The stamps depict four of the most venerated places of Buddhist worship – Lumbini, Buddha Gaya, Saranath, and Kusinara. Stamp enthusiasts and members of the Buddhist clergy say the stamps do not highlight these specified geographical locations, and point to other discrepancies as well.
One stamp locates Lumbini, the Buddha’s birthplace and now in modern Nepal, in the middle of a map of India, said the Venerable Maitipe Wimalasara Thera, head of the Dharmavijaya Bauddha Viharaya in Los Angeles, California. The Venerable Maitipe Wimalasara Thera lived in Buddha Gaya for more than two decades.
The same stamp shows a historic pillar, erected by King Asoka to mark the exact location of the Buddha’s birth, in a corner, while prominence is given to a more recent structure put up at the site.
The stamp depicting Buddha Gaya, the holy site where the Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment, gives prominence to two Hindu temples, while the Sri Maha Bodhiya, the most venerated place of Buddhist worship, is in the background.
The two other stamps “sideline” the historically important Isipathanaramaya, in Saranath, and Kusinara, and give prominence to more recent structures.