It was definitely a pleasant surprise when I was informed that the Indian government was going to issue a commemorative postage stamp in the name of our order.

A silly thought also came into my mind. I wonder how many people send letters by post these days. I myself haven't been writing and mailing letters for the last decade. If this happened 20 years ago, before all the internet was invented, this stamp could be sold out within hours. I hope our stamp would be popular, egoistically speaking.

Nevertheless, I was very excited. To tell you the truth, it was completely unexpected, especially on Buddha Purnima day, such a holy celebration and such a historic moment for us.

From the release of the stamp until now, I have been showered by congratulatory notes and messages. Many of my eminent friends from different parts of the world have been sending me well wishes. This must have blown up my ego even further. I am reminding myself that this is a recognition not only for my order and my activities, but also for all humanitarian activists in the world. This is a celebration for everyone who has been working very hard for humanitarian purposes, especially in the area of heritage preservation.

I am very moved by the recognition that the government gives to my order, which has been based in the Himalayan region with branches all over the corners of the world. I would call upon all of my students and friends to thank India for this honour. I hope that this would become an inspiration for all of us, to continue working for the welfare of all the beings. From the depth of my heart, I also pray for harmony and prosperity of India, my birthplace and the largest democracy in the world.

Incidentally, Sri Lanka government also issued a commemorative postage stamp in our name last year, in conjunction with the one-month Pad Yatra we did there. This sort of recognition really encourages us, especially myself, to work harder without wasting any more time.

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