Information Sheet for the Commemorative Postage Stamp of Mahakavi Vidyapati Thakur, compared with Dante in Italy and Chaucer in England :
Issued by India
Issued on Wednesday, Nov 17, 1965
Issued for : The P&T Department will issue a special commemorative stamp on the 17th November 1965 in honour of this great poet.
Type : Information Sheet (Brochure) bearing an image of Adhesive Postage Stamp
Colour : Dark Brown
Denomination : 0.15
Overall Size : 4.06 X 2.28 cms.
Printing Size : 3.8 X 2 cms.
Perforation : 14½ x 14
Watermark : Printed on unwatermarked paper
Number Printed : 2 million
Set : 50 stamps per issue sheet
Printing Process : Photogravure
Designed and Printed at : India Security Press
- Vidyapati is the greatest and most famous of Maithili poets. He was born in Bisaphi, a village in Northern Bihar around the year 1360 A.D. He died in 1448 after a long life full of literary achievement.
- Descended from a line of scholars he followed in the footsteps of his ancestors and became a court poet to the Maithili kings of the day. His literary and creative genius flowered under their patronage. He was a master of Sanskrit, the language of scholars and the large majority of his works is in that language. But his abiding place in the literature and affections of the people rests on his mastery and use of the vernacular, Maithili, as a vehicle of literary expression. His songs and poems in Maithili known as the ‘Padavali poems‘ are unique and unrivalled in their lyrical and artistic quality. He was as much the popular bard of the masses as the sophisticated poet of courts. His style started a new literary tradition and greatly influenced the literatures of other languages such as Bengali and Assamese. The beauty and power of his poems have inspired other poets down to very recent times. Tagore himself has acknowledged his debt to Vidyapati‘s compositions in Maithili.
- Vidyapati‘s was a many sided personality. A lover of beauty, sensitive to human emotions and the joys of nature, he was at the same time, a man of the world with a fund of wisdom tempered by a deep faith in religion and God. He wrote eighteen works in Sanskrit and Maithili along with innumerable songs and ballads.
- Among his most famous works are the ‘Kirtipataka‘ a historical romance, ‘Gorakshavijaya‘ a drama in Maithili, ‘Purusha Pariksha‘ a collection of stories. His forte was, however, the vernacular ballad or song. His ballads are unrivalled in brilliance of metaphor and simile, choice of expression and flights of fancy and imagination. Vidyapati‘s popularity remains undiminished to this day. His name is a household word in Bihar and Bengal. It is not uncommon to find even the unlettered in Mithila lisping a couplet or two of Vidyapati on some occasion or the other.