Singapore – Still Life with Flame
Although Vesak is a Buddhist festival, celebrating the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha, Buddha is a complex figure in Hinduism. Many Hindu texts mention him as an avatar of supreme God Vishnu (who is also Rama and Krishna).
Although that connection is controversial and doesn’t form part of “orthodox Hinduism”, Hindus, Buddhists and Taoists tend to be somewhat flexible in their worship and beliefs. Mahatma Gandhi was heavily influenced by Buddhist teachings and many Hindus are fans of the Dalai Lama.
In Singapore we’d call that “insurance”. Pay respect to any deity, just to be on the safe side.
All that is a long way of explaining why this oil lamp is burning in Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple on Serangoon Road in Little India.