21 May 2012

Indian theme on foreign stamps…


Mau 1

Bhavani Singh (Krishnanand Saraswati) , spiritual leader was born in Jodhpur in  1900  and died in Mauritius on 23 August 1992.

Swami Krishnanand Saraswati, who was revered far beyond India, died suddenly in Mauritius at a time when the Silver Jubilee of his first visit to the island was celebrated. It was a fitting end to a life given to the service of others: the ceremonies were held on 13 and 14 August, he enjoyed the further celebration of his 92nd birthday on the 22nd, and then, during the evening of the 23rd, he died.

His background was sophisticated: born into the royal family of Jodhpur, his name had been Bhavani Singh and, after obtaining an MA and LLB at Benares Hindu University, he became district magistrate on the borders of Gujurat and Rajasthan. In 1937 his life was transformed. Initiated into the order of Saraswati and named after Krishna, during a long meditation in the Himalayas he formulated the two guiding principles of his life - dedication to God and service to humanity. For 10 years he collaborated with Mahatma Gandhi in spreading the Hindi language. Then, what began as a response to appeals from Indian communities in Kenya during the Mau Mau conflict and in Mauritius on the verge of independence developed into a life spent travelling to displaced or expatriate Asian communities, 'scattered' as he put it 'all over the world' - in Africa, in Britain and Europe, even Afghanistan and, briefly, the United States.

He was active in some 70 countries with friends of all races and religions. His spiritual influence was such that, after training more than a score of followers in Ghana, during 1957 he laid the foundations for the Hindu Monastery of Africa, where devotion found practical expression through social work. But he was no proselytiser: he thought religions divisive. His teaching was as much through example as his quiet words and his plain advice about yoga. Of those books in airport kiosks by writers claiming to be 'experts' on yoga, he once remarked: 'Yoga is much more than standing on your head and making those difficult postures . . . yoga is a decision for the whole life. Yoga means the union of soul with God and yoga is the path.' For him God was suffering man and service to him was yoga.

The Human Service Trust, founded some 25 years ago, was a practical example of that philosophy. Penniless himself - friends or some group who had heard of 'Swamiji' would send an air ticket with their appeal for his presence, would meet him at the airport and put him up - his method was to inspire the prosperous to give to those in need. Invited to the Erasmus University in Holland, he watched open-heart surgery. Afterwards the professor and his team were moved to donate their instruments to hospitals in Mauritius. Among the many who have benefited were victims of a cyclone in Andhra Pradash and a flood in Gujarat. The Prime Minister of Mauritius has spoken of the thousands of youths who 'owe their life-philosophy to Swamiji, who set up training for young people in voluntary social work.'

In India eight eye-camps have provided operations, medicines and spectacles to patients. Wherever he went he helped keep cultures alive: his visits to Bristol or Bradford or Brent were marked by exuberant performances of music, song and dance.


Swami Krishnanand started the Human Service Trust with a group of 40 young volunteers in the year 1967.  The aim was to have responsible persons to work for the benefit of the Mauritius. Till date, thousands of youngsters have been trained and encouraged to persevere in the field of education, social work, business and even politics among others. Swami ji has spread his work in 72 countries.
Swami Krishanand Saraswati took 'Samadhi' in the year 1992 in Mauritius.  Swami Krishanand ji's 'Samadhi' is found  near the Human Service Trust Mahatma Gandhi Ayurved Hospital at Calebasses.

Mauritius released a commemorative stamp under local events 1992 issues  to mark the 25th Anniversary of his arrival to Mauritius.

- Kenneth Sequeira

e- mail : kenneth.sequeira@hotmail.com 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Maxim Cards


Critical analysis : These Maxim Cards issued by UNPA recently on 19th April 2012 has not been designed as per FIP rules of Maximum Cards. This card uses all four stamps in block where as per FIP rules only  one stamp could be affixed on the card matching with the stamp design for creating a  Maximum Card. Such Maxim cards are not appropriate to display in a competitive exhibition. An exhibitor may get negative points for such cards though these are official cards of UNPA.

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