August 6, 2012

0300 INDIA (National Capital Territory of Delhi) - Bahá'í House of Worship at New Delhi (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

I first read about the Bahá'í Faith about 20 years ago, in a book of my eminent compatriot, Mircea Eliade. I found it an interesting subject, but not much else, because, frankly, I think that the syncretism is a beneficial manifestation in arts, but not in religion. For the Bahá'í, the religious history is a sequence of divine messengers (Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and others), each of them laying the foundation of a religion suited to the needs of the time and the capacity of the people, the final purpose being to transform the character of humankind and develop moral and spiritual qualities.

Bahá'í's doctrine is based on the unity of God (inaccessible, omniscient, omnipresent, imperishable, and almighty), the unity of religion, and the unity of humankind. Because the religion is seen as a faith in continuous transformation, an immediate conclusion would be that traditional religions are outdated. It shouldn't therefore surprise to anyone that the Persian and Ottoman authorities haven't looked kindly the new religious current, especially that the founder Bahá'u'lláh (1817-1892) claimed to be a messenger from God.

In nowadays, according to Denis MacEoin (a former lecturer in Islamic studies),  Bahá'í Faith is "almost certainly the largest and fastest-growing of the NRMs" (NRM - New Religious Movement). The Britannica Book of the Year (1992–present) claims that in 2002 it had 7 million adherents from 247 countries and territories, and its scriptures have been translated into over 800 languages. The Bahá'í World Centre consists of the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh near Acre, Israel, the Shrine of the Báb and its gardens on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, and various other buildings in the area.

The Bahá'í House of Worship in New Delhi (in image) was completed in 1986 and serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian subcontinent. Inspired by the lotus flower, the design was made by the architect Fariborz Sahba, Iranian as origin, and is composed of 27 free-standing marble clad "petals" arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides. The nine doors of the Lotus Temple open onto a central hall slightly more than 40 meters tall that is capable of holding up to 2,500 people. The surface is made of white marble from Penteli mountain in Greece.

The first stamp on the left, issued on July 12, 2010, depict Ratha Yatra (the Car Festival), a huge Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath, that takes place at Puri, in the state of Orissa, each year on Ashad Shukla Dwitiya (second day in bright fortnight of Ashad month).

The following (issued on December 21, 2010) are a set of two stamps featuring Crafts Museum, housed in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, and established in 1956 as a resource center for traditional Indian handicrafts and hand-looms.

This is a post for Postcard Perfect #55. Click on the button below to visit all the other participants.

Portal:Bahá'í Faith - Wikipedia
Bahá'í - Bahá'í Library Online
Puri Rath Yatra stamp - Philately News
Crafts Museum stamps series - Philately News

Sender: Rupendra Pal Singh (direct swap)
Sent from New Delhi (India), on 18.01.2012

1 comment:

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