India’s Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday claimed that scientist Stephen Hawking, who died on Wednesday, had said the Vedas have a theory superior to Albert Einstein’s E=mc^2 equation on the theory of relativity, PTI reported.

“We recently lost a renowned scientist, cosmologist Stephen Hawking,” Vardhan said at the 105th Indian Science Congress at the Manipur University. “He also emphatically said on record that our Vedas might have a theory that is superior to Einstein’s theory of E=mc^2.”

When questioned about the source of this claim, the science and technology minister passed the responsibility on to reporters and asked them to “work a bit on this” and question him against it in Delhi “if they failed in their research”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Indian Science Congress at Manipur University in Imphal earlier on Friday. In his address, he said India has a rich tradition and a long history of discovery as well as the use of science and technology. Vardhan said Hawking “needs to be remembered [on the occasion]”.

Stephen Hawking worked on the origin of the universe and black holes and has inspired millions of people across the world. He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, at the age of 21 and was the longest survivor of the motor neuron disease, which gradually paralysed him entirely.