A video of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath receiving a sacred Buddha relic from Sri Lanka at the Kushinagar International Airport is being shared with a false claim that it is a rock on which goddess Sita used to sit in Ashok Vatika and has now been brought to Ayodhya.
In the Ramayan, Ashok Vatika was a sprawling garden of the Treta Yug in the kingdom of Ravan in Lanka, where Sita was held captive.
In the video, we can see Adityanath and Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jyotriaditya Scindia receiving a special delegation of Buddhist monks with the relic at the airport and them being escorted with cultural drumming.
The video was tweeted by Twitter user Ashish Jaggi with the caption, "The rock on which Sita Mata used to sit in Ashok Vatika was brought to Ayodhya from Sri Lanka. Bolo Jai Siya Ram. Happy Diwali"
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The tweet was quote tweeted by journalist Sagarika Ghose criticising the UP government "Ministers incl CM line up to receive Sita's rock which fortuitously appears before #upelection2022 . Wish the same ministers had lined up during #COVID19 2.0 in service of the public's access to healthcare #sitastone"
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BOOM also received the viral video on our WhatsApp helpline number (7700906111) enquiring about it.
(In Hindi - अशोक वाटिका में जिस शिला पर सीतामाता बैठती थीं वह शिला आज श्री लंका एयर लाइंस द्वारा अयोधया में पहुँचा दी गयी. जय् सियाराम)
BOOM found that the viral video shows the arrival of the sacred Buddha relic from Sri Lanka on October 20, 2021, which was brought by a delegation of Buddhist monks at the Kushinagar International Airport in Uttar Pradesh.
We found replies to the viral tweet stating that it is a Buddha relic and not the rock on which goddess Sita used to sit in Ashok Vatika.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath received the Buddha relics at the airport and a team of 123 Sri Lankan delegates accompanied it reported Times Of India on October 20, 2021. The report had the same visuals with the same sequence of events as in the viral video.
In the video, we can clearly see that the relic is not a rock as being claimed. The video was tweeted by Times Of India journalist Saurabh Sinha earlier with the caption, "Holy relics came in on the special Sri Lankan flight from Colombo"
Union Minister For Tourism And Culture G Kishan Reddy had also tweeted about the ceremony with the photos from the airport with the caption, "Performed a ceremonial worship on the arrival of the Sacred Buddha relic from Sri Lanka on the occasion of Ashwin Poornima. Also welcomed Buddhists Monks on their arrival. The exposition of Holy Relic will take place during celebrations of Abhidhamma Day today at Kushinagar, UP."
Ministry of Culture had also tweeted about the Buddha relic a day prior to the event on October 19, 2021, with the caption, "The highlight of the event is the Exposition of Holy Buddha Relic being brought from Waskaduwa Sri Subuddhi Rajvihara Temple, Sri Lanka by the Mahanayaka of the temple."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Kushinagar International Airport on October 20, 2021. The delegation on the inaugural flight to Kushinagar on October 20, 2021, comprised of anunayakas (deputy heads) of all four nikatas (orders) of Buddhism in Sri Lanka — Asgiriya, Amarapura, Ramanya and Malwatta — apart from five Sri Lankan ministers led by cabinet minister Namal Rajapakshe and a 12-member "Holy Relic entourage" brought Buddha relics for exposition reported Times Of India on October 20, 2021.
A delegation from Sri Lanka visited Ayodhya and presented a rock from the epical Ashok Vatika to Ramjanmabhoomi on October 29, 2021, reported Times Of India. However, the relic seen in the viral video is a Buddha relic and not a rock from Ashok Vatika as being claimed.
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