Tuesday, August 14, 2007

2550th years of Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha

I have received this cover few days ago, from Velu, a fellow blogger who maintains the Stamp of Velu (if you don’t know his blog, go to have a look, it is very interesting). Thank you very much Velu for this fantastic cover.

The six large stamps of the cover have been issued on the 2nd of May 2007 to celebrate the 2550th years of Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha. The stamps have also been issued in a souvenir sheet. Here is a picture of the full sheet.

Any person who has awakened from the “sleep of ignorance” is called a Buddha. But Siddharta Gautama, is known among Buddhists to be the Supreme Buddha of our age. He was born in Lumbini (today Nepal) and has died in India, 80 years later. The exact date of his birth is not precisely known but it is commonly accepted that he was born in 563 or 566 BC. Before his birth, his mother Mahamaya had a dream in which a white elephant entered her body. Priests interpreted this dream as an indication that she would give birth to a son who would rule the world or renounce to everything to become a great spiritual leader.
At the age of 80, Buddha announced that he would enter Parinirvana, the final deathless state, abandoning the earthly body and getting free from the cycles of birth and death. The Mahaparinirvana refers to the ultimate state of Nirvana, the everlasting highest peace and happiness.
Buddha’s parinirvana occurred in the year 544 BC, the full moon on the May 13th 2006 marked the beginning of the 2550th year of the Mahapanirvana of Buddha. This is the event that is commemorated on the stamps.
The stamps picture various representations of Buddha : a statue of Buddha when he was still a prince, Buddha as an ascetic having renounced to royal luxuries to meditate on the essential truth, a head of mediating Buddha, Buddha holding the nectar of immortality in a jar, various incarnations of Buddha, past and future…Together with this cover, Velu sent me a very informative folder issued by Indian post, from where I got all this information. Here is a scan of the front page of the folder.


Velu said...

Hey Eric. :)

Glad you recd it. BTW, it doesn't mention it on the broucher, but the Cancellation stamp is made of a tree. This is called the Bodhi tree, under which Buddha gained enlightnenment.


Jose said...

Very nice S/S... would be great If i could get one + FDC! Take care