PM Oli claims Yoga originated in Nepal, not in India


PTI, Jun 23, 2021, 5:12 PM IST

Kathmandu: Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has stoked yet another controversy by claiming that Yoga originated in his country, not in India, a view not shared by a leading expert here.

Speaking at a function organised to observe the International Yoga Day on June 21 at the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar, Oli said that India was not even born as a separate country when Yoga originated in ”this part of the world.”

”Yoga originated from this part of the globe. It originated from Uttarakhand, in particular, Nepal was the place of origin of Yoga,” he said.

“Some 15,000 years ago, Shambhunath or Shiva propounded the practices of Yoga. Later on, Maharshi Patanjali developed the philosophy of Yoga in a more refined and systematic manner,” he said.

”Yoga doesn’t belong to any particular religion or religious sect,” Oli said.

“Shiva started the practice of Yoga on the longest day on the Earth, which lies on June 21 as per the Gregorian calendar. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi proposed to observe International Yoga Day on the same day, for which we all should be pleased,” Oli said.

”In fact, Yoga originated from Uttarakhand and at that time Uttarakhand was not in present-day India,” he claimed.

“India was not even born as an independent country at that time,” he added.

”Not only Yoga but also Samkhya philosophy propounded by Kapil Muni originated from our land,” he added.

Samkhya is one of the six astika schools of the Indian philosophy. It forms the theoretical foundation of Yoga.

”Charak Rishi, who developed Ayurveda, was also born in this land,” pointed out Oli.

A leading Yoga expert of Nepal, Yogacharya GN Saraswati, however, said that Prime Minister Oli’s claim doesn’t represent the complete truth.

Yoga originated from the Himalayas in the Bharatvarsha, which includes India, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh etc, he pointed out.

Yoga originated from the Himalayas and developed by the Rishis, who lived and meditated in the Himalayas, Saraswoti observed.

”One should not speak about historical truths without proper study, just for the sake of popularity,” he pointed out.

Oli stirred up a controversy last year by claiming that Lord Rama was born in the Madi area, or Ayodhyapuri, in Nepal’s Chitwan district, and not in India’s Ayodhya.

He had also ordered the construction of massive temples of Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and others there.

“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 had claimed.

Soon after Oli’s claim, the Nepal Foreign Ministry was forced to issue a statement saying the remarks of the Prime Minister were ”not linked to any political subject” and had no intention at all to ”hurt” the feeling and sentiment of anyone.

”As there have been several myths and references about Shri Ram and the places associated with him, the Prime Minister was simply highlighting the importance of further studies and research of the vast cultural geography the Ramayana represents to obtain facts about Shri Ram, Ramayana and the various places linked to this rich civilization,” the ministry had said.

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