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The murals of the historic Welihinda Sri Sudarashanarama Purana Raja Maha Viharaya in the Weligama Korale have been featured in a set of four stamps to mark this yearâ€™s Vesak by the Postal Department.
These stamps were issued at a ceremony held at the Welihinda Purana Raja Maha Vihara on April 20, 2007. Under the auspices of the Malwatta Chapter of the Siyam Maha Viharaya an exhibition of ancient murals, Ola-leaf inscriptions and stamps were also held.
A large gathering is reported to have attended the exhibition. History of Welihinda temple goes back to as far as 1780 and since then its Wehella Sangha generation is known to have imparted a great meritorious service to Buddha Sasana and the Buddhist public.
Sri Lanka is about the only Buddhist country where special stamps are issued for the Vesak festival annually from as far back as 1978 when rock carvings from Borobudur temple were featured.
In 1979 there were two stamps portraying paintings from Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara. One of the two stamps portrayed Prince Danta and Princess Hema Mala bringing the sacred Tooth Relic from Kalinga, India.
The other stamp showed Theri Sanghamitta bringing a branch of the Sacred Bodhi Tree to our country. Since then Vesak stamps have been an annual feature much valued and respected by the Buddhists and others as well.
While we should appreciate these Vesak commemorative stamps featuring temple paintings of various ancient Viharas issued so far, a set of Vesak stamps other than temple paintings issued in 1999 stand out as one of the most picturesque issued to date. The Souvenir Sheet which includes four stamps is shown here.
The beauty of the colours of the rainbow as emanating from the Blessed One is reminiscent clearly and well from these stamps as we behold them as the art work can be considered more than excellent.
Wishing you all a happy Vesak which will dawn on May 1st bringing with it prospects of unity and harmony among all Sri Lankans!
Folk tales of Sri Lanka:
Thipal Vedaâ€™s panacea
Once upon a time there lived a Vedarala in a coastal village. He was a well-known native medical practitioner and everybody respected him.
Vedarala had a son who was not interested in his fatherâ€™s profession. He used to while away the time with his friends.
Vedarala was getting old day by day. And he was worried that there was no one to carry on his medical practice after his death. So he wondered what to do about it.
Come here, son. Now Iâ€™m sick and old. I might die one of these days. You never cared to learn medicine and how are you going to live?â€ť
Vedaralaâ€™s son remained silent.
â€śI have a secret medicine which will cure all sicknesses. Iâ€™ll give it to you now. But you have to give it to your patients only after my deathâ€ť, he said.
One evening Vedarala passed away. After giving him a decent burial, Vedaralaâ€™s son started his medical practice.
The medicine he gave was known as â€śThipal kasayaâ€ť which was a laxative. The medicine helped his patients to extrete the contents of their bowels. Fortunately, all his patients recovered from their illnesses and Vedaralaâ€™s son became famous as â€śThipal Vedaâ€ť.
One day a farmer came to see him and complained that his cow was missing. Thipal Veda gave him his usual Thipal Kasaya without batting an eyelid. After taking the medicine, the farmer developed a severe stomach ache and wanted to relieve himself.
As there were no toilets in the village he ran to a thicket only to find that his missing cow was grazing there. He was so happy that he led the cow home.
After some time the king heard that enemies were coming from a neighbouring country to capture his kingdom. The king consulted his advisers and ministers but their only advice was to go and see Thipal Veda for a solution. The king at first hesitated but later summoned Thipal Veda to the palace.
â€śCan you solve this problem?â€ť the king asked.
â€śYes, your majesty. Please give Thipal Kasaya to all the male citizens of your kingdom. Then they will defeat the enemiesâ€ť.
The king had no option. He ordered all the male citizens to take Thipal Kasaya.
On the following day all the male citizens were seen seated along the beach to ease themselves. The enemies who were sailing towards the beach turned their vessels and returned to their own country fearing the large number of men would destroy their fleet.
Musaeus Sithu Siththam
Sithu Siththam, the art and sculpture exhibition organized by the Art Circle of Musaeus College was held on 4th and 5th of April 2007, at the National Art Gallery.
The chief guest of the day, Mr. Sarath Gunasiri, the former Dean of the Faculty of Art at the University of Aesthetic Studies and Principal, Mrs. N. K. Pilapitiya, Deputy Principal Mrs. S. Dandeniya graced the occasion.
Pastel, water colour, oil paints, colarge, stencils, template, pottery painting and sculptures were the varying mediums of exhibits, which expressed the outstanding fresh concepts of the students.
Look at those little kittens,