Kathmandu, June 21: As the world celebrates International Yoga Day on Monday, Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli claimed that yoga originated in his country, not India.
Oli also repeated his controversial claim that Lord Rama was born in Nepal. "Much before the existence of India as a nation, yoga was and has been practiced in Nepal," Oli said in his address on the International Yoga Day.
"Yoga did not originate in India. When yoga was discovered, India was not constituted. There was no country like India because there were several fringe states when yoga came into practice in Nepal. So Yoga originated in Nepal or around Uttarakhand...," he added.
"We never gave credit to our sages who discovered yoga... we always talked about this or that professors and their contributions. "We could not put our claim rightly. We could not take it across the globe. Indian Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi made it famous by proposing to celebrate International Yoga Day on the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Then it got international recognition."
Oli, who had earlier stirred up controversy by saying that Lord Rama was born in Madi area, known as Ayodhyapuri, in Nepal's Chitwan district, not in India's Ayodhya, and had ordered construction of huge temples of Lord Ram, Sita, Laxman and others there, stood by his claims. "Ayodhyapuri was in Nepal. Balmiki Ashram was also in Nepal near Ayodhyapuri. Sita died in Devghat which is in Nepal, close to Ayodhyapuri and Balmiki Ashram," he said. Oli also said that Nepal is the land of famous sages and Maharshis like Patanjali, Kapilmuni, Charak among others.
Several other sages were born in Nepal, studied and researched ayurveda for centuries, he said, adding that "the study of Himalayan herbs cannot be carried out from Banaras (Varansi)". He claimed that after research of various kinds of herbs was conducted in the Himalayas, these were later taken to Varanasi.
"Famous sages like Vishwamitra were born in Nepal, they developed several Mantras in our land," said Oli, adding that this was the same sage Vishawmitra, who offered various kinds of education to Lord Rama and Laxman in Nepal in ancient times.
"All these historic and religious facts were distorted in the history but need to be corrected... we have to rewrite the new history. We should not hesitate to speak the truth because we know the facts, and history. No one can divert or distort history and civilization," he asserted.