New Delhi [India], Aug 9 (ANI): India on Sunday clarified that there is no doubt that Gautam Buddha was born in Nepal and said that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar remarks were in reference to shared Buddhist heritage.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Sriavatava's clarification comes following Nepal taking exception to Jaishankar's remarks describing Gautam Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi as the two greatest Indians who are remembered by people around the world.
Nepal's Foreign Minister in a statement said that it is a well-established and undeniable fact proven by historical and archaeological evidence that Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal.
"EAM's remarks yesterday at the CII event referred to our shared Buddhist heritage. There is no doubt that Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini, which is in Nepal," Srivastava said in the response to a media query on Jaishankar's remarks
During a virtual event titled "India@75 Summit: Collaborating for a New Self-reliant India," organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Saturday, the external affairs minister said that Lord Buddha was Indian. "Who are the greatest Indians ever that you can remember?" Jaishanker asked, adding, "I would say one is Gautam Buddha and the other is Mahatma Gandhi."
Nepal Foreign Minister also recalled that Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi himself during his visit to Nepal in 2014, while addressing Nepal's Legislature-Parliament, had said that "Nepal is the country where the apostle of peace in the world, Buddha, was born."
"It is true that Buddhism spread from Nepal to other parts of the world in the subsequent period. The matter remains beyond doubt and controversy and thus cannot be a subject of debate. The entire international community is aware of this," the Nepal ministry added.
Lord Buddha was born in 623 BC in the sacred area of Lumbini.
The Buddha trail in India ranges from Bodh Gaya, where he attained enlightenment; to Sarnath, where he gave his first sermon; to Nalanda and Rajgir, where he lived, preached and taught; to Shravasti, where he spent 24 rainy seasons and to Kushinagar, where he passed away at the age of 81. India is considered as 'the land of Buddha'.
The latest row over Buddha comes against the backdrop of Nepal publishing a new political map that included Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura, as part of Nepalese territory.
Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli had in July claimed that the birthplace of Lord Rama, is in Nepal and that Lord Rama was Nepali. (ANI)