism’s fundamental tenet is that all suffering results from ethereal desire and that bliss can only be achieved by letting go of desire.
Buddhists hold the view that after passing away, people continue to reincarnate, or be born again, into different forms of life. The kind of existence a person gets after reincarnation is determined by their past acts, often known as karma.
Why Should an Ancestor’s Tablet Be Kept at a Temple?
Filial piety shows out in how one handles the funeral rites for their parents. Placing an ancestral table at home is intended to invite the ancestor’s spirit to protect the descendants by inhabiting the ancestral tablet Singapore.
Currently, ancestor tablets are frequently housed in temples for the following reasons:
Alteration of Living Situation:
In terms of lifestyle and living conditions, modern families live considerably differently from extended families in the past. Adult children typically start families of their own away from their parents’ homes. They generally relocate to cities and live in small apartments. There isn’t space to keep the ancient tablets. The design of the altar also frequently contrasts negatively with modern furnishings and décor. As a result, many people choose to save their ancestors’ tablets at temples rather than at home.
Enshrining an ancestor’s tablet is only one aspect of housing it. There are daily rites and rituals to do, such as incense offering and morning and evening worship. Special rituals must also be performed on the first and fifteenth days of the lunar month, on death anniversaries, and during specific festivals.
Many people are too preoccupied with their careers or their studies to regularly partake in rituals or provide sacrifices. They made the decision to move the ancestor tablets to the temples so that the proper rites and offerings might be performed in their honor.
The Sangha sutra-chanting and rituals will be held on the first and fifteenth days of each lunar month, as well as on other occasions, which is an extra benefit of shifting the ancestors tablets to temples. The descendants are greatly assisted by these occasions in fulfilling their responsibilities for ancestor reverence.
Household Demographic Changes:
Singapore’s low birth rate is a severe concern. Several married couples have also remained childless. According to Chinese customs, it is also awkward for married women to keep ancestral tablets in their marital houses. Also, it is typical for adult children to move abroad or change their religion, making it impossible to keep ancestor tablets at the family home.
Married women who have started their own families will be able to fulfill their temple-based obligations for remembering their ancestors by transferring ancestral tablets to temples. Also, it will enable emigrant children to fulfill their obligations following their journeys back home.