Sunday, March 6, 2016

Bombay, Calcutta, Madras Universities Centenary, 1957 - Stamps, First Day Cover

Indian Posts and Telegraphs issued 3 stamps on 31.12.1957 in the denomination of 10 naye paise each to celebrate the Centenary of founding these great institutions in the country. Each stamp conveys a message in Sanskrit. "तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय" (tamaso mā jyotir gamaya") as quoted in other blog articles is from the Bṛhadāraṇyaka-Upaniad. "विद्यैव धनमक्षयम्" (vidyaiva dhanam-akṣayam - Education is imperishable wealth)" is a common adage.



Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Vishvakarma Convention, Lucknow - 1989

A special cover was released on the occasion of the Vishwakarma Convention held in Lucknow on 24.09.1989. The cover features the portrait of Viśvakarma, the architect of the universe with inscriptions in Sanskrit.

विश्वकर्मा सर्वस्य कर्ता
viśvakarmā sarvasya kartā
Viśvakarma is the architect of everything. 

In the insignia there is the AUM, the monosyllable representing the Supreme Reality. There is one more inscription in Sanskrit on the cover which is mis-spelt --

विश्वं सर्वं .... स विश्वकर्मा


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Ardh Kumbh Mela, Allahabad, 1995 Special Cover

20 million pilgrims took holy dip at Ganga on January 30 at the "Half-mela" (at six-year interval) at Allahabad. 

A special cover was brought out on 30.01.1995 by the India Post to commemorate the Ardha Kumbha Mela. The Cancellation carried a Sanskrit verse, but not visible.


Readers, please help get a cover for me.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Giuseppe Tucci, 1985 - Special Cover

Giuseppe Tucci (5 June 1894 – 5 April 1984) was an Italian scholar of oriental cultures, specialising in Tibet and history of Buddhism. During its zenith, Tucci was a supporter of Italian Fascism, and he used idealized portrayals of Asian traditions to support Italian ideological campaigns. Tucci was fluent in several European languages, Sanskrit, Bengali, Pali, Prakrit, Chinese and Tibetan and he taught at the University of Rome La Sapienza until his death. (Courtesy: Wp)
Tucci died in San Polo dei Cavalieri, near Rome, in 1984.

His contributions to Sanskrit are mainly translations of Buddhist tantras.

In 1961 Viśva-Bhārati conferred on him the Deśikottama, its highest award.

India Post released a special cover with a postmark to commemorate Tucci on 05.04.1985 for his contributions to Indology and Sanskrit.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Motiram Bhatta, Stamp, First Day Cover


Motīram Bhaṭṭa was born in the year Vikrama Saṃvat 1923 (1866-96 AD) and died on the same day in the year Vikrama Saṃvat 1953 at a very young age of 30 years.
Sanskrit language had greatly influenced the poets of Nepal because most of them had their education and higher studies in Vārāṇasi.

Though remembered as a pioneer in Nepali literature, he has to his credit a couple of translated works; out of which one is the Śākuntala of Kāḷidāsa. This was done at the request of the then King of Nepal. The other one is the Priyadarśikā Nāṭikā of Ṣrīharṣa.

A stamp with an FDC and brochure was released by Nepal Post in the year 1962 to honour Motīram Bhaṭṭa.


Private Covers

Bhanubhakta Acharya, Nepal, 1962 - Stamp, First Day Cover

Bhānubhakta Ācārya (1814-1868) was a Nepalese poet who translated the great epic Śrīmad-Rāmāyaṇa from Sanskrit to Nepali language. Born in Tanahu, he was educated at home with a strong leaning towards Sanskrit language and religion. His version of the Ramayana is the best loved one even in modern Nepal.


This stamp along with the FDC was issued on 13.07.1962.
On 31.12.2013, a second stamp was issued. On this and the and the FDC his name is seen prefixed with the title "Ādikavi" which will not make any sense to Sanskritists. Ādikavi is Vālmīki and Vālmīki alone can hold the title. Ādikavi means the "first poet" and the first śloka was "mā niṣāda ..... ". Probably he was considered as the first poet of Nepal.

Though not relevant on this page, I add a piece of numismatic information -- A coin to commemorate the pioneer poiet Bhanubhakta Acharya was released on 14th July, 2015. The mintage was only 1000 pieces in fine silver, the size being 37 mm and the weight 25 gm, in the denomination of Nepal Rs.2000.

Private Cover

India - Love and Care for Elders, 1988 - First Day Cover

India Post issued a special stamp to highlight the necessity for taking care of elders with love, on 24.5.1988. The FDC issued on the occasion carried a Sanskrit verse from the Sāmānya-nīti which runs as under:

वचांसि कुलवृद्धानां गुरोः पित्रोश्च सर्वदा ।
वेदवत्परिपालयन्ते येन तेन विजीयते ॥
vacāṃsi kulavrddhānāṃ guroḥ pitrośca sarvadā
vedavat paripālayante yena tena vijīyate

He triumphs everywhere who honors as the words of the Vedas, the words of the aged members of the family, the counsel of the preceptor and of the parents always.