A commemorative postage stamp on Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala, a Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) Buddhist revivalist and writer, first global Buddhist missionary :
Issued on Oct 25, 2014
Issued for : Department of Posts is happy to release a Commemorative Postage Stamp on Anagarika Dharmapala.
Stamp/FDC : Sankha Samanta
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.6 Million
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
Name : David Hewavitame [Anagarika Dharmapala]
Born on Sep 17, 1864 at Colombo, Sri Lanka
Died on Apr 29, 1933 at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India
- Anagarika Dharmapala, who played a leading role in the revival of Buddhism in his native place Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and other parts of the world, was born on 17th September, 1864 in the Pettah district of Colombo. His childhood name was David Hewavitame. He grew up in an atmosphere of traditional Sinhala piety. From a young age, he took refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, and promised to observe the Five Precepts.
- At the age of 9, young David was initiated into the vow of Brahmacharya by his father, and, was advised to be content with whatever he got to eat, and to sleep less. Anagarika’s temperament was ascetic in nature and he loved solitude, meditation and study. He came in contact with Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society and became a follower. He left his home at the age of twenty to dedicate his life in the service of humanity. He renounced his English name and called himself ‘Anagarika’ or ‘homeless one’, ‘Dharmapala’ or ‘the protector of Dharma’. He helped in establishing schools, and propagated Buddhist ideals.
- Dharmapala’s visit to Bodh Gaya, India in January, 1891 changed his life, and the course of modern Buddhist history. When he visited the temple at Bodh Gaya, the place was in shambles. He decided to take on the task of taking care and protecting the holy place. He travelled to various parts of the world to mobilize funds for renovation of the Buddhist temple and founded the Mahabodhi Society in Colombo on 31st May, 1891. The office of the Mahabodhi Society was shifted to Calcutta in early 1892. Dharmapala also started the Maha Bodhi Journal to facilitate interchange of news between the Buddhist countries.
- Anagarika Dharmapala attended the World’s Parliament on Religion in Chicago in 1893. He was one of the most popular speakers at the Parliament. All his life, Anagarika continued to lecture and write about Buddhist principles. He set up Sri Dharmarajika Chaitya Vihara at Calcutta and the London Buddhist Vihara.
- Anagarika Dharmapala died on 29th April, 1933 at Sarnath.
- Text : Based on the material furnished by the Mahabodhi Society of India and internet.