by Anura Guruge
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Sri Lanka (and Ceylon before that) has a well earned and justified reputation for issuing colorful, vivid and topical stamps. They used to make a ‘lot’ of money from philatelist around the World. For all I know they must still do quite well though I don’t see or hear of kids collecting stamps like when I was young. We had the stamp albums, the corners, the magnifying glasses etc.
I just heard about the issuance of these new Vesak 2014 stamps last night.
They are, as to be expected, very nice stamp. Bravo Sri Lanka.
But, they cracked me up.
These stamps, in particular the top two, exemplify my thesis in last week’s post where I worried about the Buddha as a ‘deadbeat dad’ and his distaste for women!
These stamps are brilliant in that they so graphically illustrate what I was trying tell you about.
This is the irony and I alluded to this in the post referenced above.
Buddhists, in particular Sri Lankan Buddhist, in what I can now only characterize as misguided ignorance, GLORIFY Buddha’s abandonment of his son.
As an 8-year old (yes, even younger) I was brought up being taught that Buddha’s abandoning of his family, without even telling them what he was doing, was a great, noble act.
When you get to be 50, having had children, got divorced (more than once), paid child support etc. etc. etc. it dawns on you that what Buddha did was not good. Not right. It is certainly not something to glorify.
And then there is this thing about Buddha and women. The first stamp says it ALL — and is it my imagination or do I see a limp wrist?
The stamp is a RIOT. Read the description that they felt was needed.
“Prince Siddharatha sees the REPULSIVE SIGHT of sleeping dancers on the eve of the renunciation”.
Dancers …. repulsive?
What a joke.
And so the funniest thing. Sri Lankan Buddhist just don’t get it.
I guess you can now understand, slightly better, where I am coming from.
But, then again, I had an older female secretary who once told me: “Anu, your problem is that you love all women, unconditionally“. And then again, I also was scolded by a blindly devout but extremely gay cousin that: “… your trouble is that you are so OVERTLY hetrosexual”. Well if those are my main problems and troubles in life, I have to be doing rather well.