29 May 2015

Gommateshwara 9.2.1981

The stamp design depicts the upper portion of the statue at Shravanabelagola. The first day cover, designed by Sumhinder Singh, depicts the footprints of Gommateshwara within a lotus flower. The special cancellation, designed by Charanjit Lal, consists of the artist?s impression of the Kalash (sacred pitcher) to be used for mahamastakabhisheka.

Bahubali (English: The One With Strong Arms) was the second of the hundred sons of Tirthankara Rishabha, the founder of Jainism in present era. According to the Digambaras, he was the first human to attain moksha in the present Avasarpani era (half time cycle as per Jain cosmology). Bahubali is a much revered figure among Jains. His story exemplifies the inner strength of Indian culture. He is said to have won the fight with his elder brother Bharata and could have become an emperor of the world (chakravartin), but he returned everything and became a monk. Bahubali is considered the ideal of the man who conquers selfishness, jealousy, pride and anger. He is believed to have become Siddha i.e., soul at its purest form.

Bahubali is also called Gommateshwara because of the statue dedicated to him. "Gommateshvara" statue, built by the Ganga dynasty minister and commander Chamundaraya, is a 57-foot (17 m) monolith and is situated above a hill in Shravanabelagola, in the Hassan district of Karnataka state, India. It was built in the 10th century AD. It is a monolithic statue i.e. casted from a single piece of rock, and is largest in the world. On August 5, 2007, the statue was voted by Indians as the first of Seven Wonders of India; 49% of the total votes went in favor of it. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, devotees and tourists from all over the world flock to the statue once in 12 years for an event known as Mahamastakabhisheka.

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