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Important Buddhist Religious Day (Maghapuja Day) 1996 Postage Stamps
2 Baht, 6 Baht, 8 Baht and 9 Baht
Important Buddhist Religious Day (Maghapuja Day 1996)
Maghapuja Day is one of the major Buddhist holy days in Thailand, marking the time when Buddhists express their great reverence to Dhamma or the Lord Buddha's teaching. It falls on the full moon day of the lunar month; or in case of the year which constitues two eight lunar months, the event is postponed to the full moon day of the forth lunar month. Maghapuja originated during the earlier period of the Lord Buddha's life when he resided at Veruvanaram in the ancient city of Rajgarh. On the full moon day of third lunar month, co-inciding with Brahmans' worshiping ceremony of Shiva, the Lord Buddha's disciples who were on religious mission to various places gathered to have an audience with the Lord Buddha in the city of Rajgarh. He thus took this occasion to preach the exhortatory Patimokkkha or the Fundamental Teaching to them. The gathering has been known since then as the Great Assembly of disciples, indicated by the union of the following four factors :
Each disciple was an Arahant and had been ordained by the Lord Buddha;
The assembly at Veruvanaram was formed by 1,250 disciples;
All these 1,250 disciples convened without previous arrangement, and
The event took place on the full moon day of the third lunar month.
The Lord Buddha's exhortatory Patimokkha has ben considered as the core of Buddhism, with its meaning to be explained simply:--abstaining from all wrongdoing, performing all virtuous deeds and maintaining purity of mind. On this holy day, Buddhists are engaged in merit-making activities-giving food-alms to the monks in the morning, listening to Buddhist sermons in the afternoon, and making a triple circumambulation in the evening.
The Lord Buddha established his own method in delivering and diseminating his teaching. Realizing human stubbornness-especially thier tendency to resist teaching, he incoporated Jataka stories into his teaching of Dhamma. All Jakata stories would be inserted with the ideals of Buddhist virtues--abstaining from all wrong doing, performing all virtuous deeds and maintaining the purity of mind. Listeners to Jakata stories would be able to distinguish right from wrong from examples set by characters in the stories. Wether these characters were the Bodhisatta, human beings or animals, they were mixture of good and bad, and they represented or symbolized human beings in general. The listeners had to be attentive to what they were listening to so as to be able to purify their mind and apply the morality they had learned.
The Lord buddha used a large number of Jakata stories in his preaching, the ones best known being "Dasajati" or the ten longest birth stories of the Lord Buddha's previous lives when he was the Bodhisatta. During each birth, the Bodhisatta had the practice one principle virtue, out of the nine virtues, in an attempt to acieve spiritual perfection. These ten Jataka stories of the Lord Buddha are :
Temiyajataka, emphasizing Nekkhamma Parami, meaning renunciation, maintaining the purity of mind and realizing the merit of renunciation.
Mahajanakajataka, emphasizing Viriya Parami, meaning relentless effort.
Suvannasamjataka, emphasizing Metta Parami, meaning kindness to animals and friendliness to all human beings.
Nemijataka, emphasizing Adhitthanna Parami, meaning determination to live in righteusness and resolution in all activies.
Mahosothjataka, emphasizing Panna Parami, meaningg wisdom and reasons in solving problems.
Bhuridattajataka, emphasizing Sila Parami, meaning performing good deeds and abstaining from bad deeds.
Candakumarajataka, emphasizing Khanti Parami, meaning patience and resistance to all difficaulties and obstacles.
Naradajataka, emphasizing Upekkha Parami, meaning indiffrence, and maintain the stability of mind.
Vidhurajataka, emphasizing Sacca Parami, meaning truthfulness, sincerity in all activities performed.
Vessantarajataka, emphasizing Dana Parami, meaning generosity and donation.
The Lord Buddha's Jataka stories which are still widely used in teaching morality are: Temiyajataka (2 Baht Stamp): The Bodhisatta was born as Prince Temiya. In his childhood, he heard his father order the courts men to punish criminals. He was then afraid of and unavoidably committing such sin. He wanted to flee from the palace and avoid succeeding his father. A fairy suggested that pretend to appear dumb and crippled. Despite a series of tests by his father, he resolved steadfastly to appear in such condition. A Brahmin told his father that he was a curse to the country and suggested that he be buried alive. A royal coach-man by the name of Sunanta was ordered to have the young prince buried in the forest. While the coach-man was dragging a grave, Prince Temiya stopped pretending that he was cripped and dumb, showing how healthy he was. He also preached to Sunanta, who asked him to return to the palace. The Prince did not comply with the request and he then became a monk. His parents discovered the truth so they decided to take the robe. Mahajanakajataka (6 Baht Stamp): The Bodhisatta was born as Prince Mahajanaka, who was well-known for his endeavor. After being shipwrecked, he had to swim in the middle of the ocean. A celestial being named Mekhala tried him and pursuaded him to give up life. Yet he still showed his relentless effort, so Mekhala was deeply impressed with him. She came to his rescue and sent him ashore. After that, he succeeded his father and became King Janakaraja of Mithila city. Some time after that, he renounced his worldly wealth and entered the monkhood. Suvannasamjataka (8 Baht Stamp): The Bodhisatta was born as Suvannasam, a son of a hermitess, who were both blind as a result of their bad deeds in their previous life, therefore, the boy had a look after his blind parents. One day, on his way back from fetching some water for his parents, Suvannasam was shot by King Pilayakkaraja. Yet, he could subdue his anger and showed his kindness to the King. He preached the Ten Noble Plaths for the King to Pilayakkaraja. Before his last breath, he asked the king to take care of his blind parents for him. His loving kindness impressed the gods. They, therefore, saved his life and made his parents see again. The virtueof kindness brought Suvannasam back to life and restored his parents' eyesight. Nemijataka (9 Baht Stamp): The Bodhisatta was born as Nemiraja, son of the King of Mithila. He took delight in donating and Indra was impressed with him and ordered Matulee to take Nemiraja in the God's chariot to view hell and heaven. Then, Indra invited him to become king of heaven, but he refused and returned to earth where he become king. In his old age, he renounced all worldly possessions and entered the monkhood.
Quantity of stamps: N/A pieces Composition: 25 stamps per sheet