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Oppenheimer cited the Bhagavad Gita, but why? Scandal and Controversy

Oppenheimer cited the Bhagavad Gita, but why? Scandal and Controversy

Why did Oppenheimer use the Bhagavad Gita as a source? The explanation for this has piqued the interest of everyone who has seen the recently released biopic. J. Robert Oppenheimer, a well-known American physicist who helped create the atomic bomb during WWII, was noted for quoting the Bhagavad Gita.

After the Trinity test, which took place on July 16, 1945, during the successful testing of the atomic bomb site in New Mexico, the physicist quoted a line from the Gita.

Cillian Murphy, the Irish actor who played Oppenheimer in the biography, did the same thing in terms of preparing for the role.

Nonetheless, it sparked a few ounces of blowback and multiple conflicts, spanning several parts of humanity, including religion.

Let us examine how the scandal originated and how it relates to the Bhagavad Gita. Meanwhile, Spoilers Ahead!!

Why Did Oppenheimer Quote Bhagavad Gita?

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds,” Oppenheimer famously said, is a phrase from Chapter 11, phrase 32 of the Bhagavad Gita.

The Bhagavad Gita is an ancient Hindu scripture in which Lord Krishna, Arjuna’s charioteer and adviser, reveals his divine form to him during the Kurukshetra War.

This statement emphasizes the cyclical pattern of creation and destruction in the Gita, with time being the everlasting power that governs these processes.

The Bhagavad Gita verse recited by Oppenheimer denotes both powerful and destructive force for mankind. Source: BBC

During his Trinity test site after the invention of the atomic bomb, He quoted the same line, which is currently generating a lot of discussion after the film’s release.

Later, the renowned physicist remarked that the quote reflected his conflicted emotions.

While he felt victorious for making a big scientific feat, he was also painfully aware of the atomic bomb’s terrible potency.

The identical verse was repeated by Cillian Murphy, who played J. Oppenheimer, to convey a comparable original feeling.

The quote represents the ethical quandaries of nuclear weapons development and usage, and it has become an iconic depiction of the atomic age’s influence on humanity.

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Oppenheimer And Tatlock: Controversy And Scandal

The reference to the Bhagavad Gita in the ‘Oppenheimer sex scene has provoked anger, with individuals voicing their displeasure and requesting for it to be removed from the film.

During a sex scene with Tatlock, a Communist with whom he had an affair, we see him speak the lines of the Gita.

He had a copy of the Bhagavad Gita on his bookshelves, owing to his love of reading and competence in numerous languages.

He translated a paragraph from the original Sanskrit per Hatlock’s request.

Many viewers were upset by the intimate scene in which him recites lines from the holy Hindu scripture.

The debate has reached the point that the Government of India’s Information Commissioner, Uday Mahurkar, has written a letter to Christopher Nolan, the filmmaker.

People following Hinduism have significantly been offended by the Bhagavad Gita recital during the intimate scene. Source: Twitter

In the letter, he labeled the scene a “disturbing attack on Hinduism” and demanded that it be removed from all international films.

He also questioned how the film’s scene was authorized by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

In supporting roles, the picture also features Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Kenneth Branagh, Casey Affleck, and Rami Malek.

He has done phenomenal business at the box office, competing with another outstanding movie, Barbie, with worldwide admirers for Nolan’s magnum opus.

According to a film trade analyst, Barbie has earned $356 million globally, while Oppenheimer has earned $180 million at the box office as of July.