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B/N 984 State Vesak Festival 2564

The Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Posts has issued a stamp depicting Rs. 15.00 on May 06, 2020, to mark the 2564th Vesak commemoration.

Date of Issue May 06, 2020
Denomination Rs.15.00
Catalogue No: CSL 2388
Stamp Designer P.IsuruChathuranga
Stamp Size: 60mm x 30mm
Sheet Composition: 20 stamps per sheet

First Day Cover

The commemorative stamp depicts a scene from the ThulaharaJathaka, from a mural in Sri Jayawardenarama Raja MahaViharaya, Olaboduwa.

King Nissankamalla liked to give alms and he even appointed regional ministers to establish halls where a large number of people could be given alms. One of the most frequent alms given by King Nissankamalla was 'Thulabharadanaya.' This means that valuable items, equivalent to the weight of a person, would be given. For example King Nissankamalla had given 'Thulabharadanayas' equivalent to the weight of KaalyanaMaha Devi of Kalinga, Queen Subadhra, Prince Weerabahu (son of King Nissankamalla) and SarwangaSundari (daughter of Prince Weerabahu.)

The historical Sri Jayawardenarama Raja MahaViharaya, Olaboduwa has a special place among ancient Sri Lankan temples. This ancient temple is situated at Olaboduwa village, Kumbukapattuwa, Horana in the Kalutra district of the Western Province in Sri Lanka. It belongs to the MahaViharawanshikaSamopaliMahaNikaya of the Malwathu Chapter. The temple was initiated by the Weediyagoda Sangha Sabhawa.

According to OlaboduwaViharaWanshaya (temple history), the institution dates back to the age of King Nissankamalla of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom. The site was situated near a route that the king frequented and was also a place where the kind held a Thulahara alms giving. These were the reasons why a devale was established at this place initially. This was was built by a regional ruler, under King Nissankamalla, who was in charge of the area. Historical Upulwan Sri Vishnu Devalaya, which was held in high regard by kinds, nobility and the people, was thus created and is the start of the temple as we see it today. Most Venerable Bemthara Sri Sudharshana Thera, who was appointed the first chief incumbent of the Weediyagoda Raja MahaVihara, during the revival of the Buddha sasana under Welivita Sri Saranankara Thera, was also placed in charge of the Upulwan Sri Vishnu Devalaya.

After the custodianship of Most Ven. VisidagamaSrSobitha Thera and most Ven. PunchimadapathaSonuththara Thera; most Ven. Bolabotuwe Sri Sumangala Thera became the permanent residential chief incumbent of the temple.

The temple has a shrine room that has a number of paintings and statues that belong to the art tradition of the Kandyan Era as well as the historic Upulvan Sri Vishnu Devale. There are many monuments that are of archaeological value too. The temple ground is also scenic, surrounded by paddy fields and comprising of ancient trees and mountains. The temple is also the headquarters of a number of Buddhist institutions here and abroad including ThalagamaVipassana Meditation centre.

An annual procession centred on Upulvan Sri Vishnu Devale is one of the most vibrant cultural events in the western province. This procession is one that had been gazetted by the government (gazette number 2064/29.) Since the State Vesak Festival of 2020 is to be held at the Olaboduwa Sri JayawardanaramaRajamahaViharaya, the government declared the land that the temple is held to be sacred land.

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